this guy…

is anyone surprised that this is my cat? anxiety cat is anxious. 

I have blogged about changing my anxiety meds because of my pregnancy numerous times, with the end goal to be off of them completely by the third trimester. Well, I hit the third trimester last week and am off everything. If you have been around any length of time, you’ll remember that I started with ambien and 40 mg of celexa. I also used xanax from time to time, but really hadn’t seen a need for it since I graduated from law school.

So how did this all go down? Well, my OB wanted me off the ambien the minute we found out I was pregnant. Some OBs are okay with ambien during pregnancy, given that it is listed as a Category B drug, but mine said nope. Since I trust him with my life, and the girls’ lives, I said, okay. That wasn’t actually as hard as I anticipated. Ambien is for insomnia and during my first trimester I had no trouble with insomnia. I slept like I had never slept in my life. Easy peasy.

The celexa was a lot more complicated. I was prescribed it for moderate anxiety and had been taking it, religiously, for about four years. With this kind of drug, it is not recommended to just stop taking it. There will be withdrawals. It will not be fun.  So, while the ambien decision involved mainly just my OB, the celexa involved my OB, my psychiatrist, and my perinatologist. Apparently babies born to mothers who took celexa and the like in the third trimester sometimes show withdrawal symptoms. This is just what my perinatologist and psychiatrist have told me, do your own research, clearly.

In conjunction with my team, I have successfully completely tapered off the celexa.  And I am.. okay. I can definitely tell the difference and definitely could feel the difference as I was stepping down to lower and lower dosages. I know that my anxiety is getting the best of me when I get irrationally anxious about something.  All people experience anxiety on a regular basis (duh). But for me, when I knew it was time for meds was when I would feel the anxiety take hold, for an irrational reason, and be completely unable to get rid of it. The celexa prevented that from happening almost entirely. I still had crazy sauce anxiety break through from time to time (hello, law school, Bar, etc.) but I was definitely in control.

Being off the celexa while being pregnant makes it a bit more difficult to discern what exactly is going on. Am I stressing about getting my hospital bag packed because I am pregnant or because I am off celexa? Hard to say. But, I will say that what little I am freaking out about that feels irrational or out of my control. I don’t want to show up in L&D again without a bag of stuff. So, I fixed that. That seems valid.

I am happy where I am. I am happy that I managed to do this for E & O. It was an option to just continue with the celexa on a lower dosage, but I am pleased that I was able to come off the meds completely.  For some, that isn’t a viable option. However, what I am mentally preparing for is postpartum. Knowing that anxiety is an issue for me has made me hyper aware of what issues can arise for women postpartum.  Luckily, my new perinatologist specializes in postpartum depression/anxiety and it is definitely on my list to discuss with her before the girls arrive. I don’t know if I will go back on celexa or anything for that matter. But I don’t know how my body/mind is going to react to giving birth and having twins. What I do know is that when the time comes, I have an excellent team in place.

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