Posted by: angelnorman | December 29, 2008

Stable Mable.

So I went to the doctor and when she asked me how I’ve been, I burst into tears.

I’d never done that before, and honestly? I was a little surprised (and super embarrassed) that I behaved in such a way. One, I was feeling just fine that morning. It was the day after Christmas, I was feeling loved and appreciated, life was great.  Two, I was only there for a routine annual exam. But when she asked me those four little words of “How are you, Angel?” something within me must have snapped, because when the tears started pouring and I began explaining that I was overwhelmed with anxiety, guilt, depression, and then all of the frustration that comes along with TTC for the past 5 months (and more, really), I couldn’t make the crying stop. I felt a little foolish, actually, but she reassured me that it happened quite often and I wasn’t alone.

I just couldn’t imagine going another year feeling the way I feel, the way I’ve felt for the past year. Two years. Three years.

I walked out with a “script” (I’m reaching back to my receptionist days with that lingo) for both an antidepressant and a fertility drug. It was really quite surreal… those are two things you wouldn’t normally think of combining, right? I know, trust me. Having those prescriptions in my hand sent me into such a tailspin of emotion that it was hard to feel good about having a plan of “attack” in place. It was such a stressful day for me, trying to decide if medication was the path I wanted to take for either of my ailments, and feeling painfully regretful about how much time I’ve wasted in helping myself feel better simply because I was too proud to try an antidepressant. And that’s exactly why I haven’t done it yet. I’ve tried to combat all the other things- the physical issues, the stressors, etc- and all this time, I’ve needed medication.

You see, I have always been under the impression that my anxiety/depression was directly related to my hormonal issues and the problems I’ve had with PCOS and hypothyroidism, both of which have been known to cause depression and similar symtpoms to what I’ve been experiencing. Similarly, both of my doctors, the OB and the PCP, have felt the same way for the past three years while my condition has been worsening. Thankfully, I’ve had their complete cooperation in allowing me to exhaust my options with treating everything without an antidepressant.

However, my OB now thinks that I am, after having spent this last year having semi-regular periods (sorry for the TMI) and STILL finding no relief emotionally and mentally, now at a point where I need medication to balance my moods out. Le sigh. This was a real blow to my self esteem since I’d been trying to defeat this on my own and had failed, epically. But I am only human, so I shouldn’t expect to be able to handle everything, right? She says that she’s almost positive all the depression started with my hormonal imbalance thanks to the physical issues like PCOS, just as we had believed, but she was now convinced that it’s gotten a bit out of control and based on what she’s hearing from me (lots of crying), she thinks it time we try something else.

So it’s made me feel a little regretful that I was too proud to go this route at an earlier junction, when it could have helped me much earlier. I wish I would have tried to get in there and fix the issue without skirting around it, trying not to admit that I needed something like that. I know there’s no shame in taking an antidepressant; it’s not like I’m worried about what people think or what it looks like. I think I was just really let down that I couldn’t beat this without the help of a pill, probably because I have worked so hard to balance myself, you know? And also, I think antidepressants are given out too quickly. I guess it boils down to the fact that I wanted control of my own emotions, since you know, I’m not really in control of my body at all. Also? I was really apprehensive about having side effects and things.

I am also a little worried about taking an antidepressant and then getting pregnant. I haven’t really mentioned this much to anyone, but I’ve been trying to conceive since August steadily. We also tried briefly at the beginning of the year, and a few months out of last year. Okay, we also tried to conceive the year before. You may remember that blog post where I went on and on about how I think having one kid is cool, how I’d be content with only this one child. Part of that is very true. Nicholas is awesome, and he’s more than enough to make me happy. However, I think a part of that blog was reassurance to myself that it’s cool if it never happens again for us. Deep down I want a house full of kids. I want Nick to have siblings and to know the joy of having a confidante in a brother or sister. I want him to experience that, just like I did with my three brothers and one sister growing up.

I’ve not been very open and honest with anyone about our TTC because I get so let down, you have no idea unless you’ve been there. The last thing I need when I end up not pregnant is having a lot of people to talk to about it. Mike let it slip to his mom about how we were trying back in September, and I was so angry. I don’t like having people to answer to. And I hate the feeling I feel when people ask me if I will ever have another one. Honestly, it makes me want to scream, and then launch into a tirade about how rude it is to ask someone such a question, which is essentially a question about their sex life. Plus, it’s no one’s business but mine and Mike’s… and it’s less complicated to keep it between us than to share it with everyone.

Also, I feel so bad when I take those pregnancy tests and it comes up negative; I feel like a failure, really. It was especially bad this last time when we were in Gatlinburg and Michael was SO excited about the possibility of me being pregnant. It was the first time since we have been trying that I’ve been late, so we were so optimistic about it. We knew it had to be true. Obviously, you know where this is going. I hated having to break the news, to tell him that once again, I let him down. Especially then. There. He was so happy, almost giddy, anytime we talked about it. It made me feel like such a loser to have to tell him that it wasn’t happening this time. I know he doesn’t view me any differently and he certainly doesn’t blame me at all, but when it’s your body that has all the issues, you can’t help but feel it’s a little bit your fault, especially because it happens time and time again.

I’m beginning to get off subject. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on, you know, so you could pray for me and Michael. I wanted to give you a bit of the backstory so you could know what is going on with me, and why I’ve been so quiet these days. Ha. I’ve had a lot on my mind.

Needless to say, I am taking the clomid and the cymbalta. I’m going to do things right this time, or at least the way my doctor wants me to (that’s not always what is right, I know). I’ve already admitted that I need help with my anxiety and depression, so really, things can only get better from here, right? That’s what my sweet husband says, anyways. He’s so incredibly supportive through all this, you guys have no idea how lucky I am to have someone so wonderful. I just hope I’m strong enough to get through these things, that even if the clomid takes months or if it never works at all, I find the motivation to keep trying, to get healthier, to feel better, to be a better mother and wife, and to be my old jovial self again. That’s all I’m hoping for… normalcy. Balance. Stability.

Ater three- maybe four- years of being wrought with worry, feeling guilty for everything I do and don’t do, and being so depressed some days that I can barely even take care of my child, I think I deserve the chance to be stable again.



  1. whew girl…you lmow i got something to say if i break out the plug in keyboard…haha…i also felt the same way about my depression for a long time, prozac is not candy right, and i still feel like some docs just hand them out willy nilly,,,,but i also know that most depressions are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and can only be corrected my meds….i think about it like insulin to a diabetic….i tried to handle mine on my own, nut postpardum got thrown into so much hormonal imbalance that i just couldnt handle… far as the fertility drugs go, i would have done the same thing, you have tried and tried for so hard on your own, this is gods little way of giving you a hand…ypu are an awesome mom and an awesome wife and i know you probably feel like a failure, your not, thats the hormones talking…i love you girl and am keeping you, and your uterus in my prayers….

  2. The first time I’ve commented on your blog…I actually do read it, you know. =)

    I’ve been on Prozac for 4 or 5 years. I have social anxiety disorder, which comes along with depression, lack of energy, etc. I went through the stage at first of “I don’t need meds, I can cope on my own, I’m not crazy.” But by that point, I was either at school or closed up in my room, alone, not wanting anything to do with the outside world. I started the Prozac, WHAM! The old me was back.

    Now I know meds don’t work the same for everyone, but they worked for me. Over time I’ve learned that they are nothing to be ashamed of. I can now talk openly about my problems, how they run in my family, how I’m not the only one. I know that others have similar problems, and I just wanted you to know that if ya ever need to talk about depression, I’m here, and I’ve been there!

    I really hope the meds work for you. Good luck!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU SO MUCH. That’s all I can say right now. And ditto to those girls up there! 🙂

  4. Wow, girls. Thank you all for your comments, for sharing your stories, for building me up, and for wishing me well. It means a lot to hear that I’m not alone, that there are people who understand most of what I’m going through, but it means even more to know that there are people who support me and pray for me.

    Shea: I LOL’ed at your “You know I got something to say if I break out the plug in keyboard”, and then again at the praying for my uterus. Thanks! ❤ Also, thanks for sharing about your battle with depression… I think it's funny how much you and I think alike. It seems like everytime I talk to you or read something you wrote or whatever, I'm sitting there nodding in agreement with everything. I love you bunches!

    Stephanie: Thanks for de-lurking and commenting to share about your struggles, too. I'm so thankful that you commented because you pretty much described me in your comment… I don't hole up in my room per se, but there are many times when I refuse to leave the house simply because I don't feel like dealing with the outside world. I'm not sure I have Social Anxiety Disorder, but I do believe that it's my anxiety that is more out of hand vs. my depression. I am depressed, yes, and have been for years. But it's the worry and the guilt and the general anxiety that keeps me up at night or that wakes me in the middle of the night. It's the anxiety that has me tensing up, with achey shoulder muscles every night, and that has me feeling run down at the end of each day, I just know it. So thank you for shedding some light on this from the anxiety perspective— I am so glad the meds have worked for you and that you are feeling better since being on it.

    Jen: Thank you so much for your love. I love love love you too, and I appreciate the comment as well as the sweet email you sent last night. ❤

  5. hey! just thought I would throw my two cents in. As far as breaking down and crying in the Dr.’s office, been there done that, so your Dr. was right, you are not the only one! It was embarrasing and all, but luckily sounds like we have wonderful understanding Dr.’s. Also, I take an antidepressent. I have for a couple of years for anxiety & depression. I tried for years to do it on my own, but couldn’t and felt ashamed that I couldn’t do it on my own and had to rely on something to get me through, but since I have started taking them, it has helped! I still have emotions and bad days, but it’s nothing like the crying outburts that I had and things like that. It’s not a miracle drug, but it helps a lot. I tried to go off of them once, because I didn’t like being dependent on them, and all the old stuff came back, now, i’m ok with the fact that I need them, because they make me better and that’s all there is to it. I hope it works for you, I really do.
    As far as the baby thing, I hope that works out too. I know how it feels to want one and not be able to. Scott and I tried for over a year and nothing happened, every time I’d take a test it would come back negative and it is so heartbreaking I know, and I was even thinking about adoption, but still feeling like a failure for not being able to have my own baby, but then we started getting a little healthier and quit smoking and 5 months later, I got pregnant with Abby. I don’t know what it was or if it was just my time, but I just quit worrying about it and it happened, my Granny always said when you don’t think about it is when it will happen. Now, I really want another but worry about taking antidepresents and what will happen if I go off of them and then there’s the whole thing about my husband not wanting/saying we can’t afford another one. Anyway just wanted to share my story and let you know I’m thinking of you and praying for you. Take Care.

  6. Thank you Charlene for being so kind and understanding as well as for sharing your story! It’s really awesome that your medicine helps you; one thing I’ve realized with all these comments is that while everyone has a different situation, you all understand pretty much exactly where I’m coming from. I feel that not being understood is probably one of the worst things ever. So I appreciate these stories like yours and Shea’s and Stephanie’s. And I’m glad to know that the medicine route works well for some people. Many hugs from me to you!

    Also… I can’t thank you enough for commenting about your struggles with fertility. This is the one area in which I have very few friends to rely on for advice because apparently I’m friends with a bunch of Fertile Myrtles. HA. I feel completely alone in my struggles, even though I know so many people have such a hard time… and some of them have no luck at all. Another thing… I feel selfish for wanting so much when I’ve already been given such a beautiful gift– Nicholas. But I can’t help myself. I want a baby! I want to grow my family and to spread some more of my love to another person! 🙂 It is so disheartening to take a pregnancy test and have your hopes up and you really can’t help but have your hopes up when you’re trying so hard to create a life. I hate that you struggle too, but I’m glad to know that you and I can talk to each other about this issue!

    And I agree with your Granny, to an extent, but I find it’s easier said than done to stop thinking about it when you want it so badly, hehehe. 🙂 My mom always says the same thing!

  7. Oh, Angel, please don’t feel bad about yourself for needing a prescription! I am very open about the fact that I take Cymbalta! Depression runs in my dad’s side of the fam, plus I have chronic pain without it from a wreck in ’02. We all lurv you and pray for ya!

  8. P.S. Tthere is just somethng about the doctor asking that can mae you have a meltdown! I busted a cry in June ’07 in front of my nurse practioner and was mortified that I looked like a nut, but she was cool with it!

  9. PS Again! Crap! I keep remembering things to say! Anyway, the point of this comment is to say that ‘to each his own’! Regarding the fertility stuff, if you want one, you want one, and you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes! Don’t ever let ANYONE make you feel bad for taking meds. It is a personal decision.

  10. I’m late on this I know….you know how the internet is at my parents. uh, non-exsistent. I just want to throw in my words of love & support. I don’t think for one moment that you ever failed at anything. and certainly not epically. You have to figure out whats right for you, and you have to take the right road to get there, and thats what you’ve done. I just want you to know I love you and support ever decision you make, even what shoes you wore today. I think you’ve made a choice to change yourself for the better, and no one can knock that.

    And i know this is kind of cheesy, but do you read dooce’s blog? I know shes like the hugest blogger ever but she is pregnant and recently wrote a interesting post on being pregnant and being on medication for depression….

  11. Dusty: Thank you so much for your reassurance! Your prayers are surely appreciated! 🙂

    Ems: You’re the sweetest thing. I just love you, and I support you too in everything you do! But I wore my crappy black old lady shoes today– are you sure you still support that? 😀 I will have to check out Dooce’s blog… I’ve read it before, yes, and I watch her “commentary” on Momversation every now and again, but I haven’t read her blog lately. Thanks for the link.

  12. […] It was three years ago this month that we started trying to have our second child. Two years ago that I started taking fertility drugs. One year ago that I was referred to a fertility […]

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