Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I think I'm really bordering on depression. No matter what I seem to do, I feel lulled into sadness. And I'm seeing a lot of the signs: takes a lot of effort to make plans, haven't been going to church, don't enjoy socializing as much.

I'm wondering if I need anti-depressants. But how to reconcile that with actively trying to get pregnant? I talked to my fertility doctor about it and he actually said that it's better to treat depression even while pregnant than not. It still seems scary to me.

And... am I really at that point? Though I've kept asking myself that for months and months now.

Telling signs this past week: went to a baseball game with my husband and as soon as we got there I couldn't wait to leave because it felt like such an energy drain for me and we're going to Spain on Friday (Spain!!) and I'm not excited.

Or am I not giving myself enough of a break with my signs above: it was hot at the baseball game and I needed rest, so no wonder I didn't want to be there, and with Spain, we're mostly going to be with my husband's friends so is that a normal-ish reason to not be excited?

I just know that I'm not me. And haven't been for a long time. All due to infertility.

But then yesterday, I saw two old friends - one for lunch and one for dinner and really enjoyed seeing them (even though I talked about my recent emotional struggles with infertility... or maybe it was because I was able to talk about it).

But, bottom line is, will a pregnancy make me not depressed anymore? I think so... but who knows. If it's taken me this long to get this down, would being pregnant really make me feel better? Or have I been so anxious that I would just continue to be anxious during pregnancy?

And... the magic question is: even if wedid IVF this summer, there's no telling that it will work or how long it would take.

So, do I go for the drugs??


  1. We have been TTC for over three years, and I have to say that there is something about going through IF that *seriously changes* you. Or it has me, anyway. I think the more wrapped up in the hassle of it, the daily blood work, the no caffeine, the 2wws, the harder it is to be the happy-go-lucky person that you once were. Especially if there aren't a lot of people to talk to about it. My hubs and I only release small amounts of information to our families, so I have him and blog world to talk to. It's hard for that not to turn in on myself, but the more I am able to surround myself with doctors that I like and am comfortable with, and the more I am able to step back and give myself a break, the more *me* I feel. Don't try to pressure yourself into feeling great all the time, it is just not possible or right when you are going through IF. Hang in there.

  2. TTC is a roller coaster! I remember feeling high and feeling low all the time. I was on anti-depressants in the beginning, then switched to st.johns. W.orth for a while. I was on that up until we started IVF and I think during too (can't remember).

    Everybody is different. I hope you will be able to enjoy your vacation. Maybe the change in sceneary will help. Good luck!

  3. I have suffered with depression for a good part of my life, and my infertility has just made it worse.

    My medical team (MDs, RE's and others) all felt that it was better to treat the depression then go unchecked. I had actually see studies linking failed IVF cycles with depression. If the woman is in a good head space the cycles go much better.

    Most antidepressants are perfectly safe to take during IF treatments and pregnancy.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

  4. Honestly, I wouldn't have made it through without meds. And many are safe for pregnancy (zoloft and wellbutrin). It's worth a shot...but it takes a month or so to kick in, so keep that in mind.

  5. You don't have to decide alone; see a counsellor or psychiatrist. And no, if it's taken this long and you've gone through this much, chances are you won't magically be happy once you get pregnant. Maybe you will - but it's also not uncommon to be totally freaked out, paranoid, have trouble accepting it could be a permanent thing, etc. You might be able to enjoy your pregnancy more if you get help before you are pregnant! And things will be easier on you getting to that stage too. ((HUGS))

  6. Drugs can help lift mood but counselling is there to sort out the underlying issues. Why not do both?

  7. I'm sorry you are feeling this way. You have been through so much I think it would be miraculous if it wasn't having an effect on you.

    My counsellor never labeled me as 'suffering from depression' - but said I was 'experiencing symptoms of a depressive illness'. I know it may sound like there's no difference but it helped me see the problem as an illness that could be tackled, not a label or failing in me. Cognitive behavioural therapy really helped me and also let me see I'm not a problem to be 'fixed'.

    I have been reading your blog for some time. You shine out through your words as a hopeful, positive and wonderful person who is going through really tough times. Be gentle on yourself and do what you feel will bring you most peace.

  8. I think your previous commenters offered some great advice. I admire the strength and courage you have exhibited during your difficult times. And I think it shows courage to seek help when it is needed. I hope you enjoy your vacation in Spain.

  9. Zoloft is definitely safe in pregnancy and definitely I have seen that depression can affect fertility. But, truthfully, it's not up to you to take meds, it's up to a trained doctor to decide whether or not your situation warrants meds. I would suggest as a first step, finding a counselor in your area who deals with infertility or if that is not possible- trauma/ loss. (Look at for suggestions.)

    Remember to be gentle with yourself. Infertility takes a toll on us emotionally. They have done several research studies to discover that the effects of infertility on us emotionally are similar to those experienced by people who have lifethreatening illnesses.

    Take care of yourself, and it's okay to not feel great about this. It's okay to admit the emotions are too much to handle; don't pressure yourself! I will say, taking IVF hormones may make it worse so it's good to prepare yourself.

  10. I'm a lurker de-lurking here to offer up some support. I am diagnosed with having chronic depression and anxiety, and I can tell you it was much worse while going through IF treatment. I had a really great psychiatrist who stayed up to date on the current research around drugs safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, and there are alot that have only like a .2% chance of impacting a pregnancy, which is considered insignificant. Once I got my BFP, my depression and anxiety did not go away and only worsened, and I felt terrible for that, feeling like I should be on top of the world. Depression during pregnancy is a silent ghost and can greatly have an impact on the baby and attachment, almost all drs. should be knowledgeable about this and share with you this information to help you make an informed decision. I have done alot of research on this during my Masters of Social Work program as I hope to become a therapist working with IF in the future. I also think being as "well" as you can be going into treatment will help make a smoother cycle. There is alot of emerging mind-body research out now with IF and they are showing direct correlations with your mood and treatment success. I started doing acupuncture on my 8th cycle, and that 8th cycle is when I got my BFP. I LOVE acupuncture, if you haven't done it, I would consider adding it into your treatment protocol as it really does help with your mood and overall feeling of being able to handle stress. Best wishes, please continue to update us on how you're doing.

  11. I think you need to take care of you first. There are lots of safe treatments you can take during ttc and pregnancy.

    Speaking for myself, my tendency to feel depressed has been WORSE since I got pregnant, so I can't tell you getting pregnant will make it better!

    I definitely second the above commenter's recommendation of acupuncture. It has worked WONDERS with my mental wellbeing.


  12. Hi. I just stumbled across your blog and when I read this it's as if I had written it. I am in the same depression boat as you. I too have been toying with the idea of going on antidepressants and after reading this and the comments people have left, I realize I need to be more proactive about getting my mental state back to a healthy place. Thanks for being open and honest about your depression struggles.

    I am currently seeing an acupuncturist, but unfortunately, unlike the above commenters, it has not helped with my depression or stress.

  13. I think your doc has a good point. Best to take care of it than not. Meds and therapy are the only things that helped me.