Thursday, April 5, 2012

I have a secret...

I am not exactly sure who this blog audience consists of, but I would venture to guess that most people who read this regularly know me personally. Most of you probably know what I am about to tell you, so forgive me if you do. I am telling this because it is cathartic for me.

My family has a pretty strong history of depression. I have never really struggled with depression, and I somewhat prided myself on that. To me depression was something you had control over. As in, "quit being so stinkin' sad and realize how blessed you are." It annoyed me greatly when someone told me they were depressed.
All that changed on July 4, 2010. I woke up that morning with a very strong feeling of apathy. I was totally indifferent to my 5 month old, my husband, my job, everything. It literally happened over night. It was not even scary to me, because I truly didn't care about anything. I didn't even care that I didn't care. I remember just praying to my wonderful Father while I showered that morning. I was praying for Him to take those feelings away, or lack thereof. I knew I had no reason to be apathetic, yet I was. The next few days went by in a fog. I only can recall that I constantly prayed that I would care about my family and feel connected to them. A few days later, I called my OB's office and left a message for the on-call nurse. She must have sensed urgency in my voice, because I had the on-call doc stop me at the nurses' station at work later that day and ask me what was going on. She told me that she had the same feelings after her twins were born years earlier, and that I would feel normal again. She gave me a prescription for Prozac.

Later that day, another doctor that I work with, a male doctor, stopped me and asked me if I was "okay" because I seemed depressed. I was shocked that he noticed. That was a sign that I needed to take the Prozac. Chad was very worried throughout these dark weeks. He didn't understand what I had to be "sad" about, and neither did I.
I got the prescription filled that day.
The pharmacist advised me not to breastfeed while taking Prozac, so I quit taking it after 2 weeks because I was worried what it was doing to my baby. I got a prescription for Effexor and an estrogen patch, both of which are to help depression subside. Neither worked for me, probably because I was once again worried about the effects of the drug on Cohen, so I quit taking the Effexor after a few weeks.
Slowly I came out of the funk and started to feel normal again when Cohen was 10 months.
I was extremely worried I would have this problem again with my second child. I dreaded it. I was so scared that I had felt so un-connected to my family and the world around me and was desperate to avoid it this time.
My doctor gave me a script for Prozac on the day I was discharged from the hospital after having Sutton. I filled it immediately and began taking it the next day. I consulted with the lactation nurses, several OB docs, a few friends, and my friend Katie who is a pharmacist...all who agreed that the benefits far outweigh the risks to Sutton through breastmilk. I have been taking it ever since.
It is typical to wean of the Prozac at 6 months postpartum. So I am starting to do that now, although I am a little apprehensive. Okay, a lot. Maybe totally terrified is more like it. We'll see how it goes.

Hoping for lots of bright days!

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