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On Motherhood and sleepless nights


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Not quite what is usually posted here but I thought it was fitting. New mothers are routinely given drugs for post natal depression when all they need is sleep and support. This is a beautiful piece and I wish I had seen it when my babies were small. 





A friend called recently to ask for some advice on sleep training. I could hear in her voice as she spoke that she was at the end of her rope.

The experience of sleep deprivation can overwhelm you like a tidal wave. It's like nothing else matters. Nothing else exists. You can hardly breathe, let alone have a reasonable conversation with another human being. All. you. Need. Is. Sleep. Just a stretch... five hours would be incredible! It would change your life. And when you do get those hours -- uninterrupted -- it is like a thick fog has lifted off your brain and you realize, suddenly, how lucky you are to be a mom.

When you haven't slept for a stretch longer than a few hours at a time, the very last thing you are is a bubbling, glowing mother of a wonderful little gift of a child. You are a mess. For a split second, you find yourself hating your husband for getting you into this, hating yourself for not being able to cope, even resenting the beautiful little thing in your arms. I know of moms who, when they woke up to feed, would carry the baby back into their bedroom and stand at their husband's side of the bed and kick the bed... over and over again. If they weren't able to sleep, why should he? My mother-in-law had a friend who made her husband sit upright in bed the entire time she was feeding. He must have been comatose -- but the uprightness made her happy. An aunt admitted to me that she once physically threw my eldest cousin across the room at my uncle. True story!

Have you been there? Are you deep in the trenches with newborn babies or young toddlers or both? Our second child was born when our first was just 17 months old. We had a newborn and a very young toddler and the worst thing anyone could do was ask me how it was going. I would burst into tears at the slightest provocation -- I have cried in ladies' bathrooms, in the car, at parks, on the couch, in every room in my house. I couldn't see straight, let alone step back to gain some perspective. There is very little you can say to someone in this position to make them feel any better. The best thing you can do is offer to take one, or both, of the babies for a few hours and send their mom to bed.

What would I say today if I had the opportunity to sit down with myself in those moments... to whisper softly to her in the darkness of that midnight room, as she sat with a sweet-smelling, sleepless newborn in her arms, or cradled a feverish toddler who had woken her only 20 minutes after she had managed to get the baby down? I would say this...

Beloved one, you are beautiful... right here, in this moment. You are precious, a gift to this child and to every-one whose life he will touch. Your are irreplaceable: The only person who can do this for your child. Know your beauty and your preciousness. Breathe it in until it soothes your sobbing heart and opens your eyes to the feeling of his breathe in your neck, the curling of his little fingers in your hair, the dampness of his skin as you kiss his forehead. This will not last. It will be gone like the dew an hour after sunrise. Be careful with this moment or you could miss it... rest now in the knowledge that you are doing your best, your very best, for this child. This too will pass.

This post originally appeared on Janice's blog, Halfdaymum. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I work with pregnant and postpartum women and it is truly sad how quickly the OBGYN will prescribe SSRIs.


It is happening like clockwork now, 50 mg of Zoloft if you describe symptoms of the baby blues.  Mandatory screening laws are being suggested, which makes me shudder to think how many more women (and their babies if they are nursing) will be exposed to these drugs needlessly.  


To me, it's a matter of losing our tribe.  our culture breeds postpartum mood disorders.  what the woman really needs is more support so she can sleep and have breaks.  And thyroid and hormones are wacky after birth...which make diet key to postpartum recovery.    All of which will be exacerbated by adding an SSRI into the mix.     Le sigh.  

HISTORY: Lexapro 10mg (current and for approximately 7 years; Prozac 20mg for 5 years and Zoloft 50mg for 5 years)

Lexapro (too fast taper) 9mg 09/13; 8mg 10/13; 7mg 12/13; 6mg  02/14; 5mg  04/14; 4mg 06/14 2.5mg 08/29/14 2.25 mg 12/04/14;


Re-instatement - 2.5mg 12/17/14; 03/01/15 3.0 mg; 04/01/15 - 5mg;  05/01/15  6mg; 5/15/15 6.5mg 6/01/15 7.5mg


2nd attempt at micro taper: starting dose is 7.5mg using liquid compounded rx: 12/16/17 - 7mg;  02/05/18 - 6.75mg 04/06/18 - 6.5ml  05/31/18 re-instate back to 6.75mg 


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