Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Special Needs Kiddo: The Stressful Pregnancy (Part 2)

P's story is being told in a series. This is the second installment in the series. If you missed the first installment of the series, please click here

My pregnancy started out well enough. Like any newly expecting mother, I talked to my new little one, sang to my tummy with my hand draped across where I thought baby was and, later, I put a saucer just above my belly button to watch it dance. I was religious about taking my prenatal vitamins and attending obstetrician appointments.
I remember thinking that I was doing well and that maybe there was some chance I wouldn't have to suffer through morning sickness. Then one morning, as I was getting ready for work and my husband was going through his morning routine in the restroom of our small one-bedroom apartment, I was sent speeding to the parking lot where I got horribly, publicly sick. This was the precursor to what became a month-long battle of intense morning sickness and, thus, dehydration. A word to the wise: Orange juice is a very, very bad idea if you're having morning sickness. I still remember being sent home from Fashion Bug, where I worked, because I was trapped in the ladies room sick. In my attempt to be healthy, I had drunk a huge glass of orange juice and had eaten nothing that morning.

In the midst of all with which we were coping - being concerned with my pregnancy - my husband's paternal grandfather died, and we were to move from Indiana to Arkansas while I was about five months preggers. The move went well, but the transition was hell. I had lost my mucus plug and ended up in the emergency room on the first day in our new town. I was now in a new city in a state I'd never thought I'd live in with no family or friends, no job, and at home every minute of every day with nowhere to go. I had some mild passing depression earlier in my pregnancy, but nothing like this. With every passing day, it grew worse. I wanted to nest and to fawn over baby things, but I was alone—except when my husband was home from work. I lost 15 pounds while I was pregnant; I think, in part, due to stress.

At seven months pregnant, I found myself in the emergency room in such a depression that I was disassociating and speechless. My husband spoke for me, as a mother does for her child at the doctor. I remember hearing the doctor say that my best bet was to go inpatient at a psychiatric facility located forty-five minutes away. He also cautioned against it because, in such a place, it isn't guaranteed that a patient will be given medication that is completely safe for her unborn child. None of the kinds of medications I needed were entirely safe. I made an appointment with the local psychiatrist, whom I had seen previously, and was sent on my way.

A few days passed and I made it to my appointment feeling numb and depressed at the same time. An hour later, I was prescribed Prozac and was told it was my safest option. It was a lovely sentiment, but I found little relief. I'm not convinced that my condition was a biological issue as much as circumstantial. Too much at one time without the support of local family and friends took me into a tailspin. All the while, my soon-to-be-born bouncing baby boy was healthy and developing perfectly. He was actually born a week early at 9 lbs 3 oz on January 13, 2008. It was a Sunday, just six minutes after midnight, by cesarean section. Everything was wonderful and perfect in relation to him. But I was not well, and it would get worse for a time. What felt like a very long time...

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