Having another baby: Mental Illness

So B and I have been discussing having another baby since little one was only 8 months or so.

It seemed like such a good idea to me at the time, she wasn’t walking or crawling quite yet and the moon and stars were still hung by me- we hadn’t quite hit any challenging phases yet (if you don’t count the first few months when no one sleeps and your hoohaw still feels like you birthed a Mack truck)!

Then we she started moving, I started my period again (ugh), and we probably went through more awful teething or some first illness and it was like- whoa, who ever thought more than one child was a thing?!

Then we fell into a nice routine, we hit 15 months and I worried we spawned a demon for a bit, and then it never seemed like a good time…

And here we are now…

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Our daughter is almost 4.5 years old. She will be going to Montessori school after the holidays, either 3 or 4 days a week, and I’ve been feeling the baby fever like crazy.

So what’s the hold up, right? I mean it’s never really a good time, just go for it. It’s not like my oldest won’t be over 5 years old before there’s another one….

Mental illness has a lot to do with it. I have pretty significant depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. Most people don’t talk about stuff like that…I’ve never been on of those people. I mean, I don’t go telling complete strangers…oh wait, I just did! Ha! I’m not hung up about the stigma because the more I’ve chatted with people about this the more I’ve found others struggle with the same issues.

I have done tons of work on my self and many of my struggles have gotten a lot easier. I’ve been in therapy on and off for over 14 years working on trauma, tools for the depression and anxiety and parenting too! I also have done energy work, spiritual work, 12 steps for various self medicating addictions, and tons of workshops and programs with dietitians, life coaches, energy workers, and self help peeps. It’s all helped and I take what works and leave the rest. I’ve developed quite a tool kit!

I’ve also stated working with a great psychiatric nurse and my medications and diagnosis have really come together and I’m in such a good place.

This is why having another baby is such a tough decision. It’s truly a sacrifice worth making but it’s a hard decision to decide when to go off medications and how, get off birth control which helps me with hormone issues and migraines and take the leap.

Like most people, I also have a family to consider. I’m not having a baby in a vacuum. My husband also struggles with combat related PTSD, depression, anxiety, and addictions. He’s also done a ton of work and is in a really good place too.

All signs point to yes but also to no-

See when things are good it can be easy to think…

Wow, things are going so well…maybe we should [fill in the blank]…

The problem with this formula is that things are usually good because there’s a whole delicate system in place. Making changes alters that system and each change has major effects on the system as a whole!

Will we have another baby…most likely! I still feel someone missing from our family and the sacrifice we made in our treatment plans and life plans in general was so worth it!! But just know that if you’re family isn’t perfect…no ones is! Even when things look good, we have no idea what people are doing to achieve that harmony. And no idea if that harmony is even the real deal.

So advice for myself and anyone in the same boat??

Deep breath. Talk to your support team. Make sure you see your doctor, therapist and psych before stopping any medicine (made the mistake of stopping some routine meds this week without support and that was a big eye opener). And take your time. I truly believe that things happen the way they do for a reason. All the things that have happened or not happened in my life have taught me huge lessons. I’m grateful for it all- even my flaws.

Much love

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