rowen posted a topic in Parenting/Pregnancy/Childhood Issues - Nature or NurtureSo I've told bits of this story on the boards over the last two years, so I figured I'd save some time and start a thread. Feel free to add yours. My husband and I talked about becoming pregnant. I was stable, I had a job, and we lived comfortably. Three weeks after we talked about it, I found out I was pregnant. I had made an appointment just to talk about becoming pregnant with my psychiatrist, and I literally found out the night before the appointment. Go, go, Early Response tests. My psychiatrist suggested I go off all of my medications for the first trimester. I was given a three day taper schedule for the 150 mg of Lamictal I was taking, and I discontinued 5 mg of Abilify completely. I felt really out of it for a week, but I was more or less okay. My doctor gave me 1 mg of Ativan for the anxiety I was experiencing. Three weeks later, I found myself suicidally depressed. I threw out all of my old meds because I wanted to OD on meds and alcohol. I quickly made an appointment with my psychiatrist: "Doc, I think I want to jump off a bridge." "Have you decided which bridge?" "Nah, there aren't any high enough. Maybe a building." "OK, make sure you don't fall anywhere were you can hurt anyone else." And he proceeded to write me a prescription for Lamictal. I was to titrate up weekly up to 100 mg. He told me to call every time I titrated up. I felt better my second trimester. The first was wrought with fear. I thought about having an abortion because I was so scared of continuing to be pregnant and having a child. I stuck with the pregnancy, though. I never told my husband what I was thinking. Or anyone else. I felt so alone. In my second trimester, I got my 20 week ultrasound. They said they found a spot on the heart, which they didn't make a big deal out of and said they would send me to get a Level II ultrasound. I got a call a week later from a high-risk doctors office. I was told I had an appointment next week for a Level II ultrasound, a genetic counselor, and to talk with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. I was to have a quadruple screen before the appointment. I was in shock. My OB/GYN did not prepare me for the appointment. Again, I was terrified. I cried and told my husband. I had finally gotten comfortable with being pregnant, and now something was wrong. I didn't know what to do. I got home and looked up echogenic intracardiac foci (the name for the spot) on Google, and the results turned up something that terrified me. Down Syndrome. We went to the high risk OB appointment. They did the ultrasound and didn't find anything on the heart. We found out we had a healthy baby girl. We were overjoyed. The maternal-fetal medicine specialist canceled our genetic counselor appointment, and told us congratulations. The next day, I received a call from my OB/GYN. She said the blood work had came back, and it came up positive for Down Syndrome. I was shocked. She told me I could have an abortion in a large city close by if I wanted to. Having seen my daughter and felt her move, I couldn't do that. I asked her what I should do if I kept her. She told me there were support groups available. She referred me back to the maternal-fetal medicine office for another appointment. Twenty minutes later, the OB I had seen at maternal-fetal medicine called me up and said we could do amniocentesis if I wanted, but the odds of miscarriage were higher than the risk of having a child with Down Syndrome. He advised against it. So I said alright, and hung up. I had undiagnosed with OCD at the time, and I did nothing but cry for hours after I got home from work. I feverishly looked up articles on Down Syndrome on the Internet. I didn't know what to do. In my mind, it was over. When I hit the third trimester, I was up to 100 mg of Lamictal. I was angry, tearful, controlling, and verbally aggressive. Most of my coworkers chalked it up to simply being pregnant, so they were kind to me. I was miserable, but I still functioned on a superficial level. I had to be induced because I was two weeks past my due date. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl the day I was induced. She was perfect and healthy. My psychiatrist encouraged me to breastfeed, so my medication was not increased. The nurses in the hospital commented on my child's grogginess and inability to feed via breast, syringe, or bottle. They said it was the medication that probably did it. They discouraged me from breastfeeding, and they gave me literature from the lactation toxicology website that had a compilation of studies on women who breastfed on Lamictal. None of the studies indicated any developmental problems from breastfeeding and using the medication. I was discharged after being successful in feeding donor breast milk to my daughter by syringe. She took a bottle that evening, so I was no longer worried. I suspect it was the narcotic and epidural they gave me during labor, but no one would admit that those two things can cause a baby to be unable to feed after delivery. It was my fault. The first week I was tearful and sentimental. I got very little sleep, which made me cry more. On the eighth day, I woke up, and everything was horrible. I had intrusive images of throwing my daughter up against a wall and killing her. I swore at her when she cried. I did not love her. I felt disconnected from her, yet I checked on her every five minutes to make sure she was breathing. My husband went back to work after two weeks, and I was alone in my thoughts. My family didn't come to help me. I stayed alone with her every day when my husband was at work. I never hurt her in any way, but I was miserable. Three weeks later, I went back to my psychiatrist. I couldn't bring myself to tell him what was going on. Even though I felt no emotional connection to her, I was afraid she would be taken away from me. I told him I was fine, just a little tired, and I went on my way. My then-therapist urged me to call my psychiatrist back and tell him what was going on. I did over the phone. My Lamictal dose was raised to 150 mg like I was at before I was pregnant, and 2.5 mg of Abilify was added. In a week or so, I felt my depression lifting. I began to bond with my daughter, and I adored her. It was still difficult. I had no one to help me during the day. I slept little. My house was a mess, I ate little food because I didn't have the energy to cook, and I felt very lonely. My obsessive thinking was unbearable. I went back to my doctor when my daughter was three months old, and I told him that I was experiencing anxiety. I explained to him what it was like, and he said, "Oh, you mean obsessions. You need something that affects serotonin. If you want. You probably shouldn't breastfeed anymore, though." I took the medication, and I stopped breastfeeding. Over time, I found I was rapid cycling, which I hadn't done before. Lamictal was eventually raised to 200 mg, and I crept up on Abilify for two years. When I hit 20 mg of Abilify and felt little relief, I was done. I have since switched to Geodon, and I feel much better. Every episode since then has been nasty, agitated, suicidal, and angry. I bounce back every time, but it's been a struggle. I adore my daughter. I've never raised a hand to her, and I stopped swearing when she cried when my depression lifted shortly after I went back on a reasonable medication regimen. But had I known I would have experienced, I would have never stopped taking medications during the first trimester, and I wouldn't have tried breastfeeding on so little medication. I would have stayed on a full medicated regimen my whole pregnancy. It was that miserable. I have few happy memories of pregnancy and the first two months of my child's life. I still feel guilty about it to this day.
I wasn't sure if this should go here or in NOS. I won't be offended if this were to get moved. I was talking with someone the other day, and she told me that she likes to make herself feel bad emotionally. I've been like this before as well. I got through it by going to therapy, taking meds, and working on my self-esteem. I sometimes fall into the thought patterns, but I fight it. The reason why I'm posting in self-harm is because when I did it, there was a pleasure in it. I did like making myself feel bad. It was a self-punishment thing, I think. Much like the reason why I physically self-harmed. Anywho... Does anyone find ways to harm themselves emotionally? If so, why?