How can you be pregnant and 37 and not know it at 9 months? I’ll tell you how! First Diagnosis

Ok, this is not the easiest thing to admit as I consider myselfa bright person but here goes.

At 37 once again I was single, unemployed and depressed.  I lost a man I thought I was going to marry, apparently that was because of the mania episodes that neither of us understood what was happening.  Iwas alone in a big apartment I couldn’t now afford.  It was winter – my prime-time depression was n full swing and I was isolating only to walk my dog 3 times a day.  It was Winter of 1996 and in Boston we got atotal of 108 inches of snow from November through February.  This made it difficult for me to see anyfriends who were outside of Boston Proper. 

Essentially the story goes like this. Apparently, I got pregnant in October of 1995, had lost my boyfriend and was deeply depressed. Life went on and I had few symptoms of being pregnant including getting my period in December 95 and then May 1996. In April I moved home to New Jersey so my Parents could pick up the slack of the essentials I needed but couldn’t afford. They paid for my first Psychiatrist who helped and put me on an anti-depressant which was an attempt to lift my spirits and enable me to do the real therapy needed. Being 5’ 9” I would always change clothes sizes from 10 to 12 in the winter, this year I was a size 8 in September moving to a size 14 in April. I was caring a girl who was very calm & quiet and above my waistline so there was no indication I was carrying a child.

I finally went to a doctor to see what was going wrong withthe weight gain I was having the 2nd week of June.  He did multiple tests.  Thyroid, pregnancy and others.  That evening I got the call I waspregnant.  Truthfully, I was so happy I learned that I wasn’t getting fat in my middle age I was pregnant.  Then my depression snapped shut and the manic times began in a big way.  We didn’t know how pregnant I was until the next day at the ultrasound and it was 33 weeks! Well 3 weeks later I had a daughter. She was perfect in the apgar tests and beautiful.  She slept and slept and ate and smiled.   For me I did what any person woul do – I stepped up and began to focus on being the best Mom for this sweetheart.  The mania was in full force so I could ‘leap tall buildings at a single bound’!

It wasn’t until a month later that I had a breakdown and checked myself into a hospital.  I was treated by a Psychiatrist who continued to be my ally and he let me know that the medicine Iwas going to take was lifelong.   It wasmy first diagnosis of being bipolar and at 37 I was quite in shock, but you bet I did whatever he said as I needed to step up and take care of myself because now I had my daughter to care for. 

I call this event ‘ My OPRAH Moment’.

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