Bi-Polar Medication Dilemma...

As y'all are probably aware, I am bi-polar.

I still dislike saying that. I wonder if I'll ever truly become comfortable with it. Who knows.

Anyway, y'all are also probably aware that symptoms didn't show up until after Greta was born. I probably had symptoms prior to that, but it's hard to discern what is just my personality (let's get after this! With gusto!) and what is a hypo-manic bi-polar swing. I really don't remember any depression swings prior to Greta (which is why I had no idea why I was having the thoughts I was having after she was born). But again, who knows - maybe I had mini-swings and just didn't recognize them.

This weekend at Nate's City of Lakes Loppet skate race.
My major symptoms have occurred during hormone surges: becoming pregnant, stopping breastfeeding, etc. Since being off of mediation for the last ~12 months I've noticed some very small bi-polar swings. There haven't been many of them. There are just days where I am uninterested in the things I'm normally passionate about, followed by a day or so where I feel back to normal, able to pour myself into everything as usual - but able to do so on just 4 hours of sleep. I'm guessing all of those instances were brought on by changing hormone levels. It's impossible to tell.

Yep, just a whole bunch of Anna pictures. Just because.
The plan was for me to breastfeed for ~2-3 months after Anna arrived, depending on how it went. So far, it has gone well. I have been able to keep my supply up, despite steadily increasing my mileage (this week I'm shooting for 70 MPW!). I'm really proud of that! Anna is now almost 4 months, so I've surpassed our original goal/plan.

At some point, I need to go back on my medications. That means I'll need to stop nursing, as lithium is excreted in breast milk.

I have rescheduled my psychiatrist appointment twice now, both for legitimate reasons. The first there was an ice and snow storm that came in the night before and Google estimated an 1:50 drive to the appointment. The next time I rescheduled because I had been up at 2am the night before throwing up. I figured Dr. Bond didn't want to see me with the stomach flu.

So - now my appointment is next week. Yay (sarcasm).

Problem is, I don't want to give up nursing. I just can't picture myself stopping - not next week, and not the week after. Maybe in a month? Do I go in to my appointment next week and tell Dr. Bond that? That I just need another month? I think he would be okay with that, but then the question becomes: what is going to change in a month that will make me more okay with stopping breastfeeding? I don't know that anything is going to change. My supply will likely still be good, I'll still really enjoy nursing/cuddling with her/staring at her while she nurses...


It's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. I don't know what the right answer is, and there likely isn't one. So, instead, I'll cherish today's opportunity! There's no use in dreading the inevitable, right?



Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

8 comments:

  1. It's a hard choice, stopping breast feeding = hormones, but I would get on some meds. Even it means slowly decreasing your milk. Pump and dump, so it won't be so dramatic? I'm really glad you are recognizing the swings now. Its really important to get on a therapeutic level because it can change quickly. Love Anna pictures

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  2. I guess you have to weigh out what makes you the best YOU you can be and trust that "best mom you can be" will follow right along. I'm a big fan of breast feeding, but your little cutie will still want to cuddle and gaze up at you with adoration, even if you're holding a bottle. I bet your doctor can help you weigh it all out. Praying for you!

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  3. That's such a tough call, but I'd say go in to the appointment and tell your doctor what your dilemma is. Unfortunately, with him being a male, he might not be able to sympathize with you as much/well. Honestly, I can't believe how much I enjoyed breastfeeding, and oddly I am already excited to do it again with #2 (whenever that may be, as I am not currently pregnant!). It was a little easier to be done breastfeeding with Cullen because I was ready, so it would be harder if I hadn't been ready. Best of luck with your decision, and I'll be praying for you. :)

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    1. When did you stop with Cullen? What made you "ready"? Just curious!

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    2. Boo! I never know when you respond to my comment. (Sometimes on other blogs, I will get an e-mail.) I stopped when he was 14 months old. It got to the point when he was only nursing at night, and that was the only way I could get him to go back to sleep. He was loving solid foods, so I knew he was getting enough to eat, so I called it quits because I was tired of getting up just to nurse him back to sleep.

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  4. Nichole, being neither a mom bi polar I don't know how much my thoughts hold much weight.. but tell your doctor just exactly what you said here, if things are going well and you are managing I would think that is where you need to be. If another month, half a month or 6 months you are staying stable and your doctor supports it keep breastfeeding. Being aware of what is going on with your emotions and feelings is huge, and you know yoitself better than anyone.

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    1. I did just that - and he was great! I think he was a little like, "Umm... okay..." as he can't really relate to loving nursing and not wanting to give that up quite yet, but luckily, he was understanding.

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