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Pre-partum depression? Zoloft?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am 22 weeks pregnant with # 5 and have had a really tough pregnancy. For starters, the pregnancy was a bit of a surprise (I am 42) and came immediately after a terrible bout with the flu that landed me in the hospital for nearly 2 weeks. My first trimester was sheer hell (nonstop nausea and fatigue) which was also a surprise since I was never sick like that in any of my other pregnancies. I have several major life stressors at the moment, including a hella stressful job (a good job but tremendously stressful) and an 18 year old child struggling with some major problems. Last but not least, in the five years leading up to this pregnancy, I experienced multiple first trimester miscarriages, which have made it very hard for me to bond with my pregnancy/baby and to believe I am really going to leave the hospital with a healthy newborn.

Despite all these stressful things, I have a great husband and family, lots of good friends and excellent health overall. Generally speaking, life is good. Yet for the past four months I have felt a creeping depression coming over me. I have never experienced real depression in my life except as situationally appropriate (death in the family, etc). Depression does run in my family, so this had me feeling very nervous. I finally spoke to my wonderful OB about it at my visit this week because it was getting pretty bad - interfering with my ability to mother my other kids and do my job. He was great and helped me realize just how anxious I am about the outcome of this pregnancy. It doesn't help that I have an anterior placenta and am having trouble feeling any fetal movement at all. Anyway, as of five days ago, I am taking Zoloft. I am very hopeful that I will begin to feel some relief from the medication soon but so far, I actually think I feel MORE depressed. Today I am having to work from home because I just couldn't deal with being in the office, yet I am still getting far too little accomplished. This depression is definitely putting me behind at work and that just stresses me out even more.

I am hoping to hear from some other mamas who maybe went through a pre-partum depression like this and managed to kick it before the baby was born. Did you take medication? If so, how long did it take to start working? I wake up every day hoping that the Zoloft will kick in that day but instead I feel even worse.

Thanks to anyone who cares to share her own story with me. I am really struggling and this isn't like me at all.
post #2 of 7
mama! It sounds like you're going through a lot. Others may respectfully disagree, but since you've made the decision to give Zoloft a try, don't give up on it quite yet. Five days is not a very long time, and it is going to take a little while for your body to get used to it.

I also wouldn't worry too much about bonding with your little one yet. Focus on taking care of yourself and the bonding will come. I've dealt with depression my entire life, and I don't feel like i really bonded with my daughter before she was born. I was happy being pregnant, but just couldn't envision a little human entering my life. But it didn't mean I loved her any less, you know?

I was on a low dose of paxil when I got preg; weaned around 12 weeks & wanted to die (figuratively); went back on a half-dose of what I was taking before until about 2 weeks before DD was born; went back up to my previous dose and have been on it since. And it might be that zoloft isn't right for you and you decide to try something else. That happens; different strokes for different folks, right? Anyway I'm not sure that this is all that helpful, but i wanted to offer you some encouragement. You and the new little one will get through this, and the feelings you're having will not last forever. You're strong. Your baby is strong.

And BTW, congratulations on your pregnancy!!
post #3 of 7
Definitely give it a little more time. If you are still feeling worse in a couple more weeks I'd let your doctor know.

I went on Celexa at 32 weeks during this pregnancy (I'm currently almost 40 weeks) for anxiety and panic attacks. During the first week I was taking it, I had a couple of panic attacks and felt like my anxiety increased a bit. But that soon changed and I haven't had a panic attack since that first week.

The other thing is to remember that sometimes you have to try a different med if one isn't right for you. There are other SSRIs you can take during pregnancy so don't worry about that.

Good luck! I know it's a hard decision to make-it was for me-but you are doing what's best for yourself, your baby and your family.
post #4 of 7
I think I had pre-partum depression too, although this is the first time I've heard of such a thing. I was too embarrassed/ashamed/guilty to even admit it, and the few times I tried to talk about it I got unhelpful advice like "oh, anxiety during pregnancy is normal" or "you just need some rest." I've even decided not to have any more children partly because I was miserable- although "healthy" during pregnancy. You have just made me feel like less of a monster, thank you so, so much.
post #5 of 7
If you want to read a book on the topic, I recommend "Pregnancy Blues - What Every Woman Needs to Know about Depression during Pregnancy" by Shaila Misri

Most books only seem to focus on post-partum depression, so it was great to find one specific to the time before birth.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I wanted to follow up on my post to say that it is now day 7 on Zoloft and all of a sudden today, the depression lifted. It was still quite bad yesterday and I was feeling very discouraged, but today I've felt - dare I say it? - quite normal. Plenty of energy and good mood, although I get sleepy in the afternoon, but I think that's normal pregnancy sleepy. I have my fingers crossed that the Zoloft has kicked in and I won't suffer like I have been any longer. I feel clear headed, motivated and rational - like myself, basically. I hope that it's gone for good and that I can enjoy the rest of this - my last pregnancy.
post #7 of 7
Good to know you are doing better, now.

Can you add fish oil and a tiny walk or time in the sunshine each day? Even 5-10 minutes can really help.

I'm planning on asking my doc about meds at my next appt. I'm doing okay so far, but I don't want to experience what I have before.

Hang in there! You aren't alone. Enjoy your pregnancy as much as you can--eventually you will have time to "bond" w/your precious baby.

Take care!

mrsfru
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