- psychiatrist specializing in perinatal mood disorders
- talk therapist
- untreated, I have a very high risk of relapse during pregnancy.
- untreated, I have a very high risk of developing postpartum psychosis
- lithium is now considered to be the most-effective, least-harmful medication during pregnancy (contrary to what was thought until very recently--the change is due to long-term research)
- breast-feeding with lithium would mean testing the bébé's blood levels (lithium and thyroid function) frequently
- risk of Ebstein's Anomaly (heart defect which can be caused by lithium) is about 1 in 1,000, risk of Down Syndrome at my age is almost 3 in 1,000
- we live a few miles from a pediatric cardiac surgery center. God forbid we should need that, but it's here
- in addition to medication and talk therapy, keeping up my social life and reducing stress and disruptions to my schedule, including sleep schedule is recommended
- "pregnancy and lithium don't mix"
- "ask your OB/GYN"
- "can't you just quit taking everything for the 1st trimester"
That said, as of next week I will be only taking lithium. I am adjusting nicely to the adjusted dosage. My blood levels are being tested as are my liver, thyroid, etc. functioning.
So, next cycle we can start "trying." But that's all I'll say about that, since it's a little creepy to talk about my sex life in a place where my dad, brother, and strangers read.
Should we be lucky enough to get pregnant we won't say anything until at least 4 months. The OB/GYN said that's when she can do a high-res ultrasound to check the bébé's heart. We could change our minds, but we both feel a need to cocoon until we know for sure.
All holy men and holy women, pray for us.
Ora pro nobis, hear our prayer.