Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chill Pill

I hate stories that start with my friend's friend's brother's girlfriend said...

So for the purposes of this next little diddy, I'm just going to refer to "my friend," who in actuality isn't my friend.  It's my friend's friend's...see there we go again.

"My friend" went to her obstetrician for one of her regular prenatal checkups, you know:  blood pressure, pee check, reassure nurse you haven't taken up elephant riding or case races in your spare time, quick gaze up the baby shoot. 

And you're outta there.

Easy peasy.

"My friend" suffers from anxiety, like myself, and wanted to talk to her doctor about medication options.

Pros and cons.  Yada Yada.

Her obstetrician told her to:

"Punch a pillow and get more exercise."

I can't even begin to address everything that is wrong with that statement.

If by "punch a pillow," she means, "punch me in the face" I might understand where that would be helpful.

I don't know about you, but as a pregnant person I always loved being told that I need to get more exercise...

Hey, there's someone that wants to meet you. 

My middle finger. 

Oh look.  My foot wants to introduce itself too. 

To your neck.

I'm sure once "my friend" stuffs herself into her yoga pants that fit - 25 pounds ago - and realizes she can't do child's pose like all the other skinny bitches because she has a human, covered only by a thin veil of stretch marks, hanging off her trunk, she will feel so much better.

Completely revitalized.

And not the least bit suicidal.

I understand the ideal situation is to have a completely pure pregnancy, just your prenatal vitamins and the occasional bottle of vodka to get you through the day.


You could probably get away with two bottles of vodka... as long as it's just every once in a while.

I took my regular low dose of anxiety medication when I was pregnant with Henry, and he is fine. 

Completely fine.

*So he thinks everything is blue and kind of veers to the left when he walks, but he's fine.


Early on in my stint with Adeline I realized that between my regular anxiety issues and the pregnancy hormones, I was turning a particularly unflattering shade of crazy. 

I took my trusty prescription, grateful that I would finally get some relief from the crippling anxiety spiral that I had been sucked into, and I was promptly shamed out of picking it up by two Walgreen's Pharmacists.

It all happened so fast

I gave them my prescription, and the really old mean one said, "Who gave this to you?"

Looking back, probably not the best moment for sarcasm, but I replied, "I bought it off a 14 year old in the parking lot."

Then, I realized she was serious.


"My obstetrician gave it to me."

Pharmadevil:  "Do they know you are currently pregnant?"

Me: "Ummm...yes.  Somewhere between the transvaginal ultrasound and the blood tests, I think we covered that."

Pharmadevil:  "I'm going to need you to sit over there," (sternly points to the two waiting area chairs, that no one ever sits in because they're covered in Ebola, snot, and the urine of elderly people) " And read this.  I'm going to need your signature."

At which point she hands me a print out from somewhere on the Internet detailing why it is dangerous for me to take this medication while pregnant...

At this point I'm so confused.

(I'm sure, to you, this seems like the permanent state of my life.  It pretty much is.) 

I feel like I'm back in Kindergarten and Mrs. Jesperson is about to spank me for peeing my pants again. 

So I sit.  And I pretend to read.

It is scientifically proven that one out of every 4 million babies will be born crying if I take this medication.

At that point I realize that in order for me to get my hands on those pills I'm going to have to face those two really mean looking women and, to them, basically admit that I'm a selfish beast who doesn't care if her unborn child has an extra arm and a penis dangling off her elbow.

I couldn't do it. 

The nurse in me knew that it was completely fine to take this medication.  The friend in me had reassured countless other friends that it was completely fine for them to be on medication during their pregnancies.  I took this medication during my last pregnancy...

But I couldn't do it.

I slank/slunk (?) back up to the counter and mumbled something about managing my anxiety with meditation...


And I turned to go.

As I was running away from the pharma-wenches I hear a small little voice, the little mouse of a pharmacy technician; kneeling on the floor, restocking Preparation H. 

The angel:  she says,"I was on three different antidepressants when I was pregnant. You know if you need it, don't be afraid to get it."

What a doll.

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about.  This is solely my opinion.  Which, is widely agreed to be unworthy of the pixels it takes up on the computer screen, so take it or leave it.

(As an aside, I work with sick babies everyday.  I do not take their health or risks to their health, lightly.)

I know several people that are pregnant right now.  Some with their first baby, some with their third or fourth.

I don't want any one of those people to feel ashamed of taking care of themselves. Ever.

I tell the mothers of my 'work babies' every day:

You can't take care of them, if you don't take care of you first. 

It is easy to sacrifice everything for your children.  You do it with out thinking. 

Do not be afraid to get what you need to be your best self.

If that is 10 mg of Celexa, so be it.

If that is one hour alone at Target, so be it.

Don't lose yourself.

Apologies for the serious turn of this post.  Even I didn't see that coming.

I know it's hard for you to believe I could ever really act that crazy...


But as I was going through this particularly difficult time, I had a brief phone conversation with a friend of mine who was about to take care of our cats when we went out of town.

When your cat sitter leaves you stress relief aromatherapy oil on your kitchen counter, it means one thing:

Get a fucking grip.


  1. (I know, this is an old post, but I just spent my afternoon reading through all your blog entries!!!)

    Ugh. You gotta love it.

    Hey, pharmacist, you know what would REALLY be VERY unhealthy for this baby?

    Getting so depressed that I put a bullet through my head. Yeah, something tells me that's REALLY not good for the baby's health.

    The negligence regarding mental health, even with supposed medical practitioners, is MIND BOGGLING.

    1. I am flattered that you spent an entire afternoon reading about my life. It's crazy how we can identify with strangers sometimes! Thanks for all the support, that's why I started this blog, I suppose :)