Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I just haven't met you yet!

I have a personal, strict rule about this blog: No going back and reading entries. Why? Because it is monumentally depressing! Starting treatment, stopping treatment, plans that never came to be: why torture myself by reliving all of that?

I have started and stopped so many plans it can make my head spin. Many times, money was the contributing factor. If money were no object, my guess is I would have continued from one step to the next when I started this whole infertility testing/treatment process back in 2004.

But money aside, I still have jumped ship during times I could have kept going. Why? If it is something I want so badly, why am I having difficulty sticking with a particular protocol?

After much thought, I think I know the answer, or at least a portion of the answer. Although I know I will have a family someday, I have no idea where this family will come from. Will it be through foster care, adoption, fertility treatments, or just a surprise on its own? Will it be because I used acupuncture, relaxation, a fertility supplement, or just “forgot about it”?

Every time I start working on one area, the fear comes over me that maybe I am supposed to be doing something else. If I try to just relax and live my life, I fear I am wasting time. I’m not getting any younger. When I try a natural infertility technique, I wonder if I should be spending my time and energy pursuing foster care instead. It’s a never-ending cycle. I can never win!

And all of this is to achieve something that is basically unknown: The pursuit of a baby. My baby. This illusive gift that I know will be wonderful and worth every minute of heartache.

But, really, who is this person? Boy or girl? A blondie like me, a brunette like hubby, or a different ethnicity entirely? Have they already been born and are making their way into our home, or will I carry them for nine months?

If I knew these answers, I could choose a path, and you would not be able to detour me from it. But with all the unknowns, I wander without answers, and jump from plan to plan, just waiting for inspiration…

Oh, how music can say things I can’t. I love this song because it speaks so true to how I am feeling, and is so upbeat in the process. You can’t listen to this song and not feel happy. I may falter, but I’ll never give up. And when I meet my baby, I’ll know. :) Someday, SOMEDAY, I’ll find the right path and I’ll get there.

I'm not surprised,
Not everything lasts,
I've broken my heart so many times I stopped keeping track.
Talk myself in,
I talk myself out,
I get all worked up,
Then I let myself down,

I tried so very hard not to lose it;
I came up with a million excuses,
I thought I thought of every possibility.

I might have to wait,
I’ll never give up,
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck,
Wherever you are,
Whenever it's right,
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life.

And I know that it will be so amazing,
And being in your life is gonna change me,
And now I can see every possibility.

And someday I know it'll all turn out,
And I'll work to work it out,
And promise you kid, I'll give so much more than I get,
I just haven't met you yet.

Listen to the song:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving,
between my God and me,
I let Him choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.

Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow,
and I, within my heart,
Forget He sees the pattern
while I see only part.

The dark threads are as needful,
in the skillful weaver's hand,
As threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.

Not till the loom is silent,
and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas,
and explain the reason why.


I know I can't wait to see what my canvas looks like one day... I'm sure when I do it will have all been worth it. I hope it will be beautiful!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Why and the How of it

After my Freedom posting, I received several emails asking for more information. It seems people are wondering how to begin seeking help for depression.

I’m no psychologist, but here is my opinion. :) I think the best way to go about this process is to see a therapist (either a MFT, LCSW, or psychologist) first. They can ‘diagnose’ you with depression, and talk to you about whether medication would be right for you. Then, if it seems medication is right for you, either they refer you to a psychiatrist who does a brief interview and gives you the prescription or you can just go to your primary doctor.

I chose the second route because I have been with my doctor since I was 17 and she knows me really well. I hadn’t even mentioned to her that I had seen a therapist. She took one look at me and knew I needed help. But you may not know your doctor that well, or they may not be ‘in tune’, and in that case it would be good to have the outside opinion of a therapist.

Another benefit to seeing a therapist is that maybe you don’t need medication after all. Maybe, particularly if your depression is purely situational, therapy is enough on its own to get you through. You don’t want to go into antidepressants lightly. They literally change your brain chemistry. You want to make sure they are appropriate for you. If therapy is enough, let it be enough.

If you do need extra help though, even with the therapist’s recommendation, there can still be roadblocks. I have a friend who went to a new doctor about her postpartum depression. Even though she told him that her therapist recommended she take something for a while, he told her she just needed to exercise. That is actually really good advice, if she was able to get out of bed. Luckily, she didn’t give up. She got a second opinion. She took an antidepressant (with continued therapy) for about six months, weaned off, and has been fine ever since. So, if you know in your heart what’s right for you, don’t give up!

Now, you could skip the therapist altogether. Some doctors have no problem writing prescriptions for anything, just because you asked. But I recommend seeing someone first. This is your health, and I think a slow, methodical approach (with a few different opinions) is better.

About the word “depression” being on your medical file… yeah, it stinks. Join the crowd. Many, MANY people have been treated for depression. I would venture to say most long-term infertiles have dealt with it in some way. I have been assured by case workers and therapists that it does not hinder adoption proceedings. Regardless, if you are seriously dealing with depression, what choice do you have? Are you going to live your life half-way so that you don’t have to see a “therapist” or have the word “depression” next to your name in some doctor’s file? That’s NO life.

Along these same lines… it is possible that some people will have to take an antidepressant, or see a therapist, their whole life. Many do not, but some do. Maybe their chemistry is such that they are susceptible to full-on, long-term depression. It’s not ideal, but again I say, what is your other option? Personally, I would rather have a full life with valued relationships and special moments, even if it means I have to take a tiny pill each day, or talk with someone each week. I was able to wean off the medication, so I don’t know how it feels to be in that situation. Even so, I know how I felt when I was in the midst of the depression, and that wasn’t living.

Of course, I need to acknowledge that antidepressants (and even therapy sometimes) are not for everyone. Some people have awful reactions to antidepressants, and they can make things worse for some. What I am trying to express is the importance of knowing yourself and doing what is right for you to make your life better. Maybe it’s therapy, maybe medicine, maybe both, maybe neither. Maybe it is exercise, meditation, volunteering, or art. Whatever it is, it is so SO important that you find it, and never give up trying. Because, if you are where I was, it can only get better!

I hope this helps someone!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


After writing this blog posting, I was approached by one of my most awesomest friends (and, yes... awesomest is a word!). :) She was wondering how I weaned off of the Lexapro. After telling her my story, I felt I should also post it here. When a doctor tells you not to stop antidepressants cold turkey, you should listen. Here's why...

It literally took me months to wean myself from the medication. I first tried to stop cold turkey. I had finished my prescription for the month and didn't want to pay to refill it. I was thinking that I may be a bit more 'emotional' for a while and then I'd be fine. I was soooo wrong.

A week in, I had a complete emotional meltdown. Literally, one of the worst evenings in my life. I can not express to you the horror that was that night. It was the deepest depression mixed with the highest amount of anxiety possible. It was sheer panic, indescribable dread, and impending doom all mixed together.

What was even worse... I was experiencing weird sensations. They were kind-of like an electrical shock through my whole body. They weren't painful, but very scary. Immediately after feeling the shock, I would get the feeling I was going to pass out. Then, a second later, it would be gone.

They started after day 3 or so, and by the time I got to that week mark, they were occurring at least every 10 minutes. Finally, that night, I looked up Lexapro withdrawal symptoms and saw that other people had experienced these "shocks", and some had progressed to seizures. I became convinced that's where I was headed and went that night to a 24-hour pharmacy and refilled the prescription. By the next evening, those "shocks" were completely gone and I felt light-years better emotionally.

That whole incident scared me pretty badly, so I waited a few weeks before trying again. This time, I did it right. I cut the 20mg pills in half (10mg) and took those for a good month. Then I tried to take 10mg every other day. The "shocks" returned (although not NEARLY as bad as they were that one night). So instead, I cut the pill into fourths (5mg) and took that everyday. After another several weeks, I started taking it every other day, then every 3rd day, and finally not at all.

It's been about a month since I've taken 1/4 a pill, and I still get an occasional "shock" every once in a while. The doctor said that it takes months for the medicine to fully and completely leave your system. I have noticed that they went from 1 a day, to 1 every few days, and I think I have gone about a week without one yet. So, I'm making progress!

Respect the medication! Respect that it is literally altering chemicals in your brain! Give your body time to readjust slowly.

Okay, PSA over! :) Thanks to my most awesomest friend for inspiring me to share this story!


A year ago, I wrote that I was having a rough time. I had been having a rough time for quite a while. Although I wrote that I accepted help from my doctor, I did not expressly say what that help was.

My doctor prescribed 10mg of a drug called Lexapro. This was later increased to 20mg. I remember the day I picked up the prescription. Inside the pamphlet that came with it, I read Lexapro is typically taken for 6 months to a year. I remember thinking I would be different. I would need to use these pills until I finally got pregnant or became a mom. I couldn't imagine I would be able to function again without help.

Well here we are, one year later, and I am completely off of the medication. I even weened off during a particularly rough time period emotionally. And I still did it.

And, although I am still saddened by the current state of affairs, I am not hopeless. I have bad days, but every day is not bad.

This last year has reinforced my belief that depression can begin situational, but can become a literal chemical imbalance. I firmly believe I had that imbalance. A year on this medication helped to resolve that imbalance, and now I am making it on my own again.

I am so happy to finally experience freedom. Not freedom from the medication so much, but freedom from the dark place I was in for so long. I am grateful that there are medical advances that could help me get my life back. I am disappointed in those uneducated people who continue to judge or degrade someone for having the courage to seek help. I am proud I had that courage.