Bipolar Parenting: The Beginning

I want to start off by announcing some exciting news. We’re going to have a baby! That’s right, my wife is six weeks pregnant & we couldn’t be happier. Since this is our first baby, we are obsessed with researching everything. We are borderline crazy. And we love it. We also have started the discussion process on one very important aspect of our lives, and that is my Bipolar Disorder.

I am well aware that this last year has been one of my most challenging, disorder-wise. My wife and I were strained in our marriage last summer due to my extreme episodic tendencies. I’ve had less than 9 months on my current med cocktail, and I’ve experienced more than one bout of psychosis in the last 6 months. It’s impossible to not think of these factors as I approach parent-hood.

Because my life is about to change exponentially, I am more determined than ever to get my Bipolar under control. I’m aware that may sound ambitious and a little worldly, but I do know that Bipolar parenting is no easy feat. In order to help get myself into mood-controlling habits, I’ve been researching the topic of parenting with Bipolar Disorder.

My wife and I already made the decision for her to carry due to my disorder. I’m not saying that Bipolar women can’t become pregnant, but there are definitely some things to consider. First, many of the medications that are used to treat Bipolar have been known to be harmful to the developing fetus. Therefore, it is common, and recommended, to come off of meds once pregnant. Second, mood swings can get extreme and stress levels can be high. Neither are healthy for mom or baby. Then there is also the issue of being able to work off of meds, the decision of when to reintroduce meds, and to breastfeed after the baby is born or not breastfeed in order to start taking medication again.

While deep in my heart I’d love to be able to become pregnant, it has pretty much been decided that will not happen for awhile, if at all. (I’m sure I’ll explore this topic more as we go along.) For now, I’m working on being the best support I can be for my nauseous, hormonal, beautiful wife. This is a time of transition and growth, and there is no room for me to bust out an episode that could make things messy. I don’t really know how I’m going to maintain stability, but I know I have more of a reason than ever to try my hardest. And of course I’ll post updates on my journey.

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