Last Wednesday, at the indelicate urging of one of my OB’s partners, I went off my Wellbutrin. She used the term “High Risk OB” as in the doctor I would see for normal visits, and like that, I was done with the medicine.

I’d gone on it in January or February after a lengthy battle with nasty PPD. Whether or not it was pure PPD or the fact that it had been The Year Of No Sleep, the Wellbutrin took the edge off life. After I’d caught myself crying over the demise of the ice maker (why, o why do you desert me, o icemaker?) I’d realized I’d fallen off the rails on a Crazy Train.

I marched my sorry self to my OB and admitted that I needed some help. And it helped a lot.

The following months have been equally hard on me, and I’ve been grateful that I did if for no other reason than it helped me to not chew holes in the walls (much). My friend Steph died in early February and dealing with it is still difficult for me. I have very few doubts I’ll ever get “over” it.

And since I’ve been off my meds, I’m doing….okay. I’m not going to jump off a cliff anytime soon–especially, of course, because Illinois is not known for it’s cliffs–nor am I going to start talking to imaginary people who live in my garbage disposal. It’s this decided LACK of insanity that led me to realize that I could do this, I could be without, for a time.

The biggest issue I’m having is coping with the spotting WITHOUT the pharmaceutical assistance. It’s just as nerve wracking as you can imagine–potentially more so–and this is what I’m struggling most with. I’ve been mum about it because who wants to hear about it?

I was told that I could go back into the world of mood enhancers about week 14 should I choose to, and I’m not making any decisions until I need to. Until then, I’ll be crossing days off the calendar and hoping that ordering a maternity dress for standing up in my best friend’s wedding wasn’t a piss poor idea.

Any suggestions for coping? What would The Internet do?

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

51 Responses to And We All Fall Down

  • g says:

    One of the ways I cope with stress when I am unable to partake in my favorite cocktail or pharm, is to read or game. Check out of reality for a bit I guess. It calms me and I can come back to it. Or sort through photos until the cows come home.

    Hang in there Bec

  • DOC says:

    Excersise ??

  • kbreints says:

    Get lost in an activity. Other than blogging… I know that it is adicting… but find something other than reading about other peoples lives… fiction is always good. knitting? (ha) It seems that you need something to fpcus your attention on – not that I have great suggetions… but just a thought.

  • Mrs.Spit says:

    Well, Mrs. Spit would find a fiendishly difficult knitting project, that was far and beyond her capabilities, and do her level best to knit it.

    She might also shop and take naps.

  • Oh my gosh! I don’t know.

    I know I couldn’t deal with the spotting well at all and you’re handling it like a champ.

    I spotted once (yes, one time) in my first pregnancy–and it had me on pins and needles for the entire pregnancy.

    Seriously.

    I wish I had advice to offer you. But I just don’t.

    I honestly think you’re doing great, considering the circumstances—

    And I’ll keep you in my thoughts–and keep sending those positive vibes your way!

  • SciFi Dad says:

    If I was seeing blood in my undershorts, I think I’d freak the fuck out and go see a doctor. Oh wait… you already did that. Twice.

    Huh. I’ve got nothing, really. I don’t know what to suggest. I guess trying to distract yourself with other stuff isn’t working?

  • sara says:

    I’m a bit new to this whole pregnancy thing myself, so I’m not the best at having a ton of good advice (mine would be more like assvice?) I’m hoping someone chimes in with some good info though. What I will say is thank you for talking about a subject that most of the world seems to tiptoe around and pretend doesn’t exist. Your honesty is refreshing and gives me hope that there are still people out there who help give me the courage to talk about things. When I had earlier spotting and bleeding around week 6 and on I was ready to find a cliff – although here in MI there are only damn lakes…no cliffs. On a more serious note, I’ll keep you in my thoughts that things get better soon!

  • giggleblue says:

    you need a hobby. if it’s movie watching, arts and crafts, something to distract your mind, and get you out of the house!

    that’s important – getting out of the house. i love grocery stores, so i sometimes go walking around them, especially the fancy ones like whole foods or central market. i would not suggest walmart – that’s not a grocery store.

    if it’s out of the house for a walk or a drive or a window shop, get out of the house! it always improves my mood.

  • kim says:

    exercise, clean, take the kids out for ice cream (all the way around)

    that is what I do when I’m off my Meds…..

    I miss ya, have not been around in a while, sorry, work is hectic, family vacation is just over and now I’m back to stalking you like any good friend would.

    Glad to hear the littlest sausage is doing well, along with Mama Sausage.

  • DD says:

    While it was suggested more than once by my FP to try AD, I knew that during my treatments it could possibly counterproductive, even though that’s when I needed them the most.

    I tell myself frequently, even now, with a week to go, that if something awful happens, I will go on. I’ve done it before. I would just have to do it again.

    If I lived closer to you, we could have a chat with whoever is living in the garbage disposal and then make cookies and eat cheeseburgers. Basically a real live and warm body who gets it is the best medicine. I hope you have someone like that.

  • Bree says:

    I wonder if there’s a compromise drug you could take comfortably during the pregnancy? Something to lower your anxiety and let you get good sleep. When I *mistakenly* thought I was pregnant last year and was having insomnia, a pharmacist recommended melatonin. It worked great, and lowered my anxiety as well.

    My partner stopped her Welbutrin and Zoloft for the first and second trimesters, then went back on Zoloft (to provide a cushion from any possible PPD) per her OB’s advice. This plan worked great for her.

    I hope that the spotting stops soon, giving you a nice wave o’ confidence and calm.

  • mandy says:

    you know what’s funny? They way I felt when pregnant, was the most normal it has gotten for me. I have been on ‘em and off of ‘em, but the preg hormones leveled me out. I hope they do the same for you!

    As far as the spotting? I hope it improves so you can relax. I know it’s hard dealing with that worry constantly.

    And your friend? I am soo sorry, I can’t imagine what that is like.

    Obviously, I don’t have any advice about the other stuff. If I did, I would surely share it. The thing with me, all the stuff that everyone has said sounds great, and in theory it would and should be a magical cure…but when you are down, you don’t feeeel like doing any of it. ((big hugs))

  • Coco says:

    Trashy novels. Always. The trashier, the better. I have stacks and stacks of books, Becks. If you want me to ship you some reading material that is guaranteed to distract you heavily (if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge) shoot me an e-mail.

    Also, I recently discovered e-books. Cheaper, fast as lightning, very fun to read. You can print them out or read on-screen. I recommend Ellora’s Cave.

    Aside from reading, definitely get yourself out of the house. Go to Target, the mall, the library (to pick up trashy novels) the bookstore (see previous notation), whatever. Treat yourself to lunch out, including a large milkshake. Find a McDonald’s with a playplace and let the littlest guy go wild while you read and have fries.

    Get some light exercise, too. I know you’re probably still gimping a bit, but can you get to a pool? Swimming is wonderful. Some stretches or prenatal yoga can make a huge difference.

    I’m thinking of you, baby. Hang in.

  • Kyddryn says:

    Eat chocolate.

    Of course, I have a fifty-acre ass and I’m in Crazy so often they put my face on the currency, so maybe I’m not the one to ask about normalcy, balance, or coping.

    Honestly, my mantra seems to be “I’ll muddle through somehow.” You’ll muddle through, one interminable minute at a time.

    Meanwhile, the Evil Genius has decided that you’re having a girl, for what it’s worth.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • Calliope says:

    so I talked to my doc Monday about the wellbutrin and stuff. We came to a fun conclusion- so MUCH of my depression stems from 3+ years of not making a baby. If I ever DID get (& stay) knocked up perhaps I would be cured of the depression! Something to hope for.

    I have heard some good things about flax seed oil and I think I might go that route if ever the need arises.

    xo

  • Kristine says:

    I had PPD, I didn’t approach my Dr about it. And when I finally mentioned it once I felt I was past it (during a freak out over other issues), she put me on Prozac (too late, lady)…which gave me the kind of headaches that makes a person stab their own eye with an icepick. So after 2 weeks I stopped.

    Prior to that, I found that having another adult person around, made me considerably less irritable. Mostly because I didn’t want them to know that I felt like I hated my own child. It was like acting…or lying, if I’m being honest. I recognize now that this was not the healthiest approach.

    I spent a lot of time saying “This is only a phase” over and over to myself. I did some deep breathing exercises to relax, I honestly felt better when I took a B-complex vitamin and I watched what I ate – I think it was a turning point for me when I started paying closer attention to what I consumed. People say exercise helps, but I couldn’t even get to that. And some people recommend an iron supplement but I found that I’d rather be depressed and anemic than constipated.

    All this to say, try diffferent things, but don’t make yourself more miserable in the process, and do the things that actually make a difference. Take one day at a time, and if need be, talk to your doctor again about other possible routes.

  • PiquantMolly says:

    Regarding Calliope’s suggestion —

    Flax seed oil is currently a bit controversial, due to studies showing that it may alter estrogen levels. Currently not really recommended for pregnant women. I take it every day, but, you know, no uterine squatter for me. However, fish oil is supposed to have similar mood-enhancing (and baby-brain-building) effects and has no similar estrogen-altering affects. If you hate the fishy burps, try taking your fish oil capsules frozen.

    Other suggestions to improve mood:

    -Watch (or re-watch) good HBO shows. Deadwood (shield your child’s ears from Al Swearingen’s delicious cussing), Flight of the Conchords, Sopranos, Extras, Curb Your Enthuasiam, etc. I love well-made TV.

    -I’ve got a great trashy novel series for you — the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Be warned, book #2 has a sad baby storyline, but otherwise it’s full of ridiculous time-traveling exploits and lots and lots of sex.

    -T-Tapp. Really. Good stuff.

    -Chat with me, I’m online all day, every day at work.

  • Amanda says:

    All I do is work all the time, work myself up into some sort of state over things that were unlikely to get done in time in the first place, and then meltdown. So, I’m definitely not the person to give advice for coping with going off the meds. I do like me some trashy romance novels, though. And movies. Maybe try those?

  • cristin says:

    I would freak the fuck out.

    Now, that wasn’t very useful, was it.

    Seriously though, I spotted with all three of my kids and it freaked me out every single time. But, maybe it’ll make you feel better to know that I’ve had 3 pregnancies and I have 3 kids and spotted during all of it. Does that help? A little? No? sorry.

    (I feel compelled to say I had one chemical pregnancy.)

  • Mumma Boo says:

    Beg your next door neighbors to put an addition on their house so you can watch hot construction guys all day long. Eye candy was my distraction during my 8 weeks of bedrest with Cenzo. If your neighbors aren’t willing to help (selfish bastards), then try to get out of the house at least once a day for adult conversation, even if it’s just an errand. If getting out is too painful (either literally or figuratively with the two kids), trashy novels or cheesy movies are the way to go. If you like TV, try “Sports Night”. It’s a really well-written comedy/drama.

  • Cricket says:

    I was in a similar boat. I used benedryl, which is like water for pregnancy. I took 1 capsule to cut the edge and 2 (occasionally 3) to sleep. It did wonders.

    Another trick I had that helps with nausea, too, was carrying a bottle of lavendar essential oil around in my hot little paw. It took away nausea as well as calmed me.

  • LAS says:

    Gosh, I have no idea. My coping skills can probably only be described as unhealthy probably – denial mainly and working a lot. I would say do things to take your mind off of it – get out as much as possible and hang out with other people. As someone who has recently discovered medication (for being bipolar) – I can tell you that I would be coming apart right now over nothing if I hadn’t gone on meds and yes, likely talking to the people in the garbage disposal, or least all of the other people who live in my head – really – I’m not crazy! So I can sympathize. I’ll be thinking about you!!

  • Ms. Moon says:

    If it’s allowed, walking. Walking is good for everything, both physically and mentally. For me, at least. It serves many purposes.
    I walked through four pregnancies AND four labors.
    That’s all I have in my back pocket as to advice, but please remember to be nice to yourself. If you like lavender, buy yourself some lovely lotion and use it with abandon. Buy herb teas you really like.
    And dance. Dancing for twenty minutes a day to music you love can improve your mood tremendously. And the kids like it, too.

  • I guess smoking is out of the question….:}

    I used Wellbutrin to quit smoking, then used smoking when I went off the Wellbutrin, then used Wellbutrin to quit smoking, then went off the Wellbutrin and got on the “let my wife yell at me every time she smelled smoke” plan.

  • heather says:

    This internetter likes drugs, and wishes she’d been offered some when she felt like killing herself when she was on bed rest (uh, no joke there). So I am really glad you have the option of taking them should you feel the need.

    Otherwise, I find picking fights is an awesome way to get out stress.

    I’m a goddamn barrel of laughs today! Fuck. Gimme some drugs.

  • birdpress says:

    I’ve never had PPD, obviously, but I have had depression and anxiety issues since I was a teenager and have been on lots of different medications. I’m not on any now. What helps me is definitely being absorbed in something – a book, a craft, work, planning an event (lately).

    Do you like to cook? You could come up with some new recipes. Maybe shop around farmers markets if you have any. Do you like gardening? Being outside in the dirt, planting stuff yourself, can really take your mind off things in a good way.

  • Heather says:

    One.Day.At.A.Time.

    Do not fear the high risk OB, embrace the high risk OB; the name shouldn’t scare you — they know their shit. I was in a world of depress when I saw one during my first (what?! High Risk?! High Risk of what?!), and refused to see anything BUT during my second.

    And seconding the suggestion of seeking out another med if it gets too rough (you know, garbage disposal people) — risk/benefit, here.

    Thinking of you (as always), Becky.

  • Ames says:

    These days I find myself reading a lot… it helps me escape from reality for a while.

    By the way, I started spotting last week at 16 weeks. They said the heart rate was fine and that I would be ok…put me on restrictions for lifting, etc (I can’t even lift my 2-year old, 20lb daughter). However…I’m scared shitless. It happened off and on for a few days, but now I can’t get it out of my head. I know this is probaby not helping you at all so I’m going to shut up now.

    Anyway, I hope you find something to take the stress away…perhaps a nice mani/pedi?

  • honeywine says:

    I’m going with ear plugs for you and rubber rooms for the kiddies.

  • Tracy says:

    Snort lavender and mainline chamomile roman.

    Actually, in my quit-smoking days, I did find that carrying a sachet with those two scents that I could huff when I got anxious helped, if only to serve as an acknowledgment of my anxiety. (It can be just a couple of oil-dropped cotton balls in a muslin tea bag.)

    And try and make sure you are doing something alone, sans children, for your mental health daily – be it video games, sock shopping, a bubble bath, or whatever. I suck at following this advice, but those days when I do, I feel scads better about the world.

    The high-risk OB could be a godsend that brings you the extra care and reassurance you need.

    Hang in there!

  • kalakly says:

    Damn it Becky, stop going to the bathroom! Can’t you hold it for a few months?
    Seriously, you know me and stress are best buds but I’d stress worse if I took pills cuz I’d worry about side effects. You know me, if there is nothing to worry about I’ll find something.
    Wish I could offer some good stress relievers for you. Just know you’re not stressing alone, I’m sitting shotgun and we have a whole car full of stresed out passengers. Hey, let’s go to Vegas baby!! with our odds and statistics, we’re bound to hit at least one Jackpot!
    or end up in prison…either way at least it’ll get our minds off the other:)

  • I wish I could give you any piece of a$$-vice (okay, that sounded SO WRONG), but I honestly can’t.

    H*ll, I’m having a hard enough time muddling through life WITH pharm assist.

    The least I can do is keep you in my thoughts and prayers (for whatever they’re worth … probably worth much more than a piece of … okay, you get the point.)

  • LaskiGal says:

    I’m so sorry about your friend. My heart goes out to you.

    OK. First. Take care of you. You know that . . . moving on.
    (sorry if these are repeats . . . )

    2-Lots of really good movies, the kind that make you laugh.
    3-Lots of really good books . . . some funny, lighthearted, and some a little deeper (ask your readers for suggestions–I have a TON!).
    4-Walking (OK w/ doc?) while listening to fave tunes.
    5-Meditation. Not a yoga/pilates/med. chick, but I did do it while preg. w/ J and I LOVED it. Really need to pick it up again. Maybe try some incense (if it is OK for the preg . . . lots of GOOD/HEALTHY mood enhancing ones out there).
    6-STAY connected to friends/family. Go out to dinner/lunch/shopping/ or just a girl’s night.
    7-Exercise w/ a GOOD preg. video.
    8-Write. Write letters (I know, old fashioned, but awesome!). A journal. Online is great, but this writing would be for you and only you.
    9-Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Grab some dip. Drink lots of fluids–make those really cool pregnancy cocktails (drinks w/out the alcohol) and really dress ‘em up.
    10-Get dressed up. Put on make-up. Jewelry. Perfume. I’ve always been a tom boy (even in my 30s), but there is nothing like girling it up once in awhile.
    11-e-mail me if you need to talk/vent/scream/cry/laugh. We have a lot in common . . .

    Sorry for the novel of a post. I can be all big-sisterish once in awhile. Can’t help it.

  • heather says:

    I’d eat myself into a stupor, lying on the sofa watching crap tv and propping my feet up to keep that baby up in there. But I’m all lazy like that.

  • Jenn says:

    My psychotherapist told me just today that (aside from medication) exercise and sunshine are the mest mood enhancers. Personally, I tend to lean more toward sex and chocolate but maybe that’s my problem.
    I hope you know I’m thinking of you constantly. In a completely non-stalkerish sort of way.

  • Wishing4One says:

    I say take a vacation somewhere … relax and everything will be ok. Lame I know, but its late and I am super sleepy, love ya though Aunt Becky, u know that! xoxoxo

  • trish says:

    WELL, if I lived in Illinois and not in California I’d bring ice cream over and let you talk and talk and talk and by the end of your pregnancy I’d probably look like I was pregnant too. But I don’t live in Illinois, so in the meantime you’ll have to make due with me making fun of your hair. And no, I don’t like your hair. I swear I saw a rat poking it’s little nose out of there… :D

  • Lola says:

    I have to go with exercise, since drinking is out. If the docs will let you, just go for a long walk every day; that is, if it isn’t so fucking hot and humid where you live, like it is here. Swimming is awesome, too. I have stayed off all of the anxiety drugs, which I so obviously need, by exercising or just working around the house or in the yard. Keep moving! That’s my mantra.

    So sorry about your best friend. I can’t even imagine.

  • Susan says:

    Oh honey, first cut yourself some slack. Secondly, bring me any leftover pharmaceuticals. Sorry, that was incredibly insensitive, (though heartfelt). But back to cutting yourself some slack, do what you need to do. If you weren’t a great mom to this baby it wouldn’t even be an issue. Thoughts and prayers your way…

  • Dr. Grumbles says:

    i wish I had a magic cure to offer :(

  • stefanie says:

    Okay first off, no more reading about other peoples’ miscarriages. yes, it’s sad but they are not you and you are currently unmedicated. I would make that the first rule. Secondly, eat a lot.

    When I was preggo with the twins and crazy with anxiety, I too was off my zoloft cold turkey. But once the second tri hormones kicked in I was much smoother and didn’t really miss the meds. That being said, I went on them the same day I had the baby. Don’t mess with PPD is what i say.

    Listen, you are pregnant and that’s that. There is no reason you would miscarry. A little spotting is nothing to worry about (as I keep preaching) and so many of us go through it. I lovve you…

  • quietgirl? says:

    Well I have become convinced of the inner peace meditation has to offer, but then I also couple that with a little smoke smoke and I simply can’t endorse that. I guess you could do it lucid too…
    At the least breath deep and slow for a few breaths, as often as you think too. This actually has a physiological impact on you… There’s things out there, you just have to be desperate enough (like me!) to find them. Sometimes there’s pearls to be found only within crisis :)

  • chris says:

    In the midst of your struggles you still find humor or be humorous…You’re my hero!

    Have a lay over in Japan…Just wanted to say hi.

  • Edward says:

    Well the first thing I suggest is that you weigh your mental health needs with the safety of the baby and your pregnancy all together. I personally could not go off my medication when pg. Some are safer than others. A lot of the research is conflicting.

    I’ve had 3 high risk pregnancies due to gestational diabestes, depression and other medical stuff. My perintologist (a dr that specializes in high risk pregnancies) said to me that there was no real reason to go of my depression meds and that taking it had more benefit to me and thus the baby and pregnancy than not taking it. Thats my experience and I also took zoloft vs. wellbutrin.

    I tried your approach once and lets just say hours upon hours of crying jags with boogers down my face and big fat swollen eyes….not good when one is trying to grow a baby and run a family lol!

    If you can do it then that is great but if you can’t then don’t be afraid to ask for that mood altering safety button of a pill known as an antidepressant. I agree, you have a great sense of humor but it may or may not get you through this.

    As for the spotting, as scarry as it is….it’s more common that one would think. Hang in there and take one day at a time. I had two pregnancies, #2 and #6 with heavy bleeds and these kiddos are now 15 and 15 months old respectively. I forgot what the name of this type of thing is but one of them was a gusher. I stood in the er litterally pouring blood down my legs and my little guy was still in there with a beating heart and moving around. What a fucken relief. I thought it was over for sure.

    So wtf am i saying? Well I relate, hang in there and don’t be afraid to ask for your meds back sooner if you need to.

  • Kymberli says:

    I wish that I had some good, solid advice for you, but I just don’t. I’m not the best when it comes to channeling some serious zen. I just try to psych myself out into being distracted by other things like movies, and much to the chagrin of my waistline and ass, food. Always thinking of you, Becky.

  • Holly says:

    I agree with PP’s who said go read a book. If I have to “get away” thats what I do.

    Has it been discussed that some of what you might be feeling is Anxitey? I ask because I have it and I am constantly over freting. I have to tell myself to take deep breathes and relax. Counting helps. Also repeating a word over and over in my head helps too. (any word – preferably one that calms you…LOL)

  • Denise says:

    Becky, I was on Wellbutrin the entire time I was preggers with Ariana. I was about to go off the meds when I got pregnant with her and we all agreed that it would probably be helpful to stay on them the entire time to avoid any PPD, etc. I was very happy to be on them after her birth, and went off about 6 months afterwards.

    Dealing with the stress of #2 and the spotting was horrific, and many times I wanted to go back on the meds.

  • Kristen says:

    I don’t know that I have any advice for you other than to keep in contact with friends and family, positive uplifting people only. I am still not quite sure how I survived the first 4 months or so of this pregnancy, but here I am. Thanks in no small part to you and some of my other lovely internets who prayed for and loved on me. Still occasional insane crying jags and waves of irrational or semi-rational fear. but making it, thriving most of the time.
    I am praying for you too, thanks for all your support, I hope I can offer that to you too.

  • Jerseygirl89 says:

    You mean you can do other things for stress besides eat? I had no idea.

    Right now I’m finding potato chips especially helpful. And I read a lot of mysteries because then I can think, “Hey, at least there’s no murderer after me.”

    I think you’re fantastic for handling everything as well as you have been.

  • Anjali says:

    I’m a miserable failure at coping.

    Just offering up a hug.

  • Emily R says:

    Sorry — late to this. I once listened to an NPR program where a doctor said that anti-depressants should be treated like any other drug during pregnancy: if it is necessary for your health, you should be taking it. If it is not, you shouldn’t

    I hope that things are better since you posted this.

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