What to Do? - Nyack,NY

Updated on October 28, 2008
M.T. asks from Nyack, NY
37 answers

Hi,
I'm a first time Mom and I was diagnosed with post-partum last March. Since then I have been on Zoloft and regularly seeing a therapist. It has been difficult meeting other moms and getting adjusted to staying home. Obviously I have other issues than post partum.

So today my therapist recommended that I switch to Paxil (because my depression isn't getting any better and I am reserved in social situations). I am concerned about the side effects. In addition to that my husband and I were talking about having a second child. If I go on Paxil I would have to delay that. I don't know if it's a good idea to have my children spaced too far apart (it would also delay me from returning to work) and yet on the other hand I feel so horrible I don't think I'd be a good mother. See! I'm a mess!

I was hoping to get some insight from other mothers who may have gone on Paxil or have forgone anti-depressants and went ahead and had another child. I'm very stressed about this and having problems adapting to the role of a stay at home mom. I love being with my child but feel like I'm losing my identity. Day care, nannies, husband staying home is not an option.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for the great advice and support! I have decided not to have a second child until I work on myself. I'm in the midst of doing more research on Paxil and other anti-depressants though I am also considering getting a second opinion.

Though I feel for all those who have had similar experiences as me, I have to say it was comforting to read your stories and know that I'm not the only one who has felt lonely and depressed after being pregnant. Thank you for keeping my spirits up!

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E.G.

answers from New York on

Hi, I suffered with ppd and I still do feel like a part of the me I was before is gone for good. I am trying to get through without meds, I think things will getbetteronce my son learns to sleep better. Where do you live?

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M.O.

answers from New York on

Dear M.T.,

I'm sorry you've been going through this difficult time, but kudos to you for reaching out and getting help. That's proof of what a wonderful mom you are.

I just wanted to add that spacing the births of children out is not necessarily such a bad thing. When siblings have a wider age range, their relationship with each other is different, but often more positive, since they're in less direct competition. Kids who are five, six, even ten years apart tend to be very proud of each other. I'm thinking of a little girl who's in the 4s class at my son's preschool. When I went to pick my son up last week, I heard her telling her friends, in the proudest voice I've ever heard anyone use, "You know my sister, she's a *teenager.*"

Best wishes,

Mira

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S.F.

answers from New York on

I have a history of depression and anxiety and was on Prozac and Doxepin when I became pregnant. As soon as I found out, I went off both. Doxepin is an old, rarely prescribed these days, anti-depressant that is in a different class than the SSRI's like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. It is contraindicated during pregnancy. About 2 months into my pregnancy, with things starting to look very bad with my relationship with my child's father (who also has a history of depression, but wasn't being treated), I was advised by my ob/gyn to go back on the Prozac. I went back on it, at a slightly lower dose. When I gave birth (to a very healthy, 6lb 13oz baby with an APGAR score of 9), the pediatrician who saw my baby in the hospital (and who I would later switch as I wasn't very comfortable with him or his practice, although they are very highly recommended good doctors - I found a practice that was more personalized with a younger, female pediatrician that I adore) - anyway, the first pediatrician who saw my daughter informed me that there had just been a new study that said Zoloft was better for breastfeeding moms than Prozac, and as I was intent on breastfeeding exclusively, I switched to Zoloft. However, I was miraculously free from Post-Partum depression! I can't explain it, but I was blissfully happy (apart from about 1 hour every day when I would find myself furious about being deserted by my daughter's father) albeit totally sleep-deprived, until my dd turned around 7 months old. This seemed to coincide with the switch from exclusive breastfeeding to her eating solids on a regular basis (I had introduced some very basic solids at 4 months, but it was more experimenting with eating than a nutritional thing). I think that the drop in nursing hormones had a lot to do with it. I had noticed any effect from the Zoloft that I had been taking (to be honest, I would often forget to even take it). As soon as I started having thoughts and feelings that indicated depression, I sought out a therapist. I was switched back to Prozac. I have continued to live with a degree of depression and anxiety since then (starting at 7 months and now dd is about to turn 3). There are a lot of situational issues that I have to cope with and I have yet to make any close friendships in this area. Frankly, I've been pretty lonely - although I have reconnected with a lot of old friends online via Facebook, and made a lot of new online friends though a common interest in Art Journaling and mixed-media art (I've found that expressing myself creatively is very helpful in dealing with my feelings - and just having fun!).

What I really wanted to say to you (sorry about all of the back-story, but I thought I should put this in context) is that my daughter is an incredibly happy, intellectually brilliant, funny, social, beautiful child. I don't think that taking Prozac or Zoloft while pregnant/nursing hurt her one bit. I'm not sure about Paxil - everybody is different and needs to find the right medication and dose (which I know can be frustrating), and of course it can be worrisome as there aren't any really long-term studies on the effects of SSRI's, as they are only about 20 years old. However, watch an episode of "Mad Men" sometime. In 1961 (and many, many years before and after), women smoked, drank, and took all sorts of stuff when they were pregnant and nursing. Yes, there is fetal alcohol syndrome, but that is something that occurs mostly with alcoholics who are literally drenching their systems with alcohol. Don't take Thalidomide or that acne medication (can't remember the name). But don't sacrifice your own sanity to try to make yourself into some kind of totally "pure" baby-making machine! Women's bodies are designed to provide a safe place for babies to grow and to nourish new people before and after birth. Babies systems are designed to take what they need (many medications which may be detectable in a woman's milk cannot be absorbed by an infants immature digestive system - they just pass right out).

I'm not planning on having another child at this time (obviously), so I can't say whether it's harder or easier to have them spaced close together or far apart. But I think you should consider your own needs - and listen to your own intuition - over worrying about providing a sibling or completing an ideal of a family that you might have "planned" when you got married. A sibling isn't going to replace having a mother who is getting at least some fulfillment out of her life. I know how mind-numbing it can get staying home all day with a baby/toddler. My mother actually gave me really good advice. She told me to just try to enjoy my daughter as much as I can, moment by moment. Child development can be really interesting to watch if you can stop worrying and stay in the moment. Try to see how much you can *like* being a mother before you have another one. I haven't figured out the trick to making friends around here... I really would like just one good friend close by whose child can be friends with my child and we can just hang out. It would be so much less daunting to go to the playground or the museum or the library with someone else (forget even going out - someone to come over or whose house I could take dd over to on a rainy afternoon would be great!). Everyone seems so busy all the time, though! One mom I like whose dd is friends with mine in the 3 afternoon a week pre-school program dd just started in September said the other day, "We have to get together for a playdate sometime in the next three weeks." Well... that's cool, I guess. I, however, was kind of thinking to myself, "We should get together right now. What are doing this afternoon that's so important?" - of course I didn't have the guts to say it, lol!

This is long and rambling and I'm not even sure what my point is. I hope that at least you know you're not the only one!!

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N.C.

answers from New York on

Hi!

Hang in there! I had some depression / anxiety issues before I became pregnant and was prescribed Lexapro. When my husband and I started talking about getting pregnant, I made an appointment with my OB/GYN who advised that Lexapro was safe to take during pregnancy. (There is some thought that it might increase the risk of lung issues in the third trimester, but this seems to be unfounded, and most OB's say that the benefit to the mother is worth staying on the medication). In my case, anxiety was causing me not to take care of myself, which is critical during pregnancy, so they had me stay on it. I had a healthy baby, and am so grateful for the medicaiton. Talk to your OB about Lexapro - it turned my life around. Also, have you thought about joining a mom's group to get out of the house? Even if you are reserved / shy I am sure you could find some moms in the area who would like to get together. Let us know how you are doing!

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D.S.

answers from New York on

Dear MT,

I suffered from depression in my mid thirties and am now 49 years old and am feeling fine. I had severe panic attacks, and drove my poor husband crazy. I was sort of a stay at home mom in the sense that I was a hairstylist and did hair on my own time to make extra money. For some reason when I was in my mid thirties I started feeling terrible physically and mentally. I went on zoloft got terrible sick, tried paxil got terribly sick, and then went on a drug called Serzone. It gave me my life back. I truly believe it was a hormonal change in my body because there was truly some type of imbalance in my system. I was on medication for about two years and then I made a career change and went back to school to become a preschool teacher. Long story short I now own my own preschool and am feeling like for the first time (aside from having my kids)I am doing something that makes me happy, something I was cut out for. Believe me there were days when I was very stressed out staying home with my kids, it is the most difficult job in the world, however I do not regret it for a minute. Do not stress yourself out about having another baby right now. It really doesn't matter how far apart in age they are. It is more important that emotionally you are ready because an unhappy mommy makes an unhappy family. Right now your mental and physical health is more important. So stop putting pressure on yourself it will only add to you depression. Find a medication that works for you and then in a year or so try to wean off and see how you feel and if you are feeling up to it then have another baby. Just a suggestion did you ever think about getting a job at a childcare center as an assistant, most centers allow you to bring your child with you and then you can have the best of both worlds. You will be around other women, earn extra money and your child will be able to go to preschool for free. I am not sure what your career was post baby however it might be an option for you for now. Getting out of the house and keeping your mind busy was the best therapy to me. I just wanted you to know you are not alone and things are not as gloomy as they seem, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Try not to get to ahead of yourself and take each day as it comes. Good luck!!

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K.R.

answers from Albany on

Dear MT,
I guess I first have a few more questions. Like How old are you, what you used to do for work and how old is your baby?
I am including my personal eamil adress, feel free to email me privately. [email protected]____.com
I had my first and only daughter at 39, I have worked all my life, and it was pure culture shock. My husband who is seven years older than I, literally went to work. He had very little to do with the baby the first year and a half.
After about nine months of struggling terribly, I was sad, I was angry, I completely felt that I was gone and "she" was here. What happened was I found a new identity, one that included being a mother, I'm not sure what happened or how, it was just this quite little inner awaking, that was really quite cool. So now five years later, I am a business woman, a photographer, an intelligent, capable woman, and a half way decent mom. After being home with my daughter for nine months it was time to start some sort of day care...I was terrified...but it was the best thing I could do for her. Me having a break, made me a much better mother to her, when it was time to pick her up. Feel free to email me directly.
K.

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N.B.

answers from Jamestown on

I was on Paxil for a day. Everything was intencified. Even he sound of the refridgerator ticked me off. My anti-depressant is Jesus.

I understand the stay at home mom thing. I stayed at home until my three oldest started kindergarten. Now with my youngest, I can't stand being here all day doing the same things over and over again. I'm waiting to hear about a job at the moment I interviewed for last week. I need to get out of the house and make some money and feel like I am contributing to society again.

Keep your chin up,
Nanc

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B.F.

answers from Rochester on

I have been on paxil and though it worked great for me I changed it because of the weight gain. That isn't the same for everyone - some people don't gain anything on it. I am currently on Celexa (sp). I was prescribed this for anxiety, but most meds are used interchangabley for anxiety and depression. I saw a psychiatrist who specializes in treating pregnant women and stayed on it throughout the entire pregnancy.

Understand that being a first time mom is a lot of work!!! Don't come down on yourself for all these new feelings and emotions. I just had my third and still have all those questions. How are we going to.....and what if.....what about money......they are normal.

Not that I am qualified, but I would recommend resolving or at a minimum coming to terms w/some of your reservations, questions, etc. before having another child. From experience when you have a child because a spouse is ready (first second or third child) and you may not be there yet it can lead to resentment and other issues.

Best of luck to you!

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J.S.

answers from New York on

Hi M T~
Any drug, prescription or otherwise, should be avoided if you become pregnant. If you aren't preventing it, then it could have already happened. I would use caution if you decide to have another. As for the age difference, I personally believe between 2 and 3 years is good. Much less than 2 years and you suffer from diaper confusion and not much sleep at all. More than 3 years and you could have one trying to raise the other, not good at all.
PPD is nothing to joke about but keep in mind that your dr is trying to help you with your illness based on what you've told them. I didn't start any anti-depressants until after my children were born bo I can't tell you any pros or cons but I would use caution when it comes to medication. Even when breast feeding...what we put into our bodies is A) fed to the baby you are carrying and B) expelled in breast milk so use caution.
As for working and not losing your own identity, I have always been someone's sister/daughter/mother and I know it's difficult just to be you. Make sure you do things that interest you and make sure you get out on your own. I know it'd difficult, but it's imperative.
Good luck and I hope you feel better ~ SOON!
J.~

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T.B.

answers from New York on

I did not suffer with depression but it certainly is an adjustment staying home. You don't have to fight to keep your identity, you still have an identity. You have just shifted gears a bit. You need to realize that without you that child would not survive. You are the end all and means all to this child. Your existence makes their existence possible. Make sure that your husband gives you some time to yourself to pamper in any way you choose. Read a book, get your nails done, dinner with friends. Stay in touch with your "work friends". Send them pictures of the baby - include them in your new life. I worked in Manhattan for 18 years before I had my daughters. I am thrilled to be able to be there for their every need and every new milestone. Give yourself more credit for what you are doing. You are shaping and raising a child. The payoff will be 100 million times what the payoff was at work. My daughters are 4 and 2. They are incredible. The smile they give you or the "I ludge you sho much" from my two year old is just unreal. Living life in the fast lane and then staying home with a child isn't easy - and men just don't get it. Find some things that interest you or maybe a work at home project of some kind. You will get through it - everyday is a new day!!!! As far as another one - I definately think another is a great idea (I have 2), but I think only you can decide how close they should be. Good Luck to you in whatever you decide and God Bless you and your family!!!!!

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K.G.

answers from New York on

I am sure that you are a good mother and that what you are experiencing is both chemical and due to the fact that being a parent is hard work!

Although it is none of my business, I would have to ask, if you are depressed and having these issues, why consider another child now? That certainly will not solve the issues you have, and may make them even more complicated. Enjoy the child you have, get well and try to focus on yourself and your happiness/well-being. There is nothing wrong with having one child. And, if things get better, and you want to have another one later, you can. Or adopt, or just be grateful to have a healthy, happy child and a healthy, happy Mom! I hope this helps, it is my opinion that people, especially women feel all of this pressure to have more than one child, and it is not necessary. I am an only child and I am well-adjusted and happy. I have great relationships and I am not lonely. My son is an only child and because I have made the decision to keep it that way, he has more attention, and is a very happy, successful kid. And I am happy too. Just my thoughts. I hope they help. If you disagree, I still wish only the best for you and that you feel better soon.

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K.K.

answers from New York on

i didn't take exactly the anti-depressant you're asking about, so I don't know about the side effects, but I want to say one thing...i think you should start thinking about the second child after you're fully recovered from your post partum depression. Take your pills , do your thing, theraphy or whatever, when you feel well, you can start thinking about having more babies. Otherwise, it's way too hard for you, your existing baby and the future baby (you're saying yourself you're a mess now), so let your body and soul adjust to your existing situation and then go on, girl. And the depression will pass, don't worry.

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W.S.

answers from New York on

I usually don't respond to these but I had to in this case. I too suffered from PPD. My son will be 10 years old in December. Although I always took care of my son, I felt as if I wanted to die. That I wasn't a good mother. I felt like I was sinking into a big black hole and no one would be able to help me. I was given Paxil. I took them for three days and the symptoms worsened so I stopped taking them. They then gave me Zoloft, but I didn't even take one. My husband stood by me and said that we would get through this together without any antidepressants. I was depressed, I couldn't eat and didn't want to spend time with my family, something I always enjoyed. I didn't even wash my hair for two weeks. With the support of my husband and sister, I was slowly able to come out of it. Please get yourself a good support system. Talk to friends and family. You may think that it will never go away, but it will. I had my son at 35, but PPD was a big reason also why I didn't have another. But as long as you have some help, you will enjoy yourself again and be yourself again. Take some time to do things not only with your child, but with your husband, friends or family. I know I felt better when I returned to work seven months later. I felt like if I had my old self back again. Take it day by day and know that this too shall pass. Good luck.

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J.L.

answers from Rochester on

I have suffered from depression, and and anxiety/panic disorder for a few years. I was on Zoloft (don't think it really worked) and Paxil (which I didn't like). What about Prozac? Or WElbutrin? You should NOT have another child right now or anytime soon til this is over with. Having another child will just bring it on 100x's more!!!! Hang in there though! I commened you for already taking the steps to get help. Why can't you get a part time job? That is what I did. I work a few hours when my husband gets home a couple of days a week. IT REALLY HELPS!!!! I needed to get out and be around aother people (adults) and it makes me feel like I still have my own identity.
I wish you the best of luck.

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L.L.

answers from New York on

I didn't suffer from post partum so I have no insight on the medications, but just judging by your post, I would wait until you're feeling better about everything to go ahead with baby # 2. Babies are hard work and they do take such an emotional toll on our minds and bodies, so if you're a "mess" now, it's only going to create a bigger mess by having another one.
Lynsey

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A.D.

answers from New York on

Hi MT, I am sorry you are having these problems. No I have never been on Paxil but I will pray for you. You have been blessed with a child that needs you to take care of him/her. I do not know much about you but it seems you have a career. I am a mother of 5 and came from a time when moms did not work. I do understand your situation because I have been helping to raise my grandchildren while my daughter works (important position) I see the difference in how I was and how she is. It does not make one better or worse but I did not have anything else pulling at me. Yes you are very stressed because you are trying to make all the plans and that is up to God. I'm sure you are a fine mother, only too tough on yourself. If you really want another child and it is financially OK to do so and your husband wants this too then make that decision. I think post partum depression comes form the hormone imbalance after delivery and usually straightens itself out. I am not a doctor but you are in my prayers. Yours truly,Grandma Mary

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B.B.

answers from New York on

Hi MT,
This is a tough time for you. I think that if you can see your therapist a few times a week for a while, it would be helpful. You need tons more support than lots of people will lead you to believe. so if there is some way of freeing yourself up to allow for this, you must go this route! So good therapy, a switch to a different SSRI, especially one that will help you address the social anxiety, is the way to go. THere are several that can be helpful, and Paxil is one of them. Also, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, and a few others. Are you happy with your therapy? If not, please email me privately and I can refer you to someone good, as I am a psychologist (and mom of two who had bouts of ppd with each child) and know some good folks in most areas of town and in outlying areas. In fact, some SSRI's are quite safe to be on during pregnancy (Prozac, for example), and after. Let me know if you need additional input. Hang in there. THere is help out there, and you undoubtedly have more internal strength than you think you have (depression has a way of making one feel weak and ineffective). I'm pulling for you!

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E.G.

answers from New York on

I just wanted to say hello and wish you well. I think you are being a great mom by knowing you need help and getting help with a therapist and Paxil. It takes a lot of strenth, in my opinion, to get the help you need to function for your child, husband and most importantly, yourself. I have learned also that being a mom is a great profession, but is very difficult to adjust to after working FT, then just being home. I would find a support group, friends you trust and find what is good for you to function happily and make the best life you can for all of you as I know post partum is a serious issue to deal with. can you work PT? As far as identity...it will come back some day or make motherhood a part of something you did before. Going out with friends, activities you like that you can do with a child. Walks, coffee, groups, activities...Hang in there....:)

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G.S.

answers from New York on

I was diagnosed bipolar in 1993 & was put on zoloft - unfortunately the only thing that did was make me gain a large amt of weight, but then when I was put on lithium I felt much better. There are several types of meds out there that can be taken while pregnant. I was on my lithium throughout both of my pregnancies and true there were more risks for my girls, but the risk of me relapsing was lessend which made more sense in our situation. Both of my girls were considered high risk and were monitored for anything that could possibly go wrong, but by the end I have 2 girls almost 6 years apart, but both fine as far as any complications that could have presented. It's hard when you are fighting a battle within yourself and it's even more frustrating when people don't understand where things are coming from. Do what you feel is best for yourself first, because without you okay, then it will just be a downward spiral. Sometimes we need somthing in life to help make it a little more managable and right now maybe it's more important that you become more stable rather then worrying about all of the other things you see down the road. Leave them down the road for now, but realize that you will do this. You can make it and everytime you feel yourself doubting it, look down at your child. Three weeks before the birth of my first daughter, we lost my mom to pneumonia. I didn't think I could do it, I ended up having all types of meds tried out to see what would work - our pediatrician couldn't believe my daughter's colic lasted 9 months, it was a mess - but somehow I got through it. Right now we are faced w/cancer that my husband is undergoing treatment for - once one thing is done it seems that another is quick to jump right in line, but w/having my medication regulated and effective, I'm able to deal w/an almost 5 yr old & 10 yr old - I know what it's like to go through the whole identity thing - sometimes I feel guilty for not contributing to my family, but then I have moments where I allow myself to see to positive I contribute into this home. The first thing I would tell you is to stop beating yourself up - is the war in Iraq your fault to?! You are a mom and that is the most important job any woman can have, just do what you need to do for yourself to get things back in order. Anytime you need someone, I'm here. Good luck!

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L.G.

answers from New York on

I too have depression. I went off my meds while pregnant under doctor's orders and wham! 4th month it hit. I ended up in a group therapy program for 12 weeks and that was the best thing i ever did for me and my kids.

Above all you need to take care of you. Otherwise you will not be a good parent to your kids. I would suggest looking into a MOMs group for socialization as well as asking your therapist about a group therapy program. Sounds like you need a lil more intense treatment like I did.

You ARE a good mom.. the fact that you are asking for help shows that

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J.C.

answers from New York on

You're a great mom - that's why you are so concerned about getting better. As a PPD sufferer after my daughter was born 2.5 years ago, my suggestion is to get a referral from your therapist for a Pyschiatrist (or a Psychopharmacologist). In other words, someone who specializes in prescribing the kind of drugs that you are taking and are considering. They will be able to monitor all side effects and warn you about side effects when pregnant. Having an Ob/GYN or Primary Care Physician prescribe anything more than the basics (and if that) can be dangerous.

Also, have you brought up a second pregnancy with your therapist and husband? I'd really talk about that and see if now is the best time for you or maybe wait 6 months or so.

Also, can you find part-time work? That might help you feel better. I never thought I'd put my daughter in day care (she goes twice a week) but it has been great. It's convenient, certainly not cheap and she loves it! There are lots of great options out there for working moms so don't dismiss any of them before you're really researched your options in depth! Good luck!

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L.W.

answers from Albany on

I was on Paxil after my second child was born (7 weeks premature). Paxil seems to deal more with the anxiety issues than the depression issues, which was (more) my issue. Since we knew Eric was our last (I had my tubes tied when he was born...), the spacing of the next child wasn't an issue; however, he WAS a preemie, and I was nursing, and Paxil is safe for nursing Moms. (FYI - I was on Zoloft for about two weeks after my first son was born, as my Dad died 10 days after he was born...) I was on Paxil for over a year - I was about to wean myself off it when my Aunt passed away in south Jersey, and I was her executrix, and I knew that was going to be a bad combination.

As for child spacing, you need to do what's best for you - my boys are 2 1/2 years apart (my due dates were exactly 2 1/2 years apart), and if I'd been younger, I probably would have waited another six months...Having my older son a little more independent made me feel better in the long run.

HTH

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K.D.

answers from New York on

First of all You are a good mom!
I dont agree with a couple of responses that suggest you have anxiety and not depression. It's not any of our jobs to diagnose you, but I do know that depression absolutely can present anxiety symptoms.
Whatever you have going on, I would work through it before deciding to have another baby right away. My thought is that if you are feeling this way now with one child, it's only going to be harder when you have 2. Because even if you get your symptoms under control now with a certain medication, no ,atter what med that is, you will most likely have to go off it to get pregnant or once you are pregnant, and I think probably to nursas well if that is something you want to do. Even if you stay on certain meds, a change in your hormones can effect a change in the effectiveness of the medication. Managing mental health is an ongoing process, many times, one drug works for a while and then stops working and you have to try something else.
I would, for right now,, just focus on yourself getting better and being there for this baby and getting to a placethat you really enjoy being a mom and are happy with your role and your family the way it is. Maybe then revisit if at all a possible baby number two. Good luck to you.

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K.R.

answers from New York on

Hi M T
I know how you feel. I had a hard time getting used to staying home. I have been taking Zoloft and believe me it works. I think you need to get it some time. The other thing I suggest is to try to get into a routine. Keep yourself busy and try to surround yourself with family and friends. If you want another child, then you should mention this to your therapist. Right now your hormones are going a little haywire. I know how you feel about the other mothers, but believe it or not, they are not perfect either. If you speak to them you'll see alot of them share your same thoughts on motherhood. You should look into a support group to help you as well as continue seeing your therapist.
I wish you all the best.

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J.G.

answers from New York on

I don't know if you're still looking for responses, but I just saw your post and it hit home.

I was also diagnosed with post-partum depression after my first child. Turns out I had been depressed but functioning for a long time before I ever got pregnant (deep down I knew, but didn't want/know how to deal with it). I went on Zoloft and it helped a lot. I also started seeing a therapist, who I still see today, and that has also helped a lot.

When I wanted to have a 2nd child I went off the Zoloft (under the guidance of my doctor) for a few months before conceiving. My doctor and therapist would have preferred I wait a bit longer before having another baby, but I'm pushing 40 and didn't want to wait.

I got a bit worse without the Zoloft (bouts of uncontrolled crying, not being able to deal with social situations), but I had more therapy sessions, and got through it. I got the OK to go back on Zoloft once I was about halfway into the pregnancy and now I feel much better. My doctor was most concerned about Zoloft in the first trimester.

Anyway, I know you said Zoloft didn't work for you, and I know these things don't work on everyone the same way. But I thought it might help you to hear my story anyway. You are not alone!! For example, I know exactly what you mean by feeling like you're losing your identity... that's how I felt. And I believe a lot of people don't understand depression, and it's very hard to talk about.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk some more.
[email protected]____.com

All best,
J.

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C.M.

answers from New York on

Having depression is an illness. There can be many reasons for depression. It could be as you say postpartum, a sad loss in your life or a biological effect. My opinion is that you have to get your mental health on the right track before you think about having another child. I am a true believer that it takes at least 2 years for your body to get back after having a child. Please try another medication to help yourself before putting more pressures into your life.

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K.G.

answers from Utica on

Hi M T,
I had anxiety and depression before I got pregnant, so I was prescribed paxil, and it worked great for me, along with therapy. I unexeptectedly became pregnant, so I had to quit cold turkey, which we now know is dangerous. But I survived it. I was scared at first, but I got through it. Then, I found out I was having twins - lol - crazy life. I thought, "Great give the crazy lady twins - just what I need!" Anyway, I had the twins, and ended up with post partum depression and anxiety again, so on paxil I went again - which helped me greatly. I also had a very supportive husband and family- thank god. After about a year, I weaned myself off of it because I was sick of the sexual side effects, and I was finally adjusting to being a stay-at home mom of one year old twins. (I had been teaching prior to this life change.) You do lose your identity in a sense, but you regain a new one. Being a mom changes you. Your identity is not gone - it is just different now. You'll get back some of the old you eventually. But it is true, children steal it for a while - lol. But they are only so little for so long. Someday, you'll wonder why they don't need you so much anymore. They do grow so fast. Right now - it is probably hard for you to see any light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise you will. All you can picture is the here and now forever, but time passes and it gets easier. It is a big investment of your time and energy, but the payoff is great.

Long story short, I did not feel ready to have another child for another five years. I knew what I could handle, and I wanted to give myself time to be the best me I could be. I know what you're thinking about having your children close together. I worried about that too. But it is just as sweet to have some years between them. My twins help out with the little one and are learning to be such nice young ladies. And my little one is so smart after following them around and keeping up with them. There is never a perfect time to have a child - because it is hard work and changes everything. I found that having children took the emphasis off myself. I no longer dwelled on myself and had to refocus my energy. Luckily, I had no problems with post partum or anxiety after my third child. But I truly believe this was because I gave myself time to learn about myself and grow as a mother and handle my issues. There is a saying, "If mamma ain't happy, then no one is happy!"
Don't be so hard on yourself - being a mom is hard and new to all of us the first time. It gets better. I promise. Take care of yourself, so that you can take care of your little one and future little one.
I wish you the best of luck.
Sincerely,
K. G.

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C.R.

answers from New York on

Hi.. When I had my 1st child in sept 2004, I felt horrible after! No one understood why, not even me. I was diagnosed 3 months later and I was put on Lexapro which worked awesome. But within 15 months, I got pregnat again (not planned) went off meds, but bc of the PPD the 1st time, after I had my 2nd child, they immediately put me back on Lexapro, which didn't work the 2nd time. Then they put me on Paxil. I HATED it! I got hot flashes and had insomnia and felt like I was going "crazy." then I was put on Zoloft, didn't like that either, then imipramine, (an old school drug which was good for me) It took me a long time to get over it. But you will get through it, I promise. I see a therapist too which helps a great deal. My dr also has me on an anti-anxiety med, Klonopin, which helps with the occasional anxiety. So you could try that or Xanax. My son is now 2 and my daughter is 4 and Sometimes I don't feel like the best mom bc of the depression, but in reality, We're great Mom's! You're not alone. I hated how no one understood so I stopped talking about it to friends and family.

I hope things work out for you. Everyone is different, so just try it. If you don't like it, there are so many other medicine options out there. Be open to your dr.
Good Luck
C.

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C.Z.

answers from New York on

Have you spoken with your OB and your son's pediatrician about which antidepressants are considered safe in pregnancy? I have been advised in the past that people should stay on them. I also suggest that you work with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner who has experience with depression and pregnancy. I assume that your regular doc has been prescribing and s/he may not have the experience to give thorough advice on this. Also, before you switch to another medication, give the one you're using a good try, get it up to a reasonably high dose. Remember, there's no way to measure the level of the brain chemicals you're treating. Finally, if the Zoloft/Paxil don't help, consider trying Wellbutrin. It is a different type of antidepressant, and I have been advised by an OB in the past that it is safe in pregnancy. Good luck. I know how hard it is to live with depression.

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M.K.

answers from New York on

MT it sounds like you have anxiety and not depression?

Also are you still breast feeding?
breastfeeding always makes me feel more exhausted and that makes me irritable and cranky, even weepy.

After I stop I usually feel much better.

Also, perhaps you need to just create a new routine

keeping your life organized and scheduled really helps alot.

it makes things easier for both you and the baby.

Another thing is you need to get out of the house and meet other new moms,
Being a SAHM is great for the child but can be very lonely for the mom.

Personally I don't like paxil, I think prozac, or Wellbutrin might help , but the thing is everything you have expressed is not depression, its worry and anxiety.

this is a link to explain feelings of anxiety
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_tr...

here is a link to explain how medications work , and how they affect you
http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard...

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D.R.

answers from New York on

hello M T

I am so sorry to hear of your dilemma. It really touched me and I felt a need to respond. Just my opinion and some helpful things that should get you feeling better in time. First off I am not a doctor but I am a firm believer in no drugs, drugs can alter your way of thinking, feeling, and who knows what side effects will contribute negatively to you & your child. Anything can be healed with a belief & faith in yourself & your desire to be a good mother and a few good friends to talk to daily. It really helps to share you woes & good times with you friends. Keeping a journal is a great way to release your thoughts & feelings at the end of the day and writing down whats GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF will certainly increase your confidence. Positive affirmations like "I'm a great mother" "I love myself & my child" "I can handle any situation with a good friend" "I am worthwhile" "I feel secure and confident in myself" "I have the tools & knowledge to be a productive member of society" "I am a loving, caring woman, wife, mother & friend" "I believe in myself" "I love myself & my child" "I am never given any more than I can handle"
These affirmations & other positive ones can be written down and posted on every surface you see throughout your day, your bathroom mirror, your car visor, your bedroom wall, your fridge, etc. If you see it, a positive note should be posted to it, so that you can read it and absorb it many times in the day. YOU ARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE! The cool thing about affirmations is you can create a better day for yourself and good feelings will follow, the more you say the more you believe the better you feel. Now, you may not believe right away what you are saying about yourself but that's ok, JUST KEEP SAYING IT and it will change your subconscious and therefore your conscious mind! At any time during the day you can grab a notebook and get out your negative thoughts or sad feelings by writing them down and then when you are done purging write 3 great things about yourself, whether you believe them fully or not. Write 3. Then do the same before you go to bed. thinking good thoughts will help you create good feelings and ultimately have you more confident and with purpose. Just give it a try.
Along with your affirmations & writing it will definately help you to figure out what it is you like to do and do it! Try new things for yourself as a mom. I love to Jazzercise, I had been seeing an ad come home in my kids papers and took a class and was hooked, it's great excerise & there are great women I see there. I also love to read the local paper and see whats up in town, what fun things are going on and where can I take my kids or go to myself to meet more people like fund raiser events, tricky trays, open luncheons for different groups, etc. I certainly don't go to everything but I at least know what's going on. I also love to play with pictures on my computer and make slide shows & movies with music in microsoft movie maker. it's time consuming and I feel like I've accomplished a good thing that my family will enjoy. It is easy and all microsoft operating systems have movie maker. I am not computer literate and I was able to figure it out, so you can too. I often think about putting picture albums together and then I get overwhelmed LOL. I also love to do puzzles, sudoku, picture puzzles, word search, etc. just some good fun to feel accomplished.
Now, the most important thing to remember is YOU ARE NEVER GIVEN MORE THAN YOU CAN HANDLE so whether you want another child now or not, he or she will come when YOU ARE READY! My kids are 9, 7 and 4 and I just turned 41 and I stay home with them. I work a home based party plan business some nights maybe 4-6 night a MONTH which helps bring money in the house but my main focus is my children and my sanity. When I get feeling like you described above I try to do all that I told you and then sometimes I have to just sit by myself and let out a good cry then when I'm quiet I just say, please God help me thru this for the betterment of my children & myself, hlep me to focus on what's important. For me that's the love I am feeling for my kids and myself & my husband and in the end that's all that really matters anyway, the love & the hugs & the kisses & the smiles! hope it helps

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J.B.

answers from New York on

My husband had bad side effects from Paxil for a while after he stopped taking as well. He is now on zoloft and says it is much better. He has depression and anxiety, and the anxiety was bad for long time, he had a lot of attacks and actually thought he was having a heart attack more than once ( was even rushed to the hospital because he swore that's what it was) it is all under control now. He occassionally takes klonopin (spelling?) when he feels anxious, but it is not a daily medicine. I know how you feel about feeling lost sometimes I feel that way too between my 3 kids and my husbands health issues I feel there is never anything about me but then there are days when I am so proud of all I've accomplished as far as my mom duties etc.. I always say that this is the stuff I wish a best friend or someone would've told me about before I had kids so at least then I could have been prepared!! What does your therapist say? I hope this helped you even in some small way, feel better- let me know if there is anything else you need.

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M.Q.

answers from New York on

Hi,

I'm a mother of 2 and when my first son was born I had an option of being a stay home mom but I realize a few month with my child I found myself very unhappy and my depression was affecting not just myself but everyone around me.

So,I made some changes about me and went back to work. My husband at first was against it but when he finally see how unhappy I was he had to let go and work with the issue.
Its not going to be easy but in the end it worked fine. Now I have 2 wonderful boys 4 and 2. I just recently lost a nanny so my boys are in full day care. This transition was hard but the day-care has a web so I can see them online when I miss them.

In the end its really your dicision on what to do but if your unhappy and feel that your losing your indentity then please do something about it. Your child comes first but if your not 100% you then its not fair for him/her.

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T.H.

answers from Rochester on

Take care of yourself first and foremost so you can be the Mom that want to be and your children deserve. As far as spacing kids apart. My first 2 are 18 months apart. My second son's twin was stillborn. After therapy and meds... I finally felt I was in a good place. There's 3 years between the next two. I don/t know if there's a perfect "spacing" between kids, but I like the 3 year gap.

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L.D.

answers from Albany on

If you are suffering from post partum and having trouble adapting to your role as a stay at home mom, you should NOT be thinking about having another child right now. I have three children...your life will completely change again between one child and two. If you have not adapted to one, how are you going to handle two? There is more to do and balance especially if they are close in age.

You need to take care of yourself first and get yourself mended before you worry about having another child. Take care of yourself. Take care of your little one now. Wait until you can think about having another baby as nothing but a positive wonderful thought with no hesitations.

Have you thought about doing something for yourself? I suffered from post partum too and ended up on Zoloft. It didn't help me anywhere near as much as starting my own business did. It will help keep you from feeling like you are completely losing your identity. Now I have a different, better one I feel. My family needs me home. I keep the place and my family running and I have my own businesses. After all this time, I can't imagine going back to corporate America personally.

I wish you the best.

L.

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M.M.

answers from Buffalo on

Hi, you are not alone. I went through very similar experiences with both my sons. With my first it was absoluely awful becuase I didn't know what was happening to me, with my second also bad but a little better. I went on Zoloft with my second and feel it saved my life. You may want to try a higher dose of Zoloft, only because it's easier to come off from than Paxil, at least that's what I was told. Adjusting to life at home is huge, I hated being at home and felt useless. I think the main thing is knowing these fellings won't last forever. Try showering in the morning if you can. Try changing your house around, take deep breaths, take walks in the mall with your baby. You can beat this. We give up a lot as women and as mothers and I completely understand what you are going through. Have faith that you will get to a point when you really enjoy your baby. I still don't really like staying home, but I know I will return to work at some point, so I tell myself this is temporiarly.
Email me any time and good luck.
MS

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E.F.

answers from New York on

You have received amazing advice and support from a lot of people here on Mamasource. The only thing I would like to add is about the support network. I had a very difficult time settling into being a stay at home mom because I felt so isolated. I did not have any friends at the time with children so I spent the first 5 months just with myself and the baby. I loved spending all that time with her but felt that I had no one. My husband and family are wonderful and supportive but it was not the same as having friends around and other moms to hang out with during the day. Once I joined a mommy and baby class and began to make friends, my depression eased a little. I continued to take medication but found that friend was equally has important. I also started taking knitting classes and finding ways to to things for myself.

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