Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No more refills

So, I'm getting off of Prozac.

I've been on a low dose since boy was two weeks old. That means it's been just about a complete year. When I started it to combat the postpartum depression that was controlling my life (and not in a good way, like how staying up to speed with "The Office" controls my DVR free space), my doctor told me that the plan was to stay on it for a year, or until I stopped breastfeeding, whichever came second. Well, I'm still breastfeeding, and have no immediate plans to stop, as long as boy still finds comfort in it -- it's a bond with him I've come to cherish deeply, and I see no reason to end it now. (That probably deserves its own post: breastfeeding a toddler. With eight teeth. And a wicked sense of humor.)

But what is on the horizon is the idea of having another baby. And if I can manage it, I'd rather go through this second pregnancy without extra medication in my system. I understand that it's considered fairly safe, and that many women need to be on Prozac or some other antidepressant while pregnant. I applaud them for doing what their bodies need, for taking care of themselves, because ultimately THAT'S what's best for the baby. It's just that if my body can do without it, that's the way I want to start off with this next baby.

About a month ago, with my doctor's support, I started taking my regular dose of Prozac only every other day. Did that for two weeks. Noticed no change in how I was feeling. Phase 1: Check.

Phase 2 was to cut back to just three times a week. I've been doing THAT for two weeks. So far, no change. Phase 2 is almost over. One more week of this, and it's phase 3: full stop.

I have high hopes. I'm feeling pretty good, and on days when I'm a bit cranky or down, I'm certain I would have been the same if I were still taking Prozac every day. (Contrary to popular belief, the meds don't make you blissful, or keep you from having ANY downs at all -- they just make your downs manageable, help you cope with them in a healthy way.) 

It will be nice not to have to take it every day (then again, I'm doing the prenatal vitamin thing, so it's like swapping six of one for a half dozen of the other. But it's really just one of each. Ah, you know what I mean). At the same time, that medicine helped me get through a really rough spot, and if Prozac was a person, I'd owe it a lot of thanks.

So here's to you, P. Thank you for helping me surface out of the ocean of fear and anxiety that was my brain-space for two dark weeks. Thank you for helping me see that maybe losing 25 pounds in 10 days is too rapid a rate of weight loss for a new, nursing mother, and that maybe I should take better care of myself and actually eat something. (Come to think of it, you may have done that job too well.) Thank you for enabling me to open my eyes to the wonder of my little boy's tiny feet, to see the light in his bright eyes, rather than just seeing that it was time to change or feed him again. Thank you for helping me tumble head-over-heels in love with the little guy. I'd started down that path already, but you really cleared away my roadblocks, and there's certainly no turning back now.

If you were a person, I'd totally send you flowers. At least. Maybe even a lobster-gram. Definitely something expensive. 

Because you made a tremendous difference. And I am so very grateful.

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