By: Lex Jacobson
I wish that I could have a completely natural pregnancy – to be one of those moms who won’t even take a Tylenol for a headache they’ve had for a week. There is a part of me that wants to quit medication and sacrifice my own mental health just to bring a baby into the world, but that’s not really fair either. Having depression when you are pregnant has been tied to increased problems during delivery, low birth weight, premature birth, problems with mother-child bonding, increased crying (for the infant, though I’m sure for the mother as well), delays in language development, and a whack of behavior problems.
It’s a long list. And so is the list of risks when treating depression with medication during pregnancy.
I am trying to be as informed as possible going into this pregnancy. Though some may think I’m selfish for carrying a fetus under not completely optimal circumstances, I take comfort in the fact that when I do bring a baby into this world, I will give that baby an incredible home. I know I will be an amazing mother. I know I will do everything in my power to create a home where my baby will thrive.
There is a lot of shame, though. Shame that I can’t do this naturally. Shame that there will be risks associated with this pregnancy. Shame that, as a depressed individual, I’m even thinking about creating another being with my genes, giving him/her a potential risk for mental illness in my future child’s life.
But if I do this, I have to let that shame go and focus on the positive. This baby will be healthy and happy, as will I. This baby is very much wanted and will be celebrated. We will give this baby the best home in the world.
What I can do, I will do. I promise.