Thursday, September 24, 2009

I must talk about something.

I am no longer breastfeeding. (this is ~not~ what this post is about. keep reading.)

Writing that sentance was the hardest thing I have ever written.

Due to all my surgeries post baby, Karl had more formula than my girls from the get go. I pumped and dumped a lot of milk and when I knew I was meds free, karl would still nurse like a champ. But due to pain meds from the 4 surgeries I had, I just didn't want him to injest too much of it and gave him enfamil formula.

I think breastfeeding is best. But I've always said I am not anti formula. I would say Karl got 85% breastmilk for the first 7 months. For my girls, they got 99.99% breastmilk until the one year mark. I was always so proud of it. And now, at 8 months old, Karl is 100% formula fed.

I haven't mentioned this because it's so private and although I don't hide much, there are some things I keep private, such as my marriage. That's just something for me and my husband - our personal thing I like to keep sacred. But maybe talking about it may help me deal with what's been going on.

About 5 weeks ago, I started taking anti depression medication. I've never had depression before in my life and I really didn't know I had it until my husband confronted me about it. It started around the time we got in the thick of things when trying to conceive Karl. I was depressed and I chalked it up to the ttc failures - all my surgeries, failures and disappointments. Once I got pregnant though, I didn't change much. Sure, I was thrilled to be pregnant, but I wasn't myself. I assumed it was because of all the scariness with having placenta accreta and the velamentous cord insertion. I figured knowing I could lose the baby at any moment was enough to make me sad and scared. Then I had Karl and all the trials of having a newborn were there. Karl was a great baby too, yet I still didn't "snap out of it". And due to the fact I felt this way long before I gave birth, it obviously wasn't post partum depression.

Many of you noticed the change in me. There were times I simply didn't post for days and days. And when I did post, it wasn't anything happy. I tried to fake it and I did a good job faking it to my friends, but I couldn't hide it from my family. All I wanted to do was sleep and even after sleeping hours on end, I would be exhausted. I didn't want anything to do with my husband other than the day to day stuff. I just couldn't be a good mom, instead, I was just going through the motions. When I woke up, I literally counted the hours until I could sleep again. I was a terrible employee (and probably led to the reason I was picked to be laid off). I felt guilty. I felt guilty I wasn't being the type of mother you'd see on tv. I felt guilty I wasn't being a good wife. The house was a mess. The laundry wasn't getting done. I simply laid on the couch and passed the time, doing the minimal amount of things, until I could go to sleep again. I would daydream about dying and suicide. I would NEVER leave my children, but I thought how much easier it would be if I was no longer around.

About 2 months ago, Tom confronted me. He asked me if I still loved him. I burst out in tears. I finally opened up about how I was feeling and he sat and listened. He held me. He told me he loved me and he would support me anyway he could. I asked him if he thought I should go see a psychiatrist. He said if I wanted to, then yes, I should go. It was a bad night, all my guilt gushing out at once. I was puffy eyed from crying by the time it was over, but he understood.

It took a few weeks to get the referral and to get in for the initial consult, but I did it. I took a test and it showed in black and white that I was clincally depressed. Her diagnosis was really a form of PPD, brought on by hormones, but what probably happened in my case was my depression was triggered by the fertility medication. Looking back at it now seems so clear! It all added up. I did have PPD but it was from the hormones of the IF treatments themselves, not the hormones from having a baby. It's like a lightbulb went off and it all made sense.

I was put on the lowest dose of an anti depressent. The problem was I couldn't breastfeed. At 7 months, I weighed the aspect of getting better with the aspect of stopping breastfeeding early. I picked getting better. The medication is a class C of drugs and this is what it said about breastfeeding: "Excreted into milk can cause toxic effects on newborn such as vomiting, watery stool, irritability and decreased sleep. Unknown long-term effects on neurobehavior or development of infants exposed to drug." That's something I couldn't chance and I stopped breastfeeding for the time being, simply pumping and dumping until we knew if I would continue the medication long term.

Two to three weeks after I started the med, my life changed. Drastically. I'm back to my old self. My house is clean. I'm keeping on top of laundry and the cooking. I'm back being a wonderful mommy, doing the extra things like art projects and reading books, instead of just doing the minimum. I'm back to being interested in my husband. I'm back. It's amazing that such a little pill can help me be a better person, but it has. I could be the fucking poster child for the medication.

So. That leaves me no longer breastfeeding. And while that breaks my heart to a zillion pieces, being Nancy, Mommy, Wife and Friend is more important.

This picture was taken before I knew I'd have to stop breastfeeding and I'm so glad it was taken. It's one of the last nursing sessions I had with Karl. It makes me cry to know it's over, but I'm not torn up over wondering if I made the right decision or not. I know I did.

81 comments:

jenn said...

Oh Nancy- this post breaks my heart with your honesty. I can feel how hard it is for you to share this very private experience & I commend you for it. I ~know~ how much you absolutely love the breastfeeding experience and the fact that you can make the very difficult decision to not only admit you need help, but accept it & do what's best for you & your family while giving up something you love & hold dear is a testament to your strength.
I have known some people very close to me that have suffered with depression and I have seen first hand how amazing a tiny little pill can be for them. I know it is hard, and I know it must be so bittersweet to look at that beautiful photo.

You must know you did what's best for you & your family and I know you understand that pretty much exclusive breastmilk for 7 months is a heck of a lot longer than a lot of babies get and formula is perfectly fine. But I also think I can understand how difficult it must be to see that chapter close as well. Even if it is closing for the best of reasons- a happy healthy mommie.
I love you- & I am so glad that 'Nancy' is back in all her glory! I wish a comment could adequately express how I feel reading this- I think only a real live hug can do that- but in exactly 7 weeks you will have just that!

MrsSpock said...

Going through IF treatment does put us all at higher risk for PPD.

Part of my reasoning for stopping BF was to stave off PPD. I have a long and deep family history of mental illness (only one of 5 siblings not on meds). I was at the point of not wanting to touch, hold, or see my child. It broke my heart to stop, but I am glad I did. As our Pedi says, our son needed love and interaction more than my milk.

areyoukiddingme said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with all of this. I'm glad you're getting better.

Liz said...

Nancy, I'm so glad that you and Tom had that moment to get your lives back on track. It's really important and it has helped you all tremendously.

I'm sorry about the end to breastfeeding. I love that picture. You're making me ask my husband to take one tonight.

Lisa said...

Nancy, I was so touched by your honesty. I truly believe that you will help others with this post. I am certain that there are many women out there who are feeling like you did and are just too scared to admit it or don't know what to do about it. You have many readers and I know that you will help at least one other person.

I know it must have been hard for you to admit but the fact that you did is what I like about you. You are honest and strong. And not even depression can truly get you down.

In the long run having a healthy and happy Mommy is what's best for Karl and your girls. You made the right decision even though it was a hard one. I am sure I speak for everyone in saying that we are happy to have you back and healthy!

Krista said...

Thanks for being so open. You know I'm pro-breastfeeding, but you have to consider that sometimes it is more important to take medication and use formula. It is nice to hear someone talk about this - from the viewpoint of someone who indeed believes in nursing.

Glad you are feeling better. I know someone in my life would probably be better to make that choice too. Sigh...

BTW...I was wondering how the whole pasties thing was going to workout with lactating. ;)

Jen said...

It is wonderful that you can be so open to everybody about this. Depression is horribly difficult, and something that so many go through. As wonderful as breastfeeding is, nothing is more important to Karl than a happy mommy.

Larissa said...

I am so sorry you went through this Nancy. I am glad you found something that makes you feel like the right Nancy. You are right, you made the correct decision for you and your entire family. I love that picture, Karl looks so comfortable and happy. Lili lays her hand on my chest just like that she breastfeeds. I am glad you on the road to being yourself again.

Coco said...

Because I have taken meds for anxiety and depression for years I am very "pro-meds". I hate that there is a shameful stigma attached to taking meds to help those things. There is no reason to be ashamed about it. IMO, mental health is just as important as phyical health. Thanks for sharing hun!

Morgan said...

Nancy, I feel saddened that you were going through this and I didn't notice and just email you and drop you a simple line to tell you I'm thinking about you. I noticed you weren't blogging as much and I noticed when you finally did it wasn't always happy, but I thought it was just a slump you were in. I have been on anti-depressants for a few years now, and they help more than I can even explain. It took me several months and several different types of meds before I could find the right one but once I did it was marvelous! I'm glad you were abl to find something better, but I'm sad because of it you had to stop doing something so important to you. I know how head strong you are about breastfeeding, just try not to feel guilty that the girls got more than Karl. I wish I was as lucky as Jenn and could give you big ol' hug in real life. I'm not a touchy feely emotional type of person with people really...I may seem like it in my blog at times but it's not the case. I don't like showing or expressing emotion to people in person, such as hugging or things like that. But if I could see you in person I would give you a big hug and tell you how sorry I am that you had to endure that pain and uncertainty about what was going on. I'm glad you found out and I'm glad you are better, but even if you were the schnarky bitch you can be everyday, I'd still love you! :) I'm glad your husband was so supportive of you, he seems like a really great guy.

The pic of you and Karl is adorable, even though you can't see your face I can just "feel" the bond between you two at that exact moment. Although you don't have that bonding anymore through brestfeeding, just know you have YEARS (the rest of your life) to bond in other ways with your son. :)

Thank you for sharing this, and I'm hoping this will give other women the courage to open up and just let it out.

Ella said...

What a heartbreaking, triumphant, honest post. I think it takes so much strength to seek help for such a personal, and often unfortunately stigmatized issue, and even more to talk about it in "public". Thank you for your post. I know it will speak to someone out there who is struggling like you did, and help them make the decision to seek help.

And what a beautiful photo.

IdleMindOfBeth said...

I can imagine how hard this was to write, and how much harder it was to live...

I'm proud of you for making that call, as I know how hard it was for me (I put it off for over 10 years).

I hope that you're proud of yourself, too - because you should be!

Dot said...

Nancy, I so glad that you felt comfortable enought to open up to us. Depression is difficult as most of us know. I too, I am having issues too. Damn ttc. I haven't started meds yet but maybe one day soon.

I am happy that you are doing much better,that you have a supported husband and family and friends.I missed the old Nancy and I am so happy that she is back.

((((HUGS)))

jill said...

Good for you! I'm so glad you made the decision to get help and are benefitting from the medication. I'm sorry you had to go through that shit though. That pic is so touching.

~*JaYmE*~ said...

I'm sorry you've had to go through all of this Nancy... I'm glad the meds are working & I hope things continue to get better for you. Sending you lots of ((((HUGS)))

Misty Dawn said...

I am so very sorry Nancy. I knew something was going on, after all I've known you now for over 2yrs. LOL That was a great idea to seek help. I'm so very happy that you are doing better. I've been there recently too....never crossed my mind it could be from the hormones. (((HUGS)))

JJ said...

Thanks for sharing this very honest "goings-on" in your life--I wish you a lot of peace as you work through this--its very brave of you to take care of YOU when we, as women--AND mothers-are conditioned to take care of others.

Bree said...

Nancy,

I'm so glad you shared this. I know that all choices related to breastfeeding can be loaded with controversy, and it's hugely brave of you to explain why you made the choice you did. For what it's worth, I can tell just by reading that it was 100% the right choice. I'm glad you found something that's working, and that you're back to being Nancy.

Thanks for sharing, for being brave, and for getting the chemical help that you needed. Much love from Seattle.

Rachel said...

I tried very hard, but was not able to breastfeed my son. I could deal with pain, exhaustion, etc. but I could not deal with malnourishing my son and thus formula was the only choice. I beat myself up over this decision for a long time, but have since come to 3 conclusions.

1. Your child must be fed and you should do in whatever means necessary. A good mother feeds their child.
2. You must adjust to circumstances as necessary.
3. Children need love and caring from those around them, be it parents, grandparents, babysitters, or others.

Your post reflects your ability to now do all three of these. I hope that you have continued success with your mental health.

m said...

oh nanc, hugs.

I'm sorry you had to write this post. But so glad you did. It may be the kick in the ass I need to move "find a therapist" off my to do list and into action.

I can totally see how you could attribute each "funk" as being created/caused by the moment you were in. Beyond glad that you are finding a way out of it now.

Thank you, beyond words, for sharing so much here and so honestly.

Elana Kahn said...

Oh sweetie. It's so hard to keep that bottled up and I'm so glad you felt safe enough to tell us. Unfortunately I know first hand about depression and I have had close family members with the same. It's so very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I am so glad that you finally found it!

sharon said...

Thanks for sharing Nancy.

Glad to know you are back to your old self.

Jenera said...

::hugs:: You will probably hear this a hundred times over but I've been there (sure not with BF, and IF, and all that). But depression? Yep, 12 years I've lived with it. Admitting it is always the hardest part and realizing what is going on. I am so glad though that you have a supportive husband. It makes it so much easier. Choosing to get healthy is nothing you should feel guilty about in regards to having to stop breastfeeding. It's more important to have a healthy momma.

::hugs::

Calliope said...

thank you for sharing all of this. I was on anti-D's before I got pregnant and had to go off of them for the first 24 weeks. As soon as I could start them again (& I am still on them) I felt like myself again. Thankfully the meds I take are safe for breastfeeding- but if they weren't I would totally be all up in formula's business. xoxoxo

edenland said...

Oh my beautiful beautiful sweetheart. I didn't think it possible to love you more.

Thank you so much for being so real. You have a lot of readers and you've helped a lot of people. Wow.

And you've helped me .... I keep putting off the post I've been meaning to write for a YEAR NOW. I may write it today, knowing that while it's hard, the Truth shall set us motherfucking free.

LOVE YOU AND YOUR RUFFLED PANTIES.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOOX

MommyP said...

Nancy, thank you for making your struggle public. Most women (mothers) are too ashamed to speak about their depression, and sometimes all it takes is one person talking about, or writing about their journey to encourage someone else to get the help they need. You've done a brave thing.

RN Mama said...

Nancy you are very courageous for admiting this to yourself and your husband, and for seeking help! You rock!

I was dx with PPD after my 1st daughter was born. My OB was a total a-hole and made me feel like a mental patient, so I stopped taking my meds and didn't go back for follow-up. I got pg again with my 2nd daughter when my first was 12 months old. I was still suffering from PPD and did throughout the entire pg. It was very bad. I had a new OB though, and after my 2nd daughter was born she made me go to a psychiatrist and it was the best thing I ever did. The psychiatrist was a total douche bag, but I did finally get the help I needed.

My point is, there are other woman out there who have gone through the same thing! Don't be afraid to talk about it and get the support you need!

Kim said...

((HUGS)) I really have no words. You did what was right for you, which is what is right for Karl.

I am not a pro-formula nor a pro-breast. I am a pro-feed your baby, and that is what you are doing. In my book it doen't matter where it comes from, just as long as the baby is fed, that is the most important thing.

PPD is a bitch-depression is a bitch.

Okay I had more then I thought.

Sarah said...

Nancy, I am so glad that you are feeling better and yourself again! Thank you for sharing.

Sara said...

Bless your heart. I'm sorry you have been going through all of this. I knew that your blogging had gone through some down times - I remember at one point asking if you were okay.
I am glad that you are feeling better. The meds really do help - I was on one after we lost Samuel. Different depression, but depression none the less.
Breastdfeeding. I know how important that is to you - you have spoken of its importance many times. I'm sorry you weren't able to go as long as you had planned and hoped. The picture of you nursing Karl is touching.
Thank you for sharing. I think some people don't like to talk about depression - but know that this post has probably touched someone or helped someone.
Take care!

emilythehopeless said...

{hugs}

rash said...

Hugs Nancy- i have been following your blogs since long time but dont comment much ,reading your post today broke my heart ,i hope you get healed soon you have an amazing husband and great children ...they will be a great support to you ,dont get depressed for not being able to breastfeed karl like you did to girls ,you being there in his life is more important that breastfeeding ...you have done it for 7months

concentrate and think of all good positive things you have in life ...take your meds and glad you are feeling good now :) my prayers with you and your family

mommybird said...

I'm so sorry you've had to deal with all of this and I'm so glad that you're feeling better.

Wordgirl said...

Nancy, my dear Nancy -- I am so happy that you are feeling better -- that the world has alligned itself -- I wish I could give you a giant hug -- because words fail here for me to explain to you how brave and beautiful I think you are -- I understand how difficult this post must have been to write -- you have taken care of your children in the best way - absolutely -- taking care of yourself --

I get it Nancy. I deeply, deeply get it.

And now? it's like that anecdote I heard once that I likened to depression -- I remember hearing on NPR how flies, when they are trapped in a jar -- after you've had the lid on for a while and take it off -- they stay in the jar - because they are conditioned to believe the lid is on the jar -- depression was like that for me -- I couldn't understand, in the depths of depression, that the lid was off the jar -- and once it lifted -- how amazing to look up and see freedom.

Much much love to you my friend,

Always,

XOOX
Pam

Jendeis said...

I am so proud of you for taking the steps to take care of yourself. Much love and hugs!

Steph O. said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! I know it was a hard choice, but you made the right one for your children. They need their whole mommy to be there.

That photo is really sweet, thanks for sharing it.

Geohde said...

You did the right thing, Nancy.

Being a better, happier parent is more important to all of your children.

x

g

AJ said...

Nancy-I know writing that post was not easy for you and I'm proud of you! Having dealt with depression most of my life, I understand part of what you are going through. I don't have kids and can't have kids so I don't have that pressure but I do have the pressure to be a good wife.

I'm glad things are getting better. Hang in there :0)

Sugar and Ice said...

Awww...Nancy! I'm so sorry to hear you've been feeling this way! I am such a huge breastfeeding advocate, but you made it 7 months...that's great! Most women don't make it that long, and you had a great reason to stop.

Michelle said...

I still believe that the Bravelle box should come with some Zoloft packed next to the Q-caps.

Thank you for the honest post. I too have gone through PPD, and it's tough. The hard part is the denial, but once you can get that perspective... bingo!

loribeth said...

I've had some struggles with anxiety over the past 10 years. My dr gave me a prescription for Ativan to use as needed, & while I didn't even finish the bottle halfway, just knowing it was there if I needed it gave me a lot of comfort. You did the right thing. (((hugs))) & thanks for sharing your story. I'm so glad you are feeling better!

Denise said...

I'm seriously too lazy to read through all 41 comments before me, so sorry if I'm repeating others' thoughts. Just want to let you know that (1) I'm interest in and care about you--I don't read your blog just for entertainment, (2) I am incredibly grateful to Tom for confronting you, and (3) I am extremely proud of you for getting help. I know I didn't deal with it for nearly as long as you did, but I know how you feel about that one little pill. Mine gave me myself back too and it felt so good. I'm so glad that you are feeling yourself again.

Sarah R said...

Hugs, Nancy! I completely understand why you did what you did. Clinical depression goes beyond "regular" depression--I know because my sister is clinically depressed. It runs your entire life and can take over. I am so glad you got the help you needed. Karl got your milk in the most important time--the first six months are the most vital anyway. (((((((Hugs))))))))

I have noticed a change in you in the past couple weeks, and I like it! Oh, and I am so glad your hubby is supportive and took the initiative to confront you!

Christy said...

Good for you, Nancy! Good for you for being so painfully honest. Good for you for recognizing that you needed to seek help. Good for you for doing something about it. Good for you for being back to yourself. And good for you for doing what's best for your family.

I can imagine how hard this was for you. Several years ago I had trouble with anxiety and panic attacks. I, too, went on a low dose anti-depressant and was amazed at how wonderful I felt just a short time later. A year later I went off, and now I just periodically deal with anxiety. I do understand how hard it is to share this with people.

Again, good for you.

Melis.sa said...

You're SO strong!! i admire you so much. Thank for sharing your struggle with us. I'm so sorry that you struggled for so long but it sounds like you have an amazing relationship with your husband too, and I'm so glad that you are feeling better!! ((HUGS))

Jules said...

You did the right thing, Nancy. I'm glad you are feeling better and back to your old self. There are so many women that can't breastfeed at all or can't make it very long, you are so blessed to have had the 7 months that you gave to Karl. *HUGS* my dear!

Motel Manager said...

You SO did the right thing. There's a lot of guilt involved in stopping breastfeeding, but it is, in my learned opinion, stupid. There are about 1,000 variables involved in parenting, and you need to optimize for the package, not each one. And kudos to you for being so honest and brave! I'm glad things are looking rosier. You are a fabulous mom!

Jennifer said...

I remember seeing the picture of all the meds you had to take and it totally makes sense that it would mess up your hormones and such. I'm glad that you are taking care of yourself and that you are back!

I also caught myself wondering how you could have kept bfing with all the surgeries you had...I was( and still am) amazed.

Kelly said...

oh Nancy! (((Hugs))) I am so sorry that you are going through this.

Simply, I admire you.

Lorza said...

I am sorry that you are having to go through this. It is crazy that a little stinking pill can alter your mood- it is crazy how we can get so far from normal, but not see it. I have struggled with depression for many years, and it is hard. It is hard to accept that you need help, and hard to recognize that it isn't situational. I think you are doing a wonderful thing- and I applaud you.

I think there should not be a stigma or anything assosciated for getting help with depression. It is a medical problem that can be- and should be treated.

{{HUGS}}

Julie said...

Thank you for trusting us all enough to share such a personal issue. I'm sure it broke your heart to have to stop breast feeding, but I agree that you made the right decision. You breast feed Karl as much as you could and you should be proud of that.

I'm glad you're back to feeling like yourself.

Soapchick said...

Nancy you are so brave and thanks for sharing this with us. I'm glad you are back to your old self. I went through a depression about 7 years ago and went on anti-depressents for about 2-3 years. When they kicked in I was utterly amazed at how much better I felt. I'm so happy for you. I can imagine the decision about breastfeeding was difficult, but it is so much more important for Karl's mommy to be healthy. If I ever get to Colorado again (was there on vacay 4 years ago), I must meet you. Cheers my dear!

sacredandscarred said...

I'm sorry you were suffering in silence for so long, and I'm very glad you're doing better now. Depression is awful.

That's a beautiful photo.

Mer said...

I think your post is honest, beautiful and brave. I am sorry you've been through such hell, and very glad to hear that life has gotten a little easier again. You absolutely made the right decision.

Lilith Silvermane said...

Huzzah!! Good for you Nancy.

Good decision to make. You are so lucky to have a supportive husband and family.

It's all going to get better!

Warm Blessings Nancy... Much love

Jenn BG said...

((((Nancy)))) I am so glad you posted this. I think many of us can understand. It sounds like you made the best decision for yourself and your family and Karl will be just fine. I do understand wanting to give the same to all your babies, though. I am so happy you feel like yourself again. I have wondered about myself at times. I don't feel sad or like I want to be in bed all the time, but I know I am not being the best mom I can be...doing that "extra" stuff with the boys. I feel guilty that I never play outside with them anymore and that I am just not fun. :( With my last pregnancy I was tired ALL the time and felt like crap in general. I started using as an excuse to keep the boys in and do lazy things like watch movies or play video games. Now that Ty is here I feel better physically, but I feel like I can't give them the time anymore either. UGH. I think this is just part of having 3 kids and working full-time...or is that an excuse? That's my problem.

My house is a disaster too. Some nights I'll have the motivation to clean the kitchen and do all the dishes and some laundry after dinner, but then some nights I just put everything in the sink and pray the "dish fairy" will come visit us.

I know I need to get it together again. My babysitter gets to do more fun stuff with them like go to the cider mill or the zoo while I'm at work and then we get home and it is rush, rush, rush...bed. I actually look forward to their bedtime too, which is terrible. I'm just so zonked from the day and know I have a million things to do...but usually pass out on the couch.

What was it that made you really realize something was wrong? The confrontation from your family? My DH has only made a few comments and they include (while I was still pregnant): "I can't wait until Ty is born, so you'll be nice again". Guess I've become a mean yelling mommy. UGH.

I am going to try to be better this weekend. You've given me some inspriration. I commend you for taking the steps to make things better for yourself.

Jenn

Kate said...

of course you don't need to be told, but you're doing the right thing. it broke my heart when i had to quit breastfeeding, & i'm sure it was so, so hard to deal with that as well as acknowledging depression. karl is a beautiful, happy little man, with a wonderful, strong mom who is able to put her family's welfare first. be proud.
glad you're back to yourself. btw, tom sounds like one hell of a guy :)

Duran Baby said...

You are a strong and amazing person(from what I have read) and it took alot of "balls" to be so honest and that is very refreshing. Many people try to hide from it and that isn't good. You are someone to look up to.
So glad you are feeling better. :)

Melody said...

Just loving you. Thank you for posting about your experiences with infertility, fertility meds, and with PPD. PPD is the most terrible thing I've ever known, and I think mine was probably exacerbated by the fertility meds I took for so long too. I had no idea how much joy depression could rob a person of-- how I could look at my precious daughter who I wanted for so long and not even want to go on living for her. Thank goddess for good meds and for loved ones who are honest with us about what they see, even when we're trying our damndest to hide it.

Erin said...

Nancy, your son needs a happy healthy mom more than he needs breast feeding. I think you did the brave, hard and right thing. Your mental health is very important.

Kudos to you for making the hard choices.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful picture and memory. I'm glad you had the strength to get the help you needed. I had a similar experience during our multiple losses and actually admitting I needed help was one of the hardest things I ever did.

Kristin said...

Damn, I hit enter before I was done. I also wanted to say that I am so impressed with the way you and Tom handled things. So many men would never have asked or listened. But, then again, you are an awesome lady, you had to have a fantabulous man in your life.

Heather said...

Definitely a tough decision to make, but you made the right decision. I've been trying to figure out if some anxiety attacks I've been having are something I need to see the doctor about. Now that the twins are starting to sleep better at night, I'm thinking it was just sleep deprivation, but I'm keeping my eye on it.

I am so glad you got help and your relationship with your DH sounds so wonderful. It's so nice you two can communicate so well.

Anonymous said...

It took amazing strength not only to get the help you needed, but then to blog about it. I thank you also because it is helping me to take the step I know I need to and go to therapy. I too am not quite myself and not sure exactly why. I have been trying to figure it out and solve it on my own, and I have improved, but I can't seem to escape that I am suffering from some depression and I want to be me again.
So thank you, so much, for having the strength to write this post.
Melissa in Durham

Alison said...

You're my hero, Nancy.

Kelly said...

Oh Nancy...hugs...I know how much you love to breastfeed your babies and what an advocate you are of breastfeeding. You have been my guide and mentor for being a BF-ing mom. I'm sure this was SO hard for you. I truly believe a healthy Nancy/mommy/wife is SO much more important for everyone including Karl. At least you were able to BF him for 7+ months. That's much more than a lot of babies get.
I'm so proud of you for getting the help you need and your DH for confronting you because I'm sure that was not easy. It totally makes since that the fertility drugs were throwing you off.
GL to you! I'm so glad that you are feeling back to normal.
((hugs))

Beautiful Mess said...

Sorry I'm so late on commenting on this!

I'm so glad you were able to talk to your husband about how you were feeling. It's very scary and difficult to lay it all out in the open like that.

I've thought about medication many times. I haven't taken any, because I've always been able to "snap out of it". If I ever needed to take medication, I would though. I see no shame in it.

I'm very glad you're feeling better and that you wrote this. I can only imagine how hard that was.
*HUGS*

Robin said...

You made the right choice. Breast is best, BUT.. Karl and the girls need a Mommy more.

(((hugs)))

chicklet said...

Wow, I'm just so ignorant that I didn't clue in. I figured you were going through shit - between having a new baby, two other kids, and having lost your job, how could you not? But I didn't clue into the depression possibility.

As for what you did with stopping breastfeeding, and getting the pills, I think you did the best thing for you and your family. It's sad that you can't have the exact experience you want, but you really really did the right thing. And you have a ton of courage for coming out about it.

Anonymous said...

(((hugs))) I'm glad you're doing well again, and you've done so much by BFing Mr. Karl for so long. That was a beautiful picture. I doubt they ever know how much we did for them and how much it meant to us.

Amy

Ann said...

After my first child I had PPD. I was on medication for awhile (Zoloft). I was so terrified that I would have that darkness creep back when my second child was born.

Even though my experience started 11 years ago it's incredible the grip that memory has on me. Depression is so powerful. Unfortunately.

Becca said...

Good for you, good for your babies, good for your husband. You are being brave and true and I say, GOOD FOR YOU! A healthy, happy momma is always a good thing and you sharing your story may help someone else relize that it is OK to take care of themselves.

Thank you for sharing something so important and truthful.

Nita said...

Hi Nancy
I never commented before to you, but felt compelled to now. I've followed you for quite some time- my son is almost the exact age as Karl. I had difficulty conceiving and am also over 35. You've made me laugh and cry and I've always admired your strength and free spirit. I just want to say that taking care of your mental health is so very important. Please don't think that I am comparing you to this situation- but I have to tell you and other readers- Please value your mental health. I need to share this-My brother was 34 and so normal. Not a drinker, or partier. Married his high school sweetheart, had an amazing son. He fell under a lot of stress- things we all deal with, but he wasn't handling it well. - he was about to be laid off from a wonderful job, he had been with the company for about 18 years.He started in high school and worked his way up and went to college at night - he and his wife were building a beautiful home (they could afford it and had saved for this) and his son was being evaulated for ADHD. He was anxious and worried, but kept much of his worries to himself. He talked to his wife, me, my Dad and my brother about some of his worries.- but not all of them- he was cautious in what he told us.- He had a breakdown and became isolated and refused to go to work or leave the house. He ended up putting a gun to his head. 34 years old- a normal, nice man. No mental health problems,no addiction, dedicated to his family.- never violent, no criminal record. This occured over a period of 4 weeks- that's it. In 4 weeks he broke down and took his own life. We are all still devastated- and it's been 5 years. He would've never ever ever left his son, yet he did. IF anyone was stable it was my brother,John. If this could happen to him , it could happen to any of us. We must value our mental health and take care of ourselves. I am so glad that you did, and so glad that you shared your story- because maybe- just maybe, you inspired someone else to take care of themselves. Please know I am not insinuating at all that this could've happened to you or anyone else.- it just is to show everyone how fragile we can sometimes be. You are an amazing mom and your honesty is so commendable. Have a great day.
Nita

Shinejil said...

You made a brilliant call: you have to take care of yourself to do what's best for your kids. If that means meds, that's what you need to do. I would do the same thing, if I were in your shoes.

It's really important, as Melissa of SQ noted in the L&F, to get this message out there. Women need to know to look out for prenatal depression related to IF meds. It's just not on docs' radars at all. So thanks for being courageous and telling your story.

Huge hugs to you.

nancy said...

Nita, Thank you for your comment. And the truth is, it could have happened to me. And it's exactly why I wanted to get this story out there.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Parenthood For Me said...

You are so brave to open up about depression. I suffer from depression and OCD. I don't tell alot of people b/c I don't want to be judged. So many do not understand it just like infertility. One of the first things I learned when I got married was that I would never be able to breat feed b/c of the drugs I have to take. I also wasn't sure if I could ever have more than one child, b/c my depression might be too much to withstand. Funny thing happened- inability to conceive. Now I would give anything if not breastfeeding was my only problem. I remember the day I finally got on medication about 8 years ago and after about two weeks it kicked in. It was almost like a gray film was taken off my eyes and everything became brighter. I am glad you are feeling better. I did post about my experience with mental health. It is called The Not So Obvious. It is from a ways back but if you want to read it, it's there.

April said...

This post has made me completely well up. Thank you for being honest and open about what you are going through. I've been through clinical depression before, multiple times I've been on the meds and what a HUGE difference they made in my life. I'm so glad that you are getting that help!

I'm sorry you have to stop BF'ing but I think 8 months of exclusively BF'ing is AWESOME. I'm slightly envious. Hunter gets occasional formula (which the lactation consultant had us do when he was a couple of days old)...I think like one bottle during the day and one at night. I had all intentions of solely BF'ing but as I continually tried to pump to build up my supply (for when I go back to work) I realized I was not producing much through pumping. And all it was doing was stressing me out(I was crying nonstop!) which made my milk production (from pumping) even less. Hunter is eating plenty directly from me but when I go back to work, I'll only be able to BF in the morning and in the evening. I have been feeling badly about that but after reading your post, I realize that it's not the end of the world and I've done a great job of BF'ing! I will do it for as long as I can and when I do have to/decide to stop, I realize that no matter what, I've done a great job and I value every moment of it with my boy!

littlezen said...

I recently found myself depressed also and began a med along with seeing a therapist. Stemming not only from fertility treatments hormones, but the havoc the hormones wreaked on my body.

Paula K said...

Hi, I am a 1st time reader; found your blog through kirtsy. I echo all the other comments heralding your bravery in posting about this experience. Already, I can tell you are a wonderful selfless mother. You have been and will continue to be a great help to other women who have similar struggles. And here's where I use my own depression/anxiety to help you: I suffered severe PPD and was prescribed a low dose of Zoloft while breastfeeding. I hated to do it: I remember weeping and feeling so defeated as I took the first pill. But I soon felt much more like myself. I was worried we might never have another child. After unsuccessfully trying to get off medication, I still longed for another child. So I just did it. I conceived, carried, delivered, and breastfed while on Effexor. I am so grateful my doctors didn't scold me, but instead supported me, knowing that a mentally healthy mom is essential. Just know that it CAN be done on medication. While no one knows the long-term effects, my children are healthy and happy and so am I. So I know people all feel differently about medication, but just know that someone out there tried it. Hopefully, science will catch up with women's needs and social stigma will lessen.

Delenn said...

I am glad you wrote this. I dealt with PPD after both my children and my husband is clinically depressed. It is such a thing that people don't talk about, but need to. You definately made the right decision and I am glad you are feeling better!

Knit - R - Done said...

I didn't get to breast feed at all because of my 23 year battle with depression. Don't let the Nipple Nazis get you down for quitting. You do what you've got to do. I wallowed in guilt for years, but my child is the tallest in her class, healthy as a horse, and in all the advanced learning groups. Your child will survive without breast milk. Don't make your child survive without a mom.