The day after I gave birth to Hannah (on Christmas Eve) via emergency c-section my Doctor came to check on me and give me the basic rules of recovery. She wrote out multiple prescriptions (and actually dropped them off for us at the Pharmacy) including pain medicine, prenatal vitamins, iron, colace, Zoloft, and Ativan. Wait… Zoloft and Ativan?! By the expression on my face she knew I didn’t want to take those. However, I have an anxiety disorder. I haven’t taken anxiety medicine for years. I don’t like to. I have learned various technics to help control it. I rarely had panic attacks. So why did I need these two medications? I can control this! My Doctor told me that I don’t have to take them but she highly recommended it because of the situation and my anxiety disorder. She explained that I could just take an Ativan as needed (up to three times a day) and it will work right away. She then explained that Zoloft should be taken once a day but will take two weeks to get into my system.
I was initially against taking medication. I can grieve like a “normal” person. I’m not crazy. I can still control it. But I couldn’t control it and I couldn’t grieve like a “normal” person. My emotions were escalated. Nights were extremely hard. I was left alone with my thoughts and there were so many running through my mind all at once. I was exhausted physically and emotionally. It wasn’t until the day after Christmas that I decided to start Zoloft and take Ativan during extreme times of an anxiety attack. Zoloft didn’t take effect until the day of Hannah’s funeral. I felt like I was finally starting to grieve “normally.”
I can barely imagine how I would be without Zoloft and Ativan. It definitely does no come close to making me numb towards my feelings. They just allow me to grieve in a healthy way. I’m not crazy for taking either medication and neither are you. It’s ok. Do not be ashamed of taking any type if medication after the loss of your baby. I’m not longer ashamed. There are many things in life we can’t control and some of us need a little help to grieve “normally.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make us failures. It does define us. We need to grieve. We need to take our time and not rush our grief. If you need medication just every so often, every single day, weeks, months, years, or the rest of your life, it’s ok.