Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Musings at 15 weeks: Fully cooked baby

After 2.5 months, I finally got another appointment with the reproductive psychiatrist... in a month. Although I'm thrilled that I got the appointment, it feels like if there was damage done to the baby by my meds, the damage is done. Baby is fully formed and all of the things that could be affected by side-effects of antidepressants during pregnancy are pretty much cooked. Cleft lip would have happened already, heart defects would have too. Developmental issues may not be apparent for a while, but if there will be issues, they are already there. The only thing that I *could* still control is the potential withdrawal that the baby may have at birth if I continue my anti-depressants in the third trimester. But the risks of not taking them in the third trimester may not outweigh the benefits.

I'm a bit disappointed, but so glad that I met with the reproductive psychiatrist prior to conception. If I hadn't, I'd be freaking out a lot more. I know that what I'm on is considered "safe" in this realm and I worked so hard to get to this place. Although I do deal with the guilt every day, I do also know that I've done the right thing. My mood is good, and that's what counts. Interestingly enough, in all of the studies I've read about outcomes of children with depressed moms, the children who's moms were suffering from debilitating depression were the worst off.

Other than all that, I guess things have been progressing. At least that's what my belly tells me. We started taking belly shots, but I'm still too embarrassed to put them up on the blog (even faceless). Maybe I'll get over that soon.

But quite honestly, sometimes I go through periods of questioning whether I'm even pregnant, and I don't know whether that's normal at this point. I mean, I'm fully in maternity clothes and I've pretty much popped (my colleagues keep saying "are you *sure* it's not twins???"). But I don't have any strong symptoms other than a lack of period and sore breasts and a little bit of round ligament stuff.

We see the midwife on Thursday, so I'm anxious to have her find the heartbeat again, because I know how awesome that was last time. I was tempted to buy a Doppler on eBay today.

I know I should be thankful that I'm feeling so healthy, and mostly, I am. But I'm an anxious person. I need reassurance. I'm hoping once the 18-20 week ultrasound happens and baby is healthy, I'll feel better. And when I feel the baby move. And when Devon gets to feel the baby move.

Oh who am I kidding... I won't feel better until this baby is safe and healthy in my arms.


  1. I am surprised that it takes a month for the psychiatrist to see you. Were you demanding in reminding him of your situation? I would think they would want to see you more often. Of course you are anxious, everyone is including those who don't have built in anxiety. Just be thankful your pregnancy is so normal. Can't wait to hear all the details after you get to 18-20 week ultrasound. I didn't feel my first baby until around 20 months.

  2. You really shouldn't worry about thinking you "aren't pregnant" that's normal. I was freaking out about stuff like that until she started kicking me for real, which wasn't for 4 or so months. Even now, Peyton is born and 5 months old and I just can't believe I have a baby, that I gave birth. Its a surreal experience for sure.

  3. I totally get what you are saying. I am 17.5 weeks and always have the "is this for real" feelings. I CANNOT wait until I feel the movements!!

  4. Glad to hear that you're feeling well. I understand how the lack of symptoms could be concerning, but trust me, pregnancy sickness is NOT fun.

    I think you should post your tummy photos! It's so neat to see the bump grow.

  5. Pregnancy really changed for me after 20 weeks. Once we found out the sexes and I started feeling them move, that's when it kinda sunk in that I was actually pregnant. I found the lull between weeks 12-20 to be really hard, in that: "Am I actually pregnant?" sort of way. The first trimester I felt so awful and was so scared it would be over that I was consumed by those two things. Graduating into the second tri, you expect it to start feeling more real, I mean, you are showing, things are going well, right? Except for me, it still felt so abstract and theoretical. Everything really changed for me after hitting 20 weeks--we started working on names (in earnest) and buying cribs, and feeling them move. It just all gets so much more fun and so much more like what you envision when you think "pregnancy".

    Also, I've written about this before, but I stayed on my SSRI throughout ttc, pregnancy, birth and nursing. (I actually went off of it 9 mos post-partum, so I sort of did everything backwards.) It was the best decision for me and one supported by every medical prof. I saw: the RE, my psych, my OB, my PCP. And the boys have had ZERO effects from it. (With the exception of a happier and less anxious mom in uteruo and immediately post-partum.) I think not enough women are able to feel truly okay with this decision but there is enough good research out there that has shown that it is really, really okay.

  6. Though a slightly different situation, I have had to make a medication decision about my allergy medicines. If I don't take them, it is almost guaranteed that I would get a nasty case of bronchitis, especially come fall. That would not be good for me or the baby, not only because of the medicines I would then have to take but also because of the breathing difficulties I would have. But I was really nervous about taking two pills a day and getting a shot once a month. We have compromised and I have reduced the dosage, but not frequency of my allergy shots. One of my pills (prescription) I have continued to take. The other (OTC), which I took once a day, has been reduced to "as needed," which ends up being about 3x a week. Playing that game of weighing the risks is so hard, but in the end we decided (in consultation with my fertility specialist and allergist) that my getting bronchitis would be worse for me and the baby than taking the drugs. So far the reduced dosages have been okay, but I'm crossing my fingers for October and November, which is when my allergies really go crazy. Like you, though, I will not feel better about it until I am holding the baby in my arms.

    I have my 19 month ultrasound this week, and I think after that I will feel a little better. (And will hopefully know the sex! :-) ) For a couple of weeks I've been having those "is that gas or the baby" thoughts, but last night I think I felt a real kick. It will come!

  7. Hi there,

    Just found your blog with the help of Google. I'm a pregnant, single lesbian mama by choice - nearly 12 weeks along. Whereabouts in Canada are you? I'm looking for other pregnant lesbian moms for support - either in the city or online - doesn't really matter.

    I think it's normal to have these fears whether a mama takes meds or not. I know the chances of these things increase with anti-depressants, but even a woman who has never taken a med a day in her life has those worries. Totally normal.

    I am anxiously awaiting my 19 week ultrasound to make sure baby looks "normal". But if s/he doesn't, then hey...we get what we can handle.