bipolar pregnant and scared

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/30/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I came across this website looking for help figuring out which of my behaviours can be attributed to my disorder and what is really just me. 
A year ago I lost my marriage, my business and very nearly all of my friends.  In January my doctor diagnosed me with bd and put me on lamotrigine.  I think it worked very well for me.  I found a great job, was promoted quickly, decided I would go back to school in the fall in order to further this new career.  Then I got pregnant and had to go off my medication.  I was able to stay off until 20 weeks into my pregnancy, then slid into a deep depression and it was decided by my family doctor and my obgyn that I needed to be back on because I was having self destructive thoughts, that after having the baby everyone would be better off if I committed suicide.  So I am back on and being closely monitored by all of my doctors.  They are all wonderful and supportive.  I am even part of study on bipolar pregnant women.
Here is the most pressing problem.  I can't trust my judgement right now.  I think I don't want to be with the father of my baby.  I think I want to go home to my hometown where my mum can help me with the baby and where I can go back to school.  My doctors say I shouldn't make any decisions right now, but I am hurting the father because he wants so much to be together and I don't want him around me.  This week I bullied him into sleeping in a different room.  I have read many of the postings from spouses of bipolars and the way I am treating him is exactly described in these postings. 
How much is he expected to take? 
How do I know what is real and what is the disorder? 
The disorder cost me everything a year ago.  What if I do it again?
I think I have legitimate reasons for not wanting to be with him.  However, I also thought I had legitimate reasons for being angry with my former spouse too and now I am realizing that maybe these were not real, but were manufactured by my flawed brain. 
I want to make the best decision for my baby.  Babies need their fathers.  Babies can feel if there is tension between parents. 
Please, any help out there?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/30/2008 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi bipolarandpregnant,

First let me welcome you to the board and to HealingWell. I'm glad you found us. We're a very non-judgmental, supportive group.

I stayed on Lamictal while pregnant and a few of us have struggled trying to go the unmedicated route during pregnancy with mixed results, so you totally have our sympathy there. It's a terrible decision to have to make. But my daughter's fine, if it makes you feel any better. She's beautiful and a brainiac, so take heart.

As to your relationship, that's a tough one. I would definitely slow down and think it through very carefully and methodically before you act on anything. Not only do you have the bipolar messing with your head, you have the pregnancy hormones screwing with you too. Lucky you. Here's what I might do. This is so 8th grade, but try it. Make a pro/con list. Make a list of all the great things about him, all the reasons you want to stay with him, why he'd make a great father, why he's a good choice. Then make a list of all the reasons you want to leave, why he'd make a lousy father, etc. If there's a clear imbalance -- he's clearly more pro or con, you've got an easier decision. But even then, I'd run it by someone more objective -- maybe your mom. Show or tell her about the list and get some feedback before you make any life-changing decisions.

I think it's really great that you understand that you're decision making skills are unreliable right now. So many of us (including me!) forget and do stupid things we regret. Yay bipolar!

Good luck!
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/2/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for letting me know I am not alone.  The hardest thing I am dealing with right now is looking back on past decisions that I thought made sense, but now, not so much.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 163
   Posted 12/2/2008 3:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey!  I just had a baby 2 months ago and one 16 months ago.  I am bipolar too and struggled without the meds and had to go back on them while pregnant.  Both of my babies are fine and healthy and wonderful.  But you have to watch for postpartum depression too afterward.  You have to closely monitor your bipolar after birth too.  I am just now getting back to normal (for me) with meds and such.

I agree with serafena; make a list of pros and cons.  At least you realize that your emotions are out of wack somewhat.

My advice too is this; do not look to much to the past that you get yourself worked up in the present.  Yes, learn from it.  But your bipolar can screw with your thoughts of the past too you know.  When I was first diagnosed and going through medications to find the right combination, my past haunted me into a deep depression.  It ruined my life thinking about it so much.  You have to live in the present and let go of the past.  Do not let your past ruin what you have today.  Let it go and live for today.  Look forward to you wonderful baby that will be coming soon.  Figure out if you want to be with the father or not.  Figure out if you want to go home or not.  I am blessed to have my mom live just up the street and she has helped me tremendously with my babies while I dealt with hormones and bp and the depression.  You will need help.  But do not live in the past.

Keep us posted and glad that you are here.

Much hugs!


"I'm not crazy; I'm just a little unwell."  Matchbox Twenty

loving frustrated wife
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 865
   Posted 12/3/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Bipolarandpregnant – I am proud of you….CLEARLY you are working to face the BP and not let it run your life. YOU are already ahead of the race. Okay, reality check. YES, as your instincts are screaming, making any decisions is a bad idea at the moment as what you are feeling at this moment, will just as easily change the opposite way in time. That doesn’t mean that what you are feeling is wrong either. SO…your big issue is what to do until you are on your meds with the pregnancy over and you become stable and can feel confident in your decisions….certainly the pro/con list can help. But here is another way to go…sit down CALMLY and have a very frank conversation with this man who is your child’s father. With no anger, communicate with compassion for what a tough position he is in at the moment with you. Share you don’t want to be mean, or rash, you want to sort through this menagerie of emotion being thrown into a melting pot and overwhelming you via BP and pregnancy. Where he fits right now you simply don’t know and are trying to be honest with him. Give him some books on BP, print out some posts so he can perhaps understand…etc. Tell him you recognize that seems so unfair, and you are sorry. Right now you need some space and would prefer he, for a time, sleep in another room. The pressure of all the emotions are flying at too high an octane, and you need to ease some of it off or you will not be able to fully control your impulses that could end up being hurtful to him – like what happened the other night. Explain you recognize it most likely has nothing to do with him and therefore you don’t want to do that if possible and you feel this would be a solution that would ease off the pressure for you, and yet allow the two of you to still remain somewhat close. Plus, you can see he has some decisions to make as well, and he needs to see what dealing with you and the swings of BP will be like if you two were to stay together, and HE needs to make sure that is something HE wants for HIS life. That you recognize that he will always be your child’s father and no matter what happens with the two of you…you want to find ways of supporting that, whether you over time stay together or not. Share with him the decisions you feel you need to look at - stay with him or not, go home to get some help from mom, go back to school…etc…  Share with him what ultimately you feel you want in your life.

By doing this, you will find out several new things about this man as well. You will learn of HIS character so that when you feel confident as to whether or not you want to stay with him, how he handles your open honestly about it all plays a part. Does he react resentful or supportive and understanding? Does he step up and become a rock you can lean on as you sort it through, or does he punish you for what you are saying and going through? Does he think of you and his child in the decisions you are sharing you need to make and try to help sort out what will make YOU happiest over time, or is it all about HIM? ALL of that information will tell you whether this will work over time and make YOU happy or not. Then, ALL that becomes part of rational decision making when the time comes. Also, if you have some close friends you respect their choices and see stability about them emotionally, explain what is going on and ask permission from them to use them as a sounding board and source of rational input for you. Now is a good time to rely on people you trust.

To let you know, I am a spouse and mother to BP’s, and my patience and understanding ALWAYS goes WAY up when I receive frank honesty about what is going on, vs. having things taken out on me. So I am speaking from experience. Example: On thanksgiving my H came to me and said he knows he is being WAY to negatively aggressive, snapping at every little thing…etc., and he was sorry, he doesn’t know what is going on – maybe his meds were off for some reason - and there is nothing for me to do but be patient with him and try and understand. I said, “Thank you for letting me know, let me know if there is something I could do for him”, and then I gave him his space, and didn’t take things personally. Plus, by his sharing with me like that allowed him to then get better control of it because he was HONEST about it vs. trying to hide it or pretend it didn’t exist. He stayed observant of his own reactions and saw things were off and was able to manually override a "feeling/impulse" for better responses.

I know your decisions are big, but if you continue to own what is happening and trust in being honest about it, the right answers will reveal themselves in time. Give ALL of you that chance to figure it out.  Being a spouse is no easier than being the one with BP.

My best to you all. Sorry for the length. LFW

Post Edited (loving frustrated wife) : 12/3/2008 10:22:01 AM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/3/2008 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Missflip and LFW. We drove 7 hours today to see my psychiatrist and his research assistants at a major teaching university. He gave me much of the same advice! and increased my meds.

You both have given me hope, loads to think about and some strategies I think we can implement.

Letting go of the past will be one of the most difficult things I have to accomplish and I think the biggest step toward healing.

Off to bed now. More tomorrow after I digest all of this.

Thank you so much.
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