Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bipolar, Boobs and Soy, oh my....

That's what our little blobkin would look like right now...

Man, oh man, I am superbly stressing about how my illness is going to go during this pregnancy. So far I'm doing ok - considering everything. I'm at my parents for a wee break, because I was just finding a lot of things in and around my milieu incredibly stressful and it was good to escape and sort my head out. The parentals are WONDERFUL. You seriously find out the mettle of your parents for good or bad when you're not feeling the best or during a crisis. They drove up to Newcastle, picked me up, drove me four hours back to their place and I have a big room and lots of privacy and every meal made for me and endless cups of tea, videos to watch and hugs/use of phone/net/tv etc.

I guess I never realised until now just how much I really need my parents and that it is really OK for me to need them, and want them, in my life as active participants. For so long I have fought that and listened to people telling me the opposite but I guess facing having my own child has changed things. Suddenly I realise they are this patient, kind, loving resource, and they DO give me space and privacy but they are the kind of people who will drop everything if I need them. And they have. And they have done it before and you know what - I am so fucking ashamed of my behaviour in the past and of not realising until now just how much they love me and give to me. I always want them around, for support and advice because I know no matter what happens they will help me prosper or pick up the pieces.

But back to pregnancy. I'm actually more concerned about after I deliver. The main risk is Post Natal Depression, because I'm in the highest risk category, what with having bipolar. I think the lack of dairy in my diet settles me some, but diet and exercise can only go so far to managing mental health. I'm definitely not in the category of people who think you can just breeze through bipolar, taking lots of omega supplements and doing yoga to fix your mind. It just doesn't work. Yoga can't treat a psychotic episode, yanno?

So here are my options:

- Breastfeed for the first week so the baby gets the colostrum, then go on medication and bottle feed with soy formula

- Breastfeed for the first six months if I'm not presenting with symptoms of PND or post-natal psychosis, then wean baby, then go on medication

- Breastfeed baby for as long as possible, take medication with low risks and deal with the fact that baby will be getting some of my meds through the milk

- Go on medication immediately, bottle feed with soy formula

The most appealing option is number two - but I feel a bit nervous about throwing myself to the BP lions with it. If I wait until symptoms emerge it might be too late to avoid really severe problems - medications take a while to kick in. Everything depends on my mood after the blobkin emerges.

Probably the next best option is one - but I am concerned about giving infants soy. Then again, I am concerned about the poor little mite having an unhappy mum. Or the risks from consuming dairy, not to mention how dirty I'd feel exploiting animals. Plus lactose intolerance runs in both sides of our families, and there are major risks to consuming dairy. So I have to read more on soy and see if I can deal with the idea of whatever risk factors are there (and the evidence on soy is far from conclusive from what little I have read).

Ah, the joys of being a niche mum!

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