Y’all, I’m proud.
I did it. I went to see a psychiatrist.
I’ve been talking openly with my OBGYN about my concerns and likelihood of a second bout with postpartum anxiety after this pregnancy, and I’ve been making a plan, but I still just felt worried. I know from working with so many other moms that I was really lucky that a simple Zoloft script from my doctor did the trick last time. What if it doesn’t this time? What if I could do better? Care for myself better? Then yes, obviously I should go see a psychiatrist who specializes in Postpartum/Perinatal mental health, BUT…..then the voices come in:
You’re fine. Don’t be weak. You said you’d make it to 36 weeks before taking medication.
You’re doing enough already. You don’t need all that. You aren’t crazy.
Why can’t you just be like normal women? Everyone else is fine.
Y’all, I know these voices are bullshit, but here they were.
But I made the appointment and when I voiced my disappointment in myself, my partner said, without hesitation, “You’re taking care of yourself, which means you’re taking care of baby James.” Damn. That’s right. Isn’t that what I would say to any other mom but myself?
So I went today. And I was a little panicky in the waiting room, and I was letting myself feel ashamed for being there.
I reminded myself how many times I’d wished this for friends and family, that they’d seek the care they needed, and I was no different. But it was scary.
And it was all worth it. When you go see an expert, they can actually give you expert advice. Surprise! I felt so much safer and protected just from talking with the doctor. I realized that the OBGYN has been great and open to my concerns, but this is a doctor who is looking out for me, especially my mental health. I finally felt like my mental health was the priority and that made me feel so reassured about the future and the next year ahead of me. I’d never even thought that one had to consider blood volume and metabolism and pregnancy and how complicated medication can get then.
We talked about medicine but also about protecting my sleep. She gave me permission to advocate for myself in ways I wouldn’t have thought of.
So, I took care of me. And I’m taking care of baby. And I have a safety net. I recommend any mom who is thinking of taking this next step in care to do it. Let me know if you have questions!