On May 4th (aka, May the Fourth, aka, Star Wars Day), my husband and I announced that we are expecting our first baby! To say we are excited is an understatement. I honestly can’t properly put into words how excited, happy, nervous, and in disbelief we are. We’ve talked about starting a family for so long and it’s actually happening. God is so, so good. Gosh, He is SO good!
It wasn’t long before a few incredible, loving, supportive friends and family members asked, “How are you doing with, you know.. can you still take your pills and stuff?” This is a question I was expecting and, truthfully, excited to answer.
When we started talking about starting our family, I found almost nothing online about bipolar and pregnancy. There were a few blog posts that were decent but didn’t talk about the actual process, and we all know never to look at WebMD. It was pretty frustrating and annoying. That’s when I decided that I was going to document and share my journey about preparing for pregnancy and being pregnant with a bipolar II diagnosis.
I will be writing about this new journey we’re on, the process of working with my OBGYN and PCP to find the right pill regimen, what steps Cameron and I took to prepare for all these baby hormones, and how I’ve been doing.
Spoiler alert: I’ve been doing really, really well and truly feel the best I ever have in my entire life.
I’ll be writing more blog posts about this, and maybe even doing a mini YouTube series on it. We’ll see about that part. But blog posts are a go for sure.
Now, my disclaimer before I start any of this: I am not a medical professional. What works for me, my brain, and my body may not work for you. Everyone is different, everyone needs different regimens, everyone needs to figure out what works best for them. I am simply sharing my journey and what has worked for me to encourage other hopeful parents out there who also happen to have a mental illness diagnosis. My goal is encourage you and to let you know what you are not alone in this.
Here’s how baby and I are doing so far…
I’m feeling great and I’m honestly shocked about that! I am 17 weeks pregnant, in the beginning of my second trimester, and finally getting my energy back. Between my not so great immune system, severe migraines, and tendency to always be sick, I thought I was going to have terrible morning sickness. Thank the Good Lord, I had some nausea in the evenings, I was totally exhausted, got sick a couple times, and that’s it. Unfortunately, I did not inherit my Nana’s promise of “I didn’t have a single migraine while pregnant, so you’ll be the same way!” I still get migraines- but they are not nearly as bad as what they were. I will take a migraine which my body is completely used to having over morning sickness any day without complaint!
Baby Oden is one big, happy, wiggly baby – I emphasize the “one” because I feel like my bump is much bigger than I expected for 17 weeks and people regularly ask if I’m sure there’s only one in there. I’m still waiting for the doctor to say, “Well, looks like you’ll need two of everything!” Twins run in my family and I had weekly dreams about having twin during my first trimester, but I’m more than okay with one baby to start. Ha! Baby has been measuring bigger than average (no surprise there, Cameron and I were both 10lb babies – pray for me!) and has been dancing around during every sonogram. We will hopefully be finding out the gender this month, which we will share right away! Cameron and I have decided to wait on a name until we see them for the first time, so even though we’ll have a few names picked out we’ll be keeping quiet until their birthday… which will be around mid-November!
As I said earlier, Cameron and I are so excited and can’t wait to be parents. Cameron has been so encourage, loving, and his normal silly self this whole time and is rocking the baby-prep game already by helping find the most eco-friendly baby products – what else would you expect from an environmental engineer? Freddie, our sweet pup, definitely knows something is up. She has been my snuggle buddy ever since I’ve been pregnant and always has to be by my side. She’s going to be a great doggie-sister. This little babe is so, so love already! It’s incredible how much we love this little one already and how much love and support we’ve received. This baby is going to have one big family – both biological and extended!
I hope and pray by sharing this that I can encourage others in their pregnancy journey and help them start the conversations with their support team. Check back regularly for updates and more about how I’ve worked with my doctors about this process. If you’re a parent who has been through this process and has suggestions or advice, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you!