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Withdrawal

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I decided that it would probably be best to get through Little Man’s first birthday festivities before starting to taper my medications. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and I wanted to be present and involved in that milestone and not be in so much pain or be so fatigued that I was just trying to survive it. So we waited, and in June, I started the taper.

I’d been on Cymba1ta for a couple years for my Fibromyalgia. Coming off it was hell, and that’s no exaggeration. I was constantly dizzy and nauseous among other things. As my dose was reduced more and more, anxiety started to overtake my life. I thought that if I could just make it through the taper that things would level out in the end. I felt like the anxiety was just one of the withdrawal symptoms. I was wrong. Not only had the Cymba1ta been helping with Fibro pain, it had been masking my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

A few weeks after finishing my taper and being completely med free for the first time in more than a decade, we had our first IUI. I was barely functioning on an hour to hour basis at that time, and going through with that IUI was probably one of the dumbest decisions I’ve ever made. I just felt like if I gave it a couple more weeks, the anxiety would fade, and if I got pregnant, my Fibro would get better. It was really irrational thinking. During that two week wait (TWW), it hit me hard that I was in no shape to be pregnant. I couldn’t even take care of myself let alone nurture a fetus. Every time I took a pregnancy test during that last half of my TWW, I prayed that it would be negative, and I was so relieved when I started my period. That was so odd considering how long we’d planned and prepared to start trying again and how much money we’d spent. These are the exact opposite of the feelings I should’ve had.

We took a break from trying to conceive (TTC), and I started go back to weekly therapy sessions with the psychologist I’d seen after my dad’s death, and I scheduled an appointment with my psychiatrist to discuss the safest options for controlling my GAD while still TTC and during pregnancy. We had realized that the benefits of medication far outweighed the risks in my case. I could not function, let alone have a healthy pregnancy without some sort of help. I’d lost 30lbs in less than 3 months. I wasn’t eating. I either couldn’t sleep or wanted to sleep all day. I was missing a lot of work, and I felt like I was missing out on life with the family I already had. I had completely withdrawn from my life. Both of my mental healthcare providers agreed that medication was necessary. We chose the one that my psychiatrist recommended as the most well-studied and safest possible option to use while TTC and pregnant. I started on a low dose and increased slowly so that we’d know the lowest possible dose to get me somewhere resembling normal. Finding that place took a couple of months.

Once we were sure my GAD was well-controlled, we decided to start trying again. This time felt completely different from the first. I wanted to be pregnant, and I felt confident that I was ready. That was so unlike the first try. This brings us to near the end of 2012, almost exactly 6 months ago.

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About Momma

Back in the late 70s, my parents used donor sperm to conceive. The product was me. I did not know until the month that my own son, carried by my wife, was born, that I had been conceived any way other than the "old-fashioned way". So, here I am, the non-bio mom to a little guy who was conceived with the help of donor sperm having been conceived through the use of donor sperm myself. This is surely an unusual family dynamic, but I am certain that it is not entirely unique. I reside in the Midwest with my wife "Mommy" and our son "Little Man".

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