Y’s choice

I finally was able to upload and organize the pictures from G’s birthday party.
I am a little upset about the quality of the pictures. I wasn’t able to get good shots because I was too busy hosting the party and making sure everyone was happy and fed well. If I wasn’t so over protective of and completely in love with my camera, I would have asked someone else to take pictures for me. The only time I was really able to take pictures was when she was eating her cake and opening presents, that’s why there’s 89 of those. The Wanna Be Professional Photographer in me is slighty pissed about it (Can you tell? It’s 10 minutes later and I’m still talking about it!) but I’ll get over it by the time her next birthday rolls around. Hopefully.
My doctor appointment went better than I had imagined it in my mind. He didn’t laugh, but then again, I didn’t use the term “I’m dying.” Instead, I explained, yet again, how I can’t sleep at night because of the racing heart and feelings of not being able to breath. He said that all of the tests he did last time came back totally normal. So normal, infact, that he used the word “Excellent!”
That can only mean one thing.
I’m crazy.
He believes that I am having panic attacks at night. The symptoms are “classic” and I am “prone to anxiety attacks”. So. He prescribed Paxil, asked me to take it and see if the symptoms go away . He also ordered a “treadmill test” to reassure me that my heart is TOTALLY NORMAL AND EXCELLENT! And? Perhaps? Maybe? He’s going to order a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.
Here’s the struggle I have now.
I don’t want to take the Paxil. I’ve been off of anti depressants for a few years now. I don’t want to go back on. I don’t want the extra weight. I don’t want the feeling of having to rely on them but most importantly? I am NOT ready to wean Gabby.
Yes, internet, I still breastfeed my one year old. Not that often, pretty much just at night and in the morning, but I’m not ready to give that up yet. I feel like that would be incredibly selfish of me to do that to her.
I realize I need my sleep and that I have to be well in order to care for my children properly, but I can’t seem to bring myself to take that away from her. I get all emotional just thinking about it.
Perhaps I have some issues I need to deal with when it comes to letting go of the breastfeeding. Wait, ME? Have ISSUES? No way! But I can tell you this, the thought of stopping RIGHT NOW so I can take paxil? Makes me feel very sad.
I have no idea what I am going to do, but I hate hate HATE that I have to choose between a pill and my daughters needs.
Am I being overly dramatic about this? Probably. I’m sure she’d be fine if I weaned her, and I’m sure this is MY issue, the finality of it all kills me.
So what’s a woman to do?
I have no idea. I can function without sleep, I’ve been doing it for months now. I’m not so sure I could deal with a screaming little girl who wants The Boob and can’t have it. I don’t think I’m ready to deal with that just yet.

57 thoughts on “Y’s choice

  1. chris

    I am taking Zoloft and still nursing my 7 month old. I don’t think weaning is required for SSRIs. There are lots of moms who take them for PPD.
    Good luck! Oh, and where is that Starbucks ticker 😉

  2. Broad

    But honey, you can’t be good to ANYONE if you’re not good to yourself, too.
    Not a Paxil fan, though; have heard things about it. Perhaps he can prescribe something else?

  3. mmc

    I was sad when each of my sons weaned….but knew that it was time and they would be ok. Do what you feel right about. What’s the news on your son’s uh….samples? Or did I miss something? Great pics, btw.

  4. Jessica

    First of all, what beautiful, wonderful photos. Every time I think there’s no way your little girl can be any more beautiful, you post more pictures to prove me wrong. And you…You! Are! Looking! So! Wonderful! And really, I’m amazed that you had time to take any photos. I’m trying to plan my little one’s first birthday (the 20th) and I don’t imagine that I’ll have much time for the photo taking, at least not the way things are going.
    As for weaning, I understand how hard that is, although I wasn’t given a choice with either of my children. My body just, in both cases, decided that it was done nursing the baby, and my milk dried up in the course of a week, with nothing I could do to change it. I would have preferred to nurse both of them to at least a year. I was so sad, especially this time around with my daughter. Hang in there.
    I wouldn’t rule out the sleep apnea, though. My husband has been through that, and it does some strange things to his body and sleep habits, so having that checked out may not be a bad idea.

  5. Louise

    You know what? Those photos show an awesome party thrown by a very committed mom. My favourite, so far, is the “Faith Factor” hat (I’m assuming that’s your dad?).

  6. christina

    Sweet party pictures! I love the colours and I think they turned out wonderfully.
    Have you had your thyroid levels checked, Y? Low thyroid can cause some of the symptoms you’re experiencing – panic attacks, racing heart, mood swings etc.

  7. shy me

    wean when it works for both of yous. my Mum breastfed us all at least a bit til we were two…ish. Screw what others might say. Sleep is mighty important though. I nearly went bonkers when I wasn’t sleeping last year. Took prescription sleep meds for a while.. now i’m ok and only take half of one every couple of months when my brain won’t shut up. panic attacks suck and getting help for them would be awesome though. and do make sure your doc has checked your thyroid levels. blah blah blah.. what do i know.

  8. Gabriella

    You could just have mitral valve prolapse, or be symptomatic without the actual condition. That’s how it is in my case. I was diagnosed after I started waking up with my heart racing and gasping for a breath, full of fear. After an EKG and an ultrasound, it turns out I have a rapid heartbeat.
    It’s easy to modify with a beta blocker (Toprol XL) that slows my heartrate to normal. No emotional side-effects.
    I stay away from the antidepressants too at this point. Those that I tried never did anything but complicate my emotions instead of improving them. Best of luck!!!

  9. Gabriella

    And I forgot to mention that I used to have panic attacks. That’s why they tried the antidepressants on me. But once I started the beta blocker, decreased “panic” and now I’m experiencing no panic symptoms at all. Funny that they classified me as a panic attack case until I started waking up with the rapid heartbeat thinking I was about to die. Simple solution was hard to find.

  10. jenny lee

    ok…you know gabby’s lil princess hat…email me and let me know where you got that 🙂 (if you don’t mind)
    and a hug and a smooch on the cheek. just know if you need to talk to someone, i’m a GREAT listener and i don’t judge people. ever. never. if there’s anything you want to say but don’t want to say it to your blog or family….email it to me. hug hug. and don’t ween gabberella yet. and call your dr. back…tell him you are still breastfeeding and need something that will accomidate that. they have the drugs out there. hug hug.

  11. lex

    If you want to email me, I will be happy to share my experience with Paxil with you. I took it for a few months last year. My toddler was still nursing, though mostly only at night (or if she was upset). She weaned at about 2 1/2, about 2-3 months after I started taking Paxil. Eventually, I weaned myself off of Paxil because I couldn’t handle the side effects. But I stuck with the cognitive therapy for a while. Just knowing about the PANIC/GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (ugh) helped me to deal to some extent. To this day, I have to laugh when someone says “don’t worry.” Because I worry about EVERYTHING!

  12. Michelle

    Completely understand. I’m still breastfeeding my 27 month old (and psychologically damaging him according to my MIL’s SHRINK- yes, they meet to discuss my nursing habits). I’m supposed to be taking some meds as well for my insanity and I haven’t been a good little doobie about doing so- I’m not ready to take away Joe’s Nursey Nursey Num Nums (we even have a psychologically damaging name for my breasts and nursing, you see.)

  13. mrs darling

    I nursed my son until he was 2 1/2. You have a ways to go so dont worry.
    Heres what you do instead. You run, not walk to your local GNC. There you find a little bottle called 5-HTP. You buy that and begin taking it immediately. Guess what? It’s natural seratonin!
    I went cold turkey off of a combo of Zoloft and wellbutrin straight to 5-HTP and had positively NO side effects. Now I’m sleeping like a baby. My heart no longer races. I’m no longer forgetting everything and lo and behold my appetite has been brought under control.
    Now run!

  14. chasmyn

    Personally I don’t feel like you’re being overdramatic at all. I think wanting to nurse until you are both finished is wonderful. And I also separately am not enamoured of the idea of a pill for everything. And Paxil is some serious shit. I think the fact that you have reservations about taking it is completely normal and that if it isn’t something you are comfortable with, maybe you can use your infinite free time (LOL) to research other options? There are ALWAYS other options.
    Also I read that comment abouve mine and I don’t think that’s a bad idea at all. Just make sure its okay for nursing mamas.

  15. dani

    Y, I think you really need to consider this. It isn’t normal to have panic attacks like you do. And I agree with your doctor that, yes you are having panic attacks. Anti-depressants do not always mean weight gain. If you are specifically worried about paxil, ask for something different. I have had no problems with zoloft, and it has put the racing thoughts and worries totally out of my head. I know you don’t want to “be on drugs”, but honestly, some people NEED to be on them. In the end you will be a better mother! You won’t cry over little things, you won’t freak out and think you are dying. I can also guarentee, if you feel better you will lose weight. Food won’t need to be your friend! Just my opinion though. Big hugs.

  16. VenturaMom

    Don’t stop breastfeeding till your daughter AND you are both ready!!! I still bf my 2-year-old daughter to sleep and if there is some BIG giant drama/tantrum. The boobs, they are amazing. AND I am on Zoloft. So call your doc and ask about bfing on Paxil. If he says no, do your research online and hand it over to him. Then get a new doc.
    Us crazy, curvy, breastfeeding mommies have to stick together!

  17. VenturaMom

    And another thing (yes, I’m kinda pushy)…My ob/gyn was far more informed on this subject than my regular internist. The ob/gyn was a woman, for what it’s worth.

  18. caitlin

    A lot of docs are quick to hand you anti-depressants. I know how you feel, I tried both Paxil and Prozac but stopped each because I didn’t like how they made feel (like an emotionless brick). I have been diagnosed with clinical depression but I do not like the drugs.
    The depression has given way (mostly, I still have bad days but can function now) to panic attacks/anxiety. I used to have the same things you do. I panic on a daily basis and have a hard time sleeping on occasion b/c I think I can’t breathe – you won’t believe this but talk therapy seemed to help the most – if you can talk to someone about WHY you’re spazzing out, you can find out what’s really bugging you and how to get it under control. Also, if you say to somebody, “OHMIGOD I THINK I AM DYING” it kinda gives your brain some perspective and you can snap out of it.
    I don’t know. Just something to consider if you aren’t fond of drugs. Just email me if you ever want to talk about how I control my anxiety. I’m a long way from being anxiety-free but I have managed to stop making E.R. trips on a weekly basis because “I’M DYING!”
    Good luck with whatever you choose.

  19. Sarcastic Journalist

    I vote for the pill, as a fellow pill popper, former boob feeder and friend.
    I thought it would be harder on me to stop than it was. You NEED to be there for G.
    Is there something else you could take that’s safe to use while doin’ the boobage?

  20. Theresa

    Avoid Paxil if at all possible. I have a friend…his life has been a nightmare because of it. There are many more like him too.

  21. Shamrock

    Y, you don’t have to take Paxil or give up nursing. I suffered panic attacks for years, and 3 short sessions with a counselor helped cure me of them. It was (for me) simply a matter of knowing how common they are and that they pass after a few minutes. If that doesn’t work, ask for atenolol. It’s mainly to treat high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, but also works wonders for anxiety. Far fewer side effects than Paxil. Lots of performers use it to combat stage fright without sedating effects. It blocks the body’s natural reactions to fright (racing heart, sweating, etc.). Hugs, and good wishes.

  22. jenny lee

    didn’t mean to offend anyone who still bf’s their 2 year old…just an fyi. i’m not a mom yet and so i think it’s a little odd to know that your toddler can ask to nurse…but maybe someday when i’m a mom, i’ll understand so don’t take offense to it 🙂

  23. Mieke

    Still nursing Gabo (he’s 21 months). Most mothers around me nurse well into the baby’s first year so don’t fret about that. I will SOB when Gabo is done. SOB. My last baby. Nursing is such a cozy time.

  24. Jennifer

    Dude. I didn’t wean Turdface until he was TWENTY FIVE months old… There ain’t nothing wrong with breastfeeding longer than the American standard. (What is that now? 3 months? Pft.) The World Health Organization recommends that you breastfeed for 2 years. The organization for the health of the whole world! THE WHOLE WORLD!

  25. Judith

    Only wean if you want to. It is oh so hard going cold turkey. I am up to night 2 and I am having a hard time of it listening to her cry. She is asleep now and I am hoping it will get easier. Fingers crossed.
    Have you thought about a natropath, they might be able to give you something that would help and then you would be able to still breastfeed at the same time.

  26. Chaeriste

    I had panic attacks a few months ago when everything came crashing in on me. I told my shrink to either prescribe something for me or put me in a looney bin because I needed the rest. She talked to my GP and they put me on alprazolam 3x/day for a few weeks. Just feeling calmer made all the difference. I’m now off of it and just have it for emergencies, like Advil for a headache. Try that… I don’t kow what it will do to your breastfeeding, but you owe it to yourself to get right. Love, C

  27. Kristina

    You know this is going to probably sound stupid to you, but after having panic attacks for four years, off and on, I decided to wear a rubber band around my wrist and each time I felt one coming on I would pop that rubber band and it would sort of snap me back into the present to where I didn’t totally freak out. I wore that thing for six months and I have never had another one. It has been five years since that.
    Oh and Gabby looks so cute, really loving those pictures. You are looking good too Y, real good.

  28. Stacey

    I second what Mrs Darling said. 5-HTP is the absolute best. And what the other person said about checking your thyroid is good advice too.
    But then again, I’m dead set against anti-depressants, and the four years I was on Paxil was hell. I wish I could take that time back.
    Oh and Jenny Lee dear, world wide, the average age a child is breastfed until is 4. Maybe you’re the strange one, hmm?

  29. poobou

    This may be assvice, but here’s my experience. I started having panic attacks a few years ago. Doc put me on paxil, and I gained 20 pounds over the course of 6 weeks. Promptly stopped the damn Paxil, and since I was desparate to stop the panic attacks (for the record, the Paxil never stopped them), I went to a hypnotherapist. Sounds flaky, I know, but it’s basically all about calming yourself by focusing on your breathing. I haven’t had a single panic attack since my first session.
    Of course, it can be kind of pricey and generally isn’t covered by insurance, so that may not be an option for you. But it could also help you with your self-esteem & body issues, as well. Just a thought. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

  30. Cyn

    I second what Gabriella said, it could be mitral valve prolapse. I was going to suggest it but then I read her comment. Wouldn’t hurt to bring that up to your physician. It also wouldn’t hurt to try the 5-HTP. I am all for natural cures and remedies.

  31. Aitch

    Without reading all the other comments I am going to stick this out there.
    Do you honestly think there is such huge dividing line between paxil and weaning? one or the other? First of all you can safely take low doses of paxil while bf’ing. Even Zoloft. I still bf my one year old and take zoloft. I honestly think from all of your posts that you sometimes feel the crazy and that paxil would probably be a damn good thing for you. Even if you did have to wean, your mental health is better for her than any amoung of boob juice.
    I look at it this way, you are not helping Gabby nor the rest of your family by not taking care of you first.
    So this may sound harsh and that’s not my intent but I relate to you on many levels and I had t suck it up and do right by me and those around me. I think you should too.

  32. Y

    Don’t leave like that!
    I wasn’t offended by your comment because, the truth is, I have always thought it was a little weird for people to breastfeed a toddler.
    We are all free to express our opinions, even if we don’t agree, or if what we think isn’t considered “PC”.
    Now, quit threatening to leave and make me some pork chops!

  33. Y

    Oh, and Aitch? My doctor TOLD me I had to quit breastfeeding in order to take the paxil. I didn’t come to that conclusion on my own.
    And? I’m not READY to give up breastfeeding yet. There ARE other ways that I can deal with this besides taking Paxil. And, anyone who’s read this site for a while now has to know that I am not against taking medication when necessary. I took prozac and welbutrin for a long time. I just don’t think it’s always the right answer and in my case? Right now? I don’t want to go on them again. There’s nothing wrong with that, either.
    I appreciate everyone’s thoughts on the matter, I do,
    At the same time? I don’t want to be made out to be some quack or idiot because I don’t want to take paxil right now.

  34. Mellissa

    I don’t think you’re a quack or an idiot. You’re weighing up your options and that is a personal decision that only you can make.
    I take Paxil and it is the right treatment for my panic disorder. I have had CBT as well, but it wasn’t until I combined it with medication that I actually started getting somewhere. I did go off it for a time, but my life became a living hell, and I was a house-bound basketcase.
    It has never caused me to put on weight, the slight side-effects are nothing compared to the symptoms of my panic, I am not emotionless, and I can now leave the house, even without my husband. Horaldo!
    I still use other techniques to help me through – eg. relaxation, breathing (that’s been a lifesaver!), desensitisation, distraction, etc. Just a few things you may want to look into.
    I’ve been dealing with this for 15 years now. If you ever want to ask me anything, feel free :o)

  35. lulu

    I apologize for the length of this. I am not a good editor, but I really feel for what Y is going through.
    Y, I had a panic attacks in college. They were terrifying. I had them at night and during the day. I remember having one while i was having dinner with good friends and i had to get up and leave. I remember having to leave classes in the middle. I remember a two week period where I got almost no sleep b/c of my fast heart beat and difficulty breathing. I am really sorry you are going through this.
    WHat helped me may not help you, but I will tell you anyway. Drugs didn’t help me, though I know people who have been helped by them.
    Cognitive therapy helped me alot. Talking to my therapist about how I was afraid I was dying or going crazy, he would sort of make me go thorugh the whole thing in my head, A, I was in good health, so I wasn’t dying. B I wasn’t going crazy, many people suffer from panic attacks. C. we tried to figure out what else I was worried about. D. when I went through the 2 weeks with no sleeping at all, I was given a strong sleeping pill for one night, it “broke the cycle” of not sleeping and I was able to sleep after that. My therapist also gave me some self-talk language to use with myself when i felt a panic attack coming on. At first it did not help, but after a while it started to sink in.
    I haven’t had any panic attacks since college. But sometimes I have horrible insomnia and a fast beating heart. This might keep me up a little, but the difference now is that I am not terrifies that I am dying–the panic is gone and that makes a HUGE difference.
    I have also found these cheesy, boring guided imagery/affirmation tapes by a therapist named bellaruth naprasak (or something like that) to be helpful. I prefer the affirmation part to the giuded imagery, but when i can’t sleep b/c I am worried about things, they really help by at the very least, giving me positive things to think about and boring me to sleep at the same time. If you are repeating some positive affirmation out loud or even just to yourself as you are trying to sleep, there’s not much room in your brain to worry that you are dying or worry about other things.
    ps-the tapes by this therapist are used in hospitals all over the country for presurgery anxiety in patients. That is how I heard of them. The tape really did help me when I was about to have surgery under general anethesia. I was so scared, but the tape eased my fears.
    Good luck, whatever you choose, I am sure you will make the right decision.

  36. lm

    I have issues at night as well and find Tylenol PM helps a lot along with meeting with a therapist to get at the underlying issues.

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