As most of you know by now, I’ve taken almost no medication this pregnancy.
In fact, besides prenatals and extra vitamins/minerals recommended by the HHV-6 Foundation, the only thing I’ve taken is about six Tylenol at times I had a severe migraine so bad I was vomiting, and hip pain that made me unable to sleep/walk. Mostly I’ve tried to balance my anxiety and pain with keeping busy, going to therapy, talking to Sam, and essential oils.
That might sound all sales markety – but it’s true. They’ve been a life saver.
I’m not telling you this for head pats or so I can twirl my hair and be all, “Soooo I just had the most natural, med free pregnancy EVAH.” In fact, if I didn’t know about ciHHV-6 I’d have taken about anything for the vomiting/pain this time. While this fourth pregnancy has been much easier on me then the past three, it’s still been so hard to go through and then be reminded I can’t take anything because what if it’s the one thing…
And you know what? Some of the things I thought that about, were the one thing with Kaden. They have been known to cause a (re)activation.
That feels both a bit validating and crushing. To think that maybe, just maybe if I hadn’t taken all I had with Kaden – and then I have to stop because I honestly thought what I’d done in collaboration with my doctors was the remedy for more loss. We didn’t know, and now we do.
Besides nausea meds, the one that’s affected me the most is Zoloft. I’d been on it since June of 2012, and then switched to Lexapro about 27 weeks into my pregnancy with Kaden. Mostly because I felt my anxiety was out of control about losing him. I’d actually started tapering down a few months before I became pregnant with Charlotte – so once I realized I was pregnant, I stopped at the low dose and never took another.
For a few months, I thought, “Look at me! I’m doing this without my anxiety meds! I’m a bit of a mess but who wouldn’t be at this point? I am coping, I am doing it.”
I am going back on Zoloft after this pregnancy. If at all possible, I’ll wait until she’s done breastfeeding, but if postpartum hits me hard, I know not to mess around with that.
If something happens again with Charlotte (and that is so hard to type) then I’ll go back on immediately.
For anyone thinking, “But why? Why have that mentality of ‘I need meds’ when you might not?”
Because honestly, six months off Zoloft and I see and hear the difference in myself. I know part of it is hormones and stress, but a lot of the old stuff I really hated is back – a short temper. Constant worrying. Always feeling like the world is going to end if everything doesn’t go according to plan. There’s more that I don’t feel like getting into, but you can read the old post when I started it here. Re-reading it is like a red flag being waved in my brain, with the words, “SHE’S BAAAAAACK” on it.
Mostly though, I’m not ashamed of admitting I need to be on meds again. I have had three years of therapy every.single.week (and for the past 4 months twice a week). I have worked my buns off to learn coping skills, to change my thought and behavior patterns. I’ve dealt with a ton of stuff – some of it twice – I never wanted to face even once. I’ve put in my time for things that really weren’t ever going to be solved with Zoloft – long-term anyway.
Anyway, lately I’ve gotten a lot of emails about my old Zoloft post and I felt compelled to write this, to let someone reading out there know that yes, I made it this pregnancy without my anxiety meds and no, it hasn’t been easy or pretty at times. While I might feel differently after she’s born, I can’t see myself never being on something again. That may bother someone reading – but I know myself and I know what I’ve been through and still struggle with, and I’m ok with being on them.