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Blahblah

Having kids when you have MI? Have you/Would you?

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1.) How many people here have decided to forgo having children because you have Mental Health issues? Are you glad that you stayed childless?

2.) If you DID have kids - do you regret your decision? Was it more (or less) challenging/upsetting/depressing than you expected?

3.) Does anyone here feel that having kids was the most fulfilling, meaningful choice in their life? Why?

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18 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 Does anyone here feel that having kids was the most fulfilling, meaningful choice in their life? Why?

I have 2 children, both adults now and on their own, doing very well.

Was it easy?--No.........IMO, being a parent is one of the most difficult  tasks a person can undertake.

But raising them was also the most rewarding, joyful experience of my life.......It was so worth it to me......Sometimes my house feels so  empty now that they're living their own lives, but I have a good relationship with them, and they come to see me regularly. 

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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Thanks @CrazyRedhead for replying. This board is so empty these days I didn't think I'd get any answers.

Were you struggling with MDD and GAD before & after you became pregnant?  I'm assuming if you have older/grown children, you had them when you were young? (like 20's?) I'm having a hell of a time deciding if it's the right decision. Hub really wants a child. I'm at the end of my childbearing years (42), married only 3 years ago. Was told by doc that even with ivf i cannot put it off many months longer. I'm anxious, afraid and worried about being a stable mom...being totally overwhelmed with little support (I have no friends or family around me now). I am financially (and emotionally) dependent on my spouse. As someone with 20 years of MI, I worry that if i get hospitalized or get divorced, the child would be taken away from me and that would be the most devastating heartbreak.

On the other hand, I worry I will regret not trying to have a child for the rest of my life. As a lonely only child, I always wanted a family, I am a nurturing person. All woman claim that while it's the toughest job, it is also the most joyful and meaningful experience to bring a child into the world. How the hell do you decide? I have no answer in my gut and time is not on my side.....

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@Blahblah, I had my son when I was 25, and my daughter was a beautiful "surprise " when I was 35.

I have struggled with MDD since high school, but the GAD, insomnia and OCD didn't come along until some years later.

Of course, I can't decide what's right for you, but if  I was in your shoes, and had a really deep desire to have a child, I think you will regret it if you don't go for it now while you can.

IMO, it does no good to worry about what might or might not happen in the future.....I also worried about having MI and having a child taken away---But guess what--that never happened.

In my experience, if you have a child, you are always going to be worried about something--I still worry about them, even now that they're adults......But the joy and the love that children bring always outweighed the worry for me.

These are just my own thoughts on the subject.....But you will never forget holding a baby for the first time, watching them learn to walk, and holding that little hand........And most of all, having that little one look into your eyes and say--"Mommy, I love you"........

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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I'm in the same decision-making process as you right now... I'm only 27, but my husband is 40. He has always said he wanted kids. I went IP last month for a week. A couple weeks ago, we were on the couch, and he said he yells too much and I'm too crazy for us to have kids. We can barely take care of our pets. We can barely maintain a house. He's not wrong.

I've always been fine with the idea of adopting, but he "doesn't want to take care of someone else's kids," which I guess is reasonable. He spent a lot of his 20s helping his mom raise his nieces and nephew, because his brother and sister are both junkies (to this day) and didn't have the capacity to raise their own kids. I think that's where the not wanting to raise another person's kids came from.

I don't have the answer for you, Blahblah. I think it really depends on the person. My mom has panic disorder and managed to raise me, albeit not without me figuring out early on that she had problems other people didn't seem to have. I don't know how much that exposure at such a young age affected my own MH and how much of my MI comes from genes.

On one hand, I'm afraid of passing on my genes, which are FULL of a history of my family having MIs. On the other, I'd make a great mom. I enjoy spending time with kids. Every kid I've come across adores me. On the other other hand, I'm terrified of pregnancy and childbirth, so there's that.

Sorry I don't have much insight for you. Just wanted you to know you're not alone with questioning the right thing to do with this.

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@heilmania I'm also terrified of pregnancy and childbirth! I am also a worrier and think about the worst case scenarios....what bad things can happen. I stupidly read those scary articles about women's needs being neglected in hospitals and they end up dying in childbirth. I cringe about the thought of being home alone all day changing diapers, cleaning, breastfeeding, having a crying baby wake me up every 2 hours, not having adult conversations for weeks at a time. Do other new moms not get upset about these things?? Or does everything change when it's YOUR baby?

I like kids but I feel very squeamish around newborns....I actually don't really think babies are cute. I do know that my husband would be a really great father. He refuses to adopt also. I don't know what to do. I think you still have some time still (especially if you do couple's fertility tests) the age of the mother is more important that the father I think. I really wish that I had another year to think about it. Then again, there is no guarantee that I will be ready or in a better headspace.

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45 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

Then again, there is no guarantee that I will be ready or in a better headspace.

Very true! I've heard over and over that if you wait for all your ducks to get in a row to have kids, you'll never have them. So, I guess there's that.

And I'm scared of being alone with a baby, too. I also don't think newborns are cute. I think they look scrunchy-faced and helpless, and that makes me feel uncomfortable. 

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@heilmania Scrunchy faced aliens. Hahahaha.  Are you guys starting to try now or will you wait?

Can you stay on all of your medications?

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7 hours ago, Blahblah said:

@heilmania Scrunchy faced aliens. Hahahaha.  Are you guys starting to try now or will you wait?

Can you stay on all of your medications?

We're waiting. I'm still on the fence, husband's still on the fence...

I could, potentially, stay on some of my meds (not Adderall or Klonopin), but I'm actually in the middle of a long tapering-off process with my new psychiatrist. She wants to decrease all my medications, take me off some, and basically start from scratch, since the cocktail I'm on currently landed me IP last month. Sooooo we'll see what happens with that.

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10 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Can you stay on all of your medications?

Personally, when I found out I was pregnant, both times, I tapered off all my meds pretty rapidly, per the advice of my OB doctor,  because there were no significant studies out at the time about the safety of psych meds during pregnancy.......I was not on any benzos yet at those times, which I am thankful for.....

After I delivered, both times, I went right back on my meds and bottle fed both of mine....I know breastfeeding is better for the baby, but I wanted to be back my on my meds ASAP, trying to avoid post-partum depression on top of the depression I already had.

I did find this very informative pdf published in 2014, which lists a lot of psych meds on page 2 and the safety data for their use during pregnancy.......

Basically, the ones highlighted with pink are the most dangerous to use while pregnant, and the ones highlighted in green are the safest.....The ones not highlighted at all fall somewhere in the middle.

I was surprised to see that Wellbutrin is one of the the safest antidepressants to use during pregnancy:

https://www.jpshealthnet.org/sites/default/files/psych_meds_and_pregnancy_e-resource_-_may_2014.pdf

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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3 hours ago, CrazyRedhead said:

I was surprised to see that Wellbutrin is one of the the safest antidepressants to use during pregnancy

Damnit. When I was a teenager, that stuff made me have full-on hallucinations so bad my mom tried to check me into the psych ward. (Since I wasn't a threat to myself or others, they wouldn't take me, obvi.) I took myself off Wellbutrin as soon as that happened.

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@CrazyRedhead The chart you provided is somewhat helpful to weed out the toxic ones like Benzos, Paxil, Lithium...but it seems the majority are "C" class or with possible risk... So I'm not sure what this means..plus what if you are on a newish med (like trintillex, rexulti, etc) where there is really no data about birth defects, what do you do?

I guess all we can do is check with our pdoc, but even then I wonder if pdocs are all experts on the med studies in pregnancy or the indications of psych medications in pregnancy??

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10 minutes ago, Blahblah said:

@CrazyRedhead The chart you provided is somewhat helpful to weed out the toxic ones like Benzos, Paxil, Lithium...but it seems the majority are "C" class or with possible risk... So I'm not sure what this means..plus what if you are on a newish med (like trintillex, rexulti, etc) where there is really no data about birth defects, what do you do?

I guess all we can do is check with our pdoc, but even then I wonder if pdocs are all experts on the med studies in pregnancy or the indications of psych medications in pregnancy??

There are pdocs who specialize in dealing with pregnancy! Someone told me about that on here recently. 

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This is exactly the thread I need right now! I am 38 and time is running out. In addition to my mental cooties, I have some physical problems including diabetes triggered by prior use of aaps. I am on 9 drugs right now (slowly weaning off one.) My pdoc is very supportive if I do want to get pregnant. I have always, always, always wanted a child. Kids love me; I spent a lot of time working with kids before going on ssdi. I agree with the above posters that infants are weird and it's kind of scary caring for them. But once a kid reaches the age of 1, I adore every age from then on. My partner and I don't have a support system for a kid if I go off the rails, nor enough money to hire help. I worry about my health going through pregnancy and childbirth and getting off meds that are dangerous before conceiving. And lack of sleep during infancy and worry about my child and, well...everything. I  vacillate about whether to have a child all the time. Can't really afford to not make up my mind much longer and doubt with my MI history we could adopt. 

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@malachite Have you ever done a fertility workup? That would at least give you info as to your chances. You ask to get your thyroid/TSH, AMH, and FSH as well as estrogen etc. This can at least predict physically your fertility & ability to get pregnant...

I'm curious to hear from more people here that have had kids or are considering having kids with MI as an added challenge. It is a very tough decision to make, even without mental health issues/concerns. and yes, pregnancy for some can pose no problems, but for me - lack of sleep & hormone fluctuations really trigger huge issues.

Edited by Blahblah

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8 hours ago, Blahblah said:

@CrazyRedhead The chart you provided is somewhat helpful to weed out the toxic ones like Benzos, Paxil, Lithium...but it seems the majority are "C" class or with possible risk... So I'm not sure what this means..plus what if you are on a newish med (like trintillex, rexulti, etc) where there is really no data about birth defects, what do you do?

C class drugs mean that "risk cannot be ruled out" during pregnancy.......

What do you do if you're on a newer med that doesn't have any pregnancy risk data yet?.......That's a tough one....Back in the day when I got pregnant, there was no real data on ANY psych med use during pregnancy, so I opted to rapidly taper off my meds when I found out I was pregnant.

Was it tough going through pregnancy without any meds?.....Yes it was.....Not gonna lie about that.....Luckily at those times I had a great therapist to go to ...........I think I went once a week while I was pregnant...

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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8 hours ago, heilmania said:

There are pdocs who specialize in dealing with pregnancy! Someone told me about that on here recently. 

That's wonderful......I wasn't aware of that...........I would guess that these "pregnancy pdocs" would have much more info about possible risks of particular meds.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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I have 2 children 16 and 19 yo. I was not dx when I had them, so I did not have to deal with medication issues during pregnancy. 

It has been hard for me. I get tired a lot and have anxiety. When I was very symptomatic, I was absorbed with my delusions. 

I worried what effect it had on them, but they turned out to be really great. My husband and mother in law helped out quite a bit. I do not know what I would do without my husband. 

My daughter is distant from me. I think some of that is because of my illness. Partly because I wasn't always there and partly just because of how I act (not because of my illness,). I sometimes say and do stupid things. I love her and am very proud of her, she has done really well in school. Sometimes, it makes me sad that we don't have more of a relationship.

my son likes everyone, is really sweet, likes to hug. He brings me joy.

my daughter is moody and my son gets anxious sometimes, I think, but they don't have any mi.

 

i am not sure what choice I would have made, knowing what I know now, but I can't imagine them not being here.

 

You mentioned being nervous around newborns.

i am still nervous around other people's newborns, but when I had my own, .i got used to taking care of them. 

Edited by confused

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@confused How old were you when you had your first? We're you 100% sure that you wanted kids or did you feel somewhat unsure at that time?

Do you ever feel regrets or sadness, like you had to give up your freedom, possible career or exciting life paths in order to stay put & take care of them? Also: Would you have kids if you had absolutely no family or friends around you- only your husband?

Sorry for all of the questions! I am really struggling with this massive decision.

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Oof. I'm struggling as well. I almost hope he doesn't ever bring up having kids again...

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