(Originally posted on Instagram)
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HI GUYS! I thought I'd check in and answer a few questions about my pregnancy, mood and meds. So I'm 19 and a half weeks preggers today and in my first week of no medication for over 2 years. This is psychologically scary but so far has not been physically taxing. I was previously on 100mg a day of sertraline which I believe to be a huge lifesaver. It levelled me out and cleared away the fog that I didn't realise was so thick, and allowed me to feel like me again, it reminded me of my personality again and allowed me the time and space to fight for my own happiness again. At the time I started on 50 and while it started off the journey, I was still at work and needed a stronger dose. I eventually left work, took on 3 rounds of CBT, read every anxiety and positivity self help book in the library, changed job and eventually changed outlook totally on life. I started this wonderful little shop and met all you amazing people who carried me on your backs when I was not well enough to crawl forward. I've been mentally strong for about 6 months. By this I mean, not actively recovering, but in a good enough place that I consider myself fairly healthy- personally I don't think I will ever "recover". I think the ability to fall into deep and troubling depression will either linger forever or the anxiety about it will. And that's ok. 👍 I got me my strategies these days. Anyway. When we decided to try for a baby around late summer last year I went back to my GP and asked about coming off totally. We talked and agreed that the first step was to "titrate" down to 50mg first and reconsider. At this point I could decide whether to continue or whether to stick at 50mg. 50mg is considered a very safe dose while pregnant and breastfeeding. It brings with it a DOUBLED risk of heart defects (doubled from 0.01 to 0.02% chance 😂) and otherwise there is a small risk of the baby suffering mild side effects from the drug in late pregnancy and breastfeeding, and eventually a risk of withdrawal if I stopped taking or stopped breastfeeding at that point. The paranoia was strong but I felt confident that we'd made the right decision. I stayed on 50mg right up until week 16 which I am CONT
pleased about as my morning sickness was horrible. I only had 4 weeks but the nausea reminded me of when I was first getting used to SSRIs which was quite upsetting, this beautiful life journey being tarred with the same feelings. I was also so ill and upset that I began wishing my days away and sleeping more so that I didn’t have to be awake anymore.
That again was a horrible reminder of my darkest days with depression previously. I knew it was short-lived and I had my amazing husband with me so I knew I could do it. I was bloody grateful for the meds though. Since week 12 I’ve been living that glowy feeling they promise you and life has never been better. I didn’t need a baby to fulfil me or anything but it sure has made lots of things shinier and more exciting now. At this point I decided that I would try again to reduce and maybe stop.
My doctor agreed as I’d had no problems dropping down before and she said that this was a great indicator that the meds had done their job! So down I went to 25mg for a couple of weeks and then 25mg every other day, again without any effects but with my doctors watching me incredible closely for any signs of pre-, ante- or post-natal depression. That’s the next test and I know I’m at such a high risk of it but with a great doctor and wonderful support systems, I’m totally ok if I have to go back on.
I’m in this for the long haul and a short trip back to sertraline land will be no great sadness to me. Medication is great if it works, so bring it on when the time comes!
Love to you all. 💛💛💛