I’ve taken a small hiatus from this blog in favor of my family blog because on Monday April 8 little Edgar Murphy was born! We ended up having a c-section for reasons I won’t get into here, but he was 9 lbs 8 oz and our announcement and gender reveal could not have gone more perfectly. The real part of the whole process I want to talk about is my medication and how my schizo-affective disorder was handled by the staff. I’ve read all kinds of horror stories about hospitals treating people horribly for needing to treat their psychiatric disorders during pregnancy. I’ve written about the devastating reactions people have had to my illness and my choice to have children. Strangers are even more vocal about my decision to be medicated during pregnancy. I have an amazing medical team and home support system. They have supported me and educated me through the whole process of this pregnancy; I couldn’t have made it through without them.
I had to switch hospitals three-quarters of the way through this process. Fortunately, I didn’t have to switch OB offices, just doctors. I would recommend the office I went to for anyone going through pregnancy, high risk or not. I’ve heard all kinds of judgmental comments about my medications and how they were going to affect my unborn child from strangers in the medical community and in the general public. I was really nervous that the staff, who had only met me a few times, would make assumptions about me based on my diagnoses and medication. It sounds really scary to leave a newborn with someone who has a tendency to hallucinate. Even worse to leave them with someone who has a problem with frustration and anger stemming from a mental illness.
The staff were kind to me through the whole process of my c-section surgery, my husband was there and they recognized how much help he is to me. He kept me calm through the fear of the surgery, he took the pictures that I wanted so badly, he comforted me and cared for Edgar simultaneously immediately afterwards in the recovery room. Over the next few days he took the lead in caring for Edgar and never left my side for the two days I was in the postpartum recovery room. The nurses saw that. I honestly believe it made a huge difference in their decision to call social services or not. The last day I was in the hospital my nurse sat and talked to me for a few hours about breastfeeding, which it turns out I can do even with Seroquel, she expressed concern about the stress breast feeding can cause new mothers. I’ve decided that I’m not going to be stressed out with my new baby. We’ve gotten so lucky that we have a calm baby that sleeps quite a bit, I’m lucky that my husband is so wonderful and cares for our baby through the night, we’re lucky that we live with my in-laws who are amazing. As a result I’ve been able to be the calm mother that I want to be and the hospital told me I would be.
I’ve been so worried about postpartum psychosis this whole pregnancy, the medications and the medical team have come together at exactly the right time. Honestly, I do a lot better mentally when I have something or someone to care for, my cats have saved my life more than once. I have been taking great care to do things that might initiate frustration when people are around and can help me if I start to lose my cool. So far at one week old life is good for both parents and little Edgar.