Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Expect a cheerier me.

I had my 6 week post partum check up today, and it won't likely come as much of a surprise that tonight I join the legion of medicated Americans as I pop my first 5 mg of Lexapro. It turns out new mothers don't necessarily need to feel as overwhelmed and irritable, as concerned that I will never truly enjoy my life again, as I do. There just might be way for me to actually enjoy my life right now, as it is.

I've long been interested in taking an antidepressant, but I've fought it because of worries about side effects, or just a thought that the part of my personality that makes me "me" might disappear - leaving me interchangeable with any wash-and-go soccer mom in Kansas who wears high waisted jeans (and not because she saw them in Vogue) and button-down shirts. The time has come, though, to take the risk and give it a try. The possibility that a happy, relaxed me could be around the corner is too enticing, and I'm tired of thinking that the best years of my life are behind me or at best unavailable to me again for at least the next 4 or 5 years.

As for side effects, I am definitely a little worried about the sex thing - I can't really afford a loss of libido when it's hard enough to create an environment conducive to grown-up activity in a tiny house full of little boys, toys, laundry, and increasingly, dirt. What I'm telling myself, though, is that if anything, this could have a positive effect on my love life: a happier and more relaxed Kate is a Kate that will be more willing to spend time on the fun stuff when I find myself with an unexpected 15 minutes than to try to finish folding all the baby clothes still sitting on the dining room table 24 hours after removal from the dryer. My doctor even affirmed it had that effect on her when she had to go on it after her second child, so there you have it!

I took my first pill half an hour ago; I'll be interested to see if I have any of the unpleasant effects my doctor told me to look for (lightheadedness, nausea).


Cindy said...

Good luck, and don't settle for side effects you can't live with. There's a lot of options out there. Did the doctor tell you if what you're taking takes a while to take effect--like three weeks? A lot of them do.

I dealt with serious depression until I had my daughter. Something about pregnancy kicked my hormones sideways, and I've dealt with anxiety and minor depression since but nothing that needs medicating.

Good luck to you and snaps for taking a positive step. Remember, infants aren't supposed to be fun. They're really cute for a very good reason.

Fluffy Windover said...

Yes, good luck! My life would be very different now (read: BAD) if I hadn't started taking Effexor 7 years ago. I'm off it now, but it's nice to know it's there if I go off the deep end. Hope it all works out! Alex is SO CUTE. That hair is killing me.