This is a rather taboo subject, so me being me I’ve decided to talk about it. When I was going through all of this I couldn’t find much online so maybe someone going through the same thing will stumble across this one day.
I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar until I was 24 years old. I had already had our first child. After being diagnosed I was on 500mg of quetiepine, this was a shock to the system to say the least. I will be writing more in depth about this another time.
A few months after settling in to the anti psychotic lifestyle, we found out I was 6 weeks pregnant with baby number two, which we were happy about. But it did leave the big question of what happens to my medication?
I was told by my doctor I had to come off my medication for the first 3 months of pregnancy, then we would decided what was more risky, me being on or off the medication. Like an idiot I didn’t take the advise of weening myself off them, I just stopped taking them.
This was a stupid move.
I can not tell you how physically sick it made me, I had the shakes, I was throwing up it really was horrendous. After the initial withdrawal happened I become very mentally ill. I had forgotten how horrible it felt unmedicated and it hit me 10 times harder than ever before. I constantly felt nervous worried and guilty, I was so over whelmed with emotion if I wasn’t crying I was throwing up. So on top of pregnancy hormones I was loosing my mind. It was one of the worst few months of my life I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Trying to work and look after our daughter as well was really hard, I was a total mess.
During this time I was being closely watched by my doctors, they saw the rapid decline and decided at the 3 month mark I was at a huge risk to myself and I needed to go back on the medication. There was no study’s to show if it would effect the baby or not and it was a very difficult decision for us to make as there were unknown risks.
Being honest I was desperate to go back on my pills, I wanted to feel well again and I couldn’t live another day, let alone 6 months being that ill. But then there was the risk of the baby? What if the medication did damage? What if I was going to ruin its poor little life by being selfish and medicating? Because that is just how I felt, selfish and like a disgusting human being for even thinking about going back on the medication while a child was inside me.
But that is what I did. The doctors strongly advised it and I had had enough. We had tonnes of checkups through the pregnancy and everything was normal, but the guilt and worry I felt will stay with me for the rest of my life. Even now talking about it makes me so uncomfortable because it stirs those feeling up.
Every doctor I spoke to during that time told me not to feel guilty and that I was doing the right thing, but I felt awful about it. I found forums online of girls saying “I’m taking 50mg I’m so worried” whereas I was on 500mg, I couldn’t find anyone else in my position on such a high dose. This made me feel so alone.
6 months later, we were blessed by a beautiful healthy baby boy and couldn’t of been happier. We were so lucky everything worked out, but even now I think what if it didn’t? But you can’t live your life thinking “what if” and you have to do what’s best for you.
After having my first daughter I was severely post natal for about 2 years, so the risk of it happeneing again was high. But because I was on my medication already, after the birth of our boy, I was mentally well, which meant I could be a better mum to my children and I was coping. My dose was upped when I felt it creeping up a few weeks later and it held the crazy at bay. Everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t see what it is at the time.
Are you going through something like this or have you had a similar experience? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
The Secret Blog of a 30 Year Old
X X X X X