I was fresh out of college with my Bachelor’s degree in graphic design. I had it going on, 100% portfolio, awarded the gold award for graphic design, I was ready to get that job. I had a few interviews, but nothing I really wanted, mostly just copy and paste work which I wasn’t about doing. Then I had a promising interview for a career in graphics. At the interview, the guy interviewing me asked me many questions. Eventually, he asked what I really wanted to do with my life and my future. I answered honestly and told him that my ultimate goal is to be a stay at home mom for my future children. He looked disgusted and told me that they were looking for someone who wanted a career, not to stop working for kids.** I was very upset after the interview and told some friends and they replied that it should be obvious not to tell an interviewer that your ultimate goal is not to work. They don’t want to hear that.
Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. I admire all of the women in my family who have raised, and are currently raising, amazing children. Back when I actually had friends, during school I was always the “mom” of the group. I was always making sure everyone was safe and happy and healthy. Today, I call myself cat mom and dog mom. And after talking to Ben over the past couple of months, I think I am ready to actually be a mom.
I don’t take this decision lightly. Not at all. Ben is healthy. He gets a cold sometimes, but his immune system is great and he is mentally very stable. I’m the catalyst. I have a terrible immune system, IBS, gastroparesis, iritis, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and the one I am most afraid of, bipolar. When I first found out that I have bipolar I was adamant that I would never have a child because I would surely pass on this soul-crushing disease. I was crushed. My dreams and hopes of being a mom were gone. Then, Ben had other ideas. He continually tells me I’ll be a great mom despite my illnesses, which is impossible for me to believe or comprehend. He wants a family just as much as I do. So we’ve made the decision that we want to start our family together.
My psychiatrist and therapist both say I am not mentally stable enough for this life change. But in reality, nobody is ever ready to have their first baby. I am never going to be 100% stable for a long period of time, that’s just a fact. Bipolar doesn’t just go into remission with meds and therapy. I told them both that this is Ben and I’s decision and while I appreciate their medical opinions they can either help me through it or I’ll find a doctor who can.
What does that mean for us? First, it means getting into a healthier house. Our apartment constantly smells like smoke and I refuse to bring a baby into that environment. So that is our first step.
What does this decision mean for me? Quite a lot. I’ve stopped my depo shot and my hormones are coming back with a vengeance. The scarier thing is that I have decided I want to get medicine-free way before we even start trying to have a baby. This means Ativan free and Seroquel free. This is terrifying for me. I do not do well with changes in medicine. We lowered the dose and my brain already feels the change.
It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be scary. I’m going to need all the prayer I can get. But I will not let my illness stop me from being the best mom I can be. This baby is going to be me AND BEN. Not just a tiny Faith clone with all the same problems I have. I need to remember this.
Believe it or not, they don’t know much about pregnancy and bipolar disorder other than what meds are bad for a baby. So I hope to be an authentic account of this journey for other bipolar women who want to be moms one day.
So, welcome to the crap show, everyone! I’m going off my meds, flooding my body with hormones I haven’t had in months, it’s going to be a wild ride.
**Sidenote** Despite my crappy answer, they did offer me the job. I immediately said no thank you. I didn’t want to work for someone like that.