I’m Taking the She Sweats Summer Challenge!

After many months of fighting a postpartum mood disorder and having my antidepressant turn me into a human inflatable, I am very excited to announce that I am starting the She Sweats Summer Challenge through He and She Eat Clean! The Summer Challenge is 16 weeks long. I’ll start with the She Sweats 12-Week Transformation and follow it with the Extreme 4-Week Shred.

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Down to Zero: Round Two

Here we go, here we go! Down to zero!

After working with my psychiatrist to taper off of my antidepressant, I finally went down to zero again last week. I anticipated the withdrawal and am relieved to report that it has been much easier than last time, when I came off of Effexor. That doesn’t mean it has been easy.

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The Time I Left My Psychiatrist’s Office More Depressed Than When I Went In

I finally, finally had an appointment with my psychiatrist today. The office kept scheduling me for days he had off. I was originally supposed to see him in October. Ha! Anyway, I’ve been wanting to get off of Zoloft. Baby Jo is nearly 10 months old and I’m feeling like I’d be perfectly stable without the meds I started when I was 34 weeks pregnant with her. It’s also been making me gain weight like none other and I am DONE with that business.

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Weight Gain From Antidepressants and Adjusting to the Body Image Consequences

I make no secret of the fact that I took antidepressants for PPD/PPA/PPOCD when C was a baby, and I chose to start them again at the end of my pregnancy with Baby Jo. There’s a dark side to my experience with them that I haven’t shared before, because it’s caused me much frustration and embarrassment. This second time around, one of my side effects has been weight gain.

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Thank God for the SSRI

I know that some people don’t believe in psychotropic medication, and some may believe stigma about the people that take them. I really hate stigma and that’s why I’m an open book about my mental health. Quite frankly, I would be lost right now without antidepressants.

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Feeling Flat

I’m not talking about my chest. Though, my baby did steal my breasts. But that’s a story for a different day…

When you’re really stressed, do you ever feel the need to just have a good, cathartic cry? The occasional good cry has always been a stress release for me. I’d really like to have one of those right about now with all that is going on with C. There’s only one problem: I can’t.

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I Made The Right Decisions

My second pregnancy brought about a lot of decisions that I needed to make. Considering my history of postpartum depression, emergency cesarean and hyperemesis, there were some difficult choices I had to make.

Taking Antidepressants as a Precaution
This time around, I was under the care of a psychiatrist. I wanted to seek out the advice of someone whose sole focus was psychotropic medication. After the horrific experience I had coming off of the last antidepressant, which was prescribed by the nurse practitioner in my former OBGYN clinic, I wasn’t going to take any chances.

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The Return of the Intrusive Thoughts

I’m going to be honest with you all.  I’m nervous.

I battled intrusive thoughts in the postpartum period with C, and I didn’t even know what they were for a long time.  I didn’t know that intrusive thoughts didn’t mean that I was going crazy until some of them were so bad that I could no longer cook with knives and was afraid to be behind the wheel of my car.

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Blessed By Family

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10 NIV

My strength is being tested.  Withdrawal has me reeling.

I am so thankful for family.  I’m so thankful that we no longer live six hours away.

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Mamavation Monday: Campaign 13 Begins!

Monday, August 27th is the start of Mamavation Mom Campaign 13!  Join us at 8pm EST for a 2-hr Twitter party to celebrate the beginning of the campaign.  The next Mamavation Moms will be announced at the Twitter party!

I’m excited for all of the finalists and can’t wait to find out who will be the next Mamavation Moms!

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Down to Zero

Today is the final day of my withdrawal from Effexor: dropping down to 0mg.  I’m about an hour past the time I always take my dose, and I’m kind of nervous.

Am I going to have worse withdrawal effects than usual, simply because I’m coming completely off the drug now?  Will I finish this long withdrawal process only to find out that I need to continue to be on medication?

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Checking In: A Meds Withdrawal Update

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve started withdrawing from Effexor.  The first phase of my withdrawal was to drop to 112.5 mg from 150 mg.  The first few days were the hardest.  I had dizziness, nausea, migraines, a sensation that my skin was crawling, and difficulty sleeping.  As the time of my next dose approached, I would get very sweaty and jittery.  I’ve been doing better now, but still occasionally get the skin crawling sensation.  Sometimes it keeps me from falling asleep at night.

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On Medical Professionals, Antidepressants and Bad Advice

I’m on 150mg of Effexor.  That’s a little hard for me to say, because it seems like a lot.  On the other hand, research has shown me that Effexor has one of the least potent ingredients on the market.

When I called my OBGYN’s office in November complaining of symptoms of PPA and PPD, my doctor was booked for the week and couldn’t squeeze me in.  They had me see the APNP (advance practice nurse practitioner), who diagnosed my PPD and started me on Effexor immediately.  I didn’t think to question her judgement of drug choice at the time, because to be honest, I needed help to keep waking up every morning and I needed it fast.

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Progress!

I had my first “med check” with my OBGYN yesterday to see what progress I’ve made with my PPD since I started treatment in early December.  While I was filling out the questionnaire, I had a hard time with the “difficulty concentrating” category.  I first circled “more than half the days in the past two weeks.”  Upon further reflection, I scribbled that out and circled “nearly every day.”  It made for a good laugh with my doctor when we joked about my ability to concentrate on the concentration question…

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Good Days and Bad Days

“The adjustment period is tumultuous.”

“It’s going to take some time.”

“It’s like being on a roller coaster.”

I had heard or read all of these things about the period of time when your body adjusts to medication for postpartum depression.  Somehow I hoped that it wouldn’t apply to me.  I was praying that since we’re spending the majority of my adjustment period staying with family for the holidays, that I wouldn’t need to experience it.  I didn’t want my highs and lows to be on display.  But I’m not the exception.

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