Anyone else bipolar and doing IVF?

(42 posts)(6 voices)
  1. Hello all. I am bipolar and schizoaffective. I went off of most of my meds because of the many undesirable side effects in a potential fetus. However, I have remained on my antipsychotic med, Navane. I hear voices without it. I can live with them however...I did so for years until they found me this drug. They aren't scary and don't tell me to do anything, but they are very annoying. I just wondered if anyone else here is bipolar as well.

    Blessings, Michelle

  2. I can kind of understand how you feel, I have severe bipolar disorder with OCD. My problem is I am severely on the manic side of the disorder, which is much harder to control. Previously I was on depacote, which has been proven to cause spine abifida, so I had to change meds to Lamactil. Then about in July my pshyc moved out of state & I had to get a new one... who immediatley changed my meds when she found out I was TTC. First she tried Halidol, supposedly it is safe to the unborn child, but I was manic as ever, so she switched to Seroquel to quickly get the mania in check, which it took about 3 weeks but boy does it ever work! . Of course, TTC with IUI's or IVF can push anyone to be manic or OC I think. Usually women who get to this point are obsessed with TTC I have noticed. I am doing my first IVF next month and have decided in conjunction with both my RE & OB/GYN to continue my 200mg Seroquel. I suffered a loss at 38w5d in 2002 & they want to avoid PTSD in subsequent pregnancy.

    All the best to you, & good luck!

  3. Thanks...I will check out that article. I will probably be able to read it just fine because I'm an RN, lol. I know what you mean about physician language; it can be very different from civilian-ese, lol!

    Will keep you updated...oh, this Lupron I'm on has given me some pretty bad moodswings; I'm glad I see my therapist every 2 weeks or so. I don't know what I'd do without her.

    Blessings, Michelle

  4. Brandi: I'm so glad I'm not the only one...I too am on the manic side of bipolar...but I hear voices, without my meds that is. I'm still taking my Seroquel, but plan to go off after my egg retrieval. I also take Navane, which is an older antipsychotic, to eliminate my voices. It is excellent. I used to be on Depakote as well. I have very sensitive skin, so I was hesitant to try Lamictal for that reason. I have heard if you get a rash on it it can be deadly.

    So I've been off the Depakote now for about 4 months and my therapist says I'm more lively and have more quality of life about me. She said it made me slow and sluggish, if that makes sense. I'm also trying to lose the Depakote induced weight. I need to lose about 30 lbs. Of course, the Seroquel makes me ravenous as well, so when I go off of it, maybe that will help.

    Do you see a therapist as well as a p-doc? Mine is a godsend. She really helps me with all this IF stuff too.

    Blessings, Michelle

  5. Brandi: Well, I've been on Lupron since 7/31 and just started Follistim last Sat. I go in tomorrow for u/s and b/w. My estimated egg retrieval is 8/23, but I hope I stim well and it will be sooner than that. Back when I was doing IUI's, I did a cycle of Clomid and a cycle of Repronex and both times I only had one follicle. I hope that doesn't mean I'm a poor responder. We are hoping to transfer 3 embryos if we have them. And if more than that, we will freeze any remaining.

    So where are you at in your cycle?

    Blessings, Michelle

  6. Yeah, I had to gradual up on Lamactil. It took like 8 weeks to get me to the dosage I was on. The rash can be deadly, but it only occurs in like 3% of all patients and is usually a result of starting on high dosages. Fortunately I don't hear voices, but I have a problem with spending. I managed to get us over $50,000 in credit card debt at one point. It took a lot of therapy for me to realize my problem wasn't just that I liked to shop... it was the inability to realize the consequences of my actions. I am proud to say the seroquel has that under control now... YAY!

    I do see a psychologist every Wed for an hour of therapy, as well as a psychiatrist once a month for MM. I have been seeing the same therapist now for 4 years, so she has been able to help me through practically everything. (I was referred to her during PPD after my DS was born.) She's been there for IF, pregnancy, parenting, loss, and back to IF again. She really is a godsend, but she is a new mom herself and it was VERY difficult for me to watch her being pregnant while I was doing IUI after IUI with repeated BSN.

    I know what you mean about the weight with Depakote.... side effects are never fun. I just consider the alternative and figure it's the lesser of 2 evils. I will continue to thake the Seroquel during pregnancy (if it happens) because all my docs think that would be most advisable to avoid PTSD.

    When are you cycling?

    Take care,
    Brandi

  7. I am in the waiting stage right now, waiting to start that is. Because I also have a blood clotting disorder (MTHFR mutated gene, which took my DD at 38w5d) we have to arrange embryo biopsy (PGD) to ensure embies don't have the disorder as well. "Double Jeopardy" kind of situation, we know that I have it, if the baby inherits it, then it doesn't look good for + end result. Anyway, I had a D&C & polyps removed on 8/11, and I don't get to start my stims until 9/8 with HOPEFUL ER on 9/19 & ET on 9/24. Yeah, if all goes PERFECT. I might have been starting stims earlier but DH has a business trip planned for 9/10 - 9/16 so we had to kind of schedule around that. I know 2WW is supposed to be the longest in the world, but right now this month seems to be DRAGGING by. UGH!

    I give props to you... 3 embies! WAHOO!

    We will be doing single blast transfers each time, for low low low low risk of twins. No way my body could physically handle twins. Heck I'm worried 1 blast will end up identical twins. (I have brothers who are identical twins, and I firmly believe that possibility of 1 embryo dividing in 2 can be genetic also.) Plus it doesn't help I just watched "Double Identical Twins" on Discovery Health last week too. You know, the one about the identical twin lady who did a double blast IVF transfer and got 2 sets of identical twins - 1 set of boys & 1 set of girls and then delivered them on her 34th birthday.
    But I am not trying to scare you... a close family member to me did a double blast transfer years ago and only got a singleton pregnancy, so I say GO FOR IT! And maybe if you want multiples, then that's what you'll get!

    Back when i did IUI's on Clomid I would only get 1 or 2 follicles, and when I STARTED Gonal-F I responded poorly, but with this last IUI I did I got 8 follicles on Gonal F, so maybe if you get poor reponse it's not you it's just the meds or the dosage...

    Will be thinking of you.... keep me posted!
    B

  8. Yeah do-re-mi is one of the reasons we've stuck to IUI's until now. Explain about Fri., Maybe your RE will let you stim a day longer to get a couple more follies if you want (mine did that once for me - I ended up with 8 18+ follicles for an IUI & still BFN).

    I will keep you in my thoughts. Keep me posted!

    Take care & much luck,
    B

  9. Well, I have 6 follies total with the 2 dominant ones being 11mm. My ER was supposed to be Wed. but the nurse said it probably won't be until later in the week. My FIL is having major surgery on Fri. so I hope it isn't then. If I only have 2 or 3 dominant follies, I plan on doing another IUI and saving my IVF money. I'm currently on 300 iu of Follistim.

    Well, keep me posted on how you are doing also! Sorry to hear about your DD; that is so sad. I'll be thinking of you.

    Blessings, Michelle

  10. Hello Brandi...guess what? I am pg! The IUI worked...and I'm still in shock! My first beta was 27, my second beta was 44 and my third is tomorrow. Hoping for a nice increase....

    Hope you are well...

    Blessings, Michelle

  11. I was looking through my meds last night and I only have enough meds for like 4 more days of stims. I wonder what they are going to do about that. Maybe they will give me a cartridge for free? Hmmm. I'm still leaning more towards the IUI though...less invasive and will save money.

    Blessings, Michelle

  12. I am so happy for you Michelle! I'll say a prayer that this is a full, uneventful pregnancy for you. I hope your bipolar stays minimal.... keep tabs on it!

    On my end, my RE cancelled my IVF because my AF came 5 days too soon & their ppwk wasn't completed. Oh, well. Hopefully I'll have better luck next month.

    Take Care,
    B

  13. Brandi: My third beta was 83 so my first U/S is this Fri. Am excited!

    A big decision I have to make before this baby is born is whether or not to breastfeed. I breastfed my son before bipolar had taken me and really enjoyed it. But if I do it now, I will have to be med free and I don't know if I should be. The meds I'm on now prevent me from hearing voices. I have been off of my Depakote now for a long time and feel more alive without it. I haven't been manic or depressed either one for a long time now, but don't want to jinx it either, know what I mean? Plus, my therapist just up and announced that she was moving, so now I have to find a new one which is stressing me out a little bit, but I know I need therapy.

    Tiff: All that being said, I think what Brandi is saying is that it is not safe if you are bipolar to be your own doctor. For the future baby's sake, you really need to be under a psych doctor's care...and possibly a therapist too. With IF there is a huge emotional rollercoaster you are about to embark upon and armed with a good psych doc/therapist, you should be able to weather any upcoming storm. There are many meds out there safe to take during pregnancy that have been proven to not harm a growing fetus. A psych doc would be able to help you monitor your moods and adjust your meds accordingly. Hormones in pg are a *****...take it from me, I was hearing things and all sorts of stuff when pg with my son but not yet diagnosed bipolar. I heard tornado sirens, screaming, stuff that simply wasn't there. Hearing things can make you paranoid quick...and paranoia during pg is not good!

    Remember that lady that drowned her kids in the bathtub? She was experiencing postpartum psychosis. Please listen to me when I reiterate that being your own doctor is not a good thing right now.

    Blessings, Michelle

  14. PLEASE do not take this as preaching - it is simply my opinion based on my experiences.

    I am a firm believer in meds + therapy together. It's like having a left hand & a right hand. I too refused to take meds until I was preg w/my DS. I thought I had everything under control. MY OB insisted I get on some meds, because preg can wreak havok on your emotions. If you haven't had luck, I encourage you to try new meds. You just have to find what's right for you. Are you more on the manic side, or depressed side? I lean WAY towards manic, in fact, I am on 350mg of Serequol daily + weekly 1hr therapy & I am still in a manic episode right now. The problem is, I know I'm manic, and I can't control it. Plus I have mild Obsessive compulsive disorder. I have the strangest OCD behavior, but only for small things. Like for example all my coathangers have to be in color order, all my sleeveless shirts have to be in the same place in my closet, all the clothes have to "face" the same way, all the kitchen cabinets have to be closed or I cannot go to sleep at night. I work on these things in therapy. But being manic takes it's toll... I sleep less than 6hrs a night, I SPEND SPEND SPEND. That's my biggest problem. I actually got us $50K in credit card debt at one time, now it's down to about 30K which is still devastating to IF funds. Enough about me... please be sure to get treatment during IF & pregnancy. You have to give a new dr. AT LEAST 4 months before you start liking them, and meds at least 6 weeks to show results. I HATED my new psych MD when I first met her (my old MD moved & she recommended new dr.). But my therapist told me to give it time, and I did, and now I can't imagine without her. I even disliked my therapist at first. It's just so hard accepting you need help with every day life. Why can't we be normal? There is NO SUCH THING as normal. Everybody has quirks, we just need a little more help dealing with ours. I didn't mean for that to sound judgemental or anything, I just hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was so fortunate that when I lost my DD I already had a therapist & she saw me 3x week until I was far enough along in the grieving process. I never thought I would be able to handle a loss, yet here I am. IF is so hard for anybody, it really helps to have someone to just unload & vent on. I am here for you for that if you need me, and I can relate to bipolar tendencies. I will tell you this for sure: I have a 4yo DS, a DD born still @ 38w5d, (both IF/IUI babies) and I manage my bipolar somewhat effectively. So I KNOW it can be done. YOU can do it too! I hope you have good luck with IVF & pregnancy, and I hope any of this has helped.

    Take care,
    B

  15. But it is kinda funny that you mentioned Andrea Yates... the lady who drowned her 5 kids. She actually lived in a subdivision about 6 miles from me, and I watched the story unfold on local news. I could not believe it, because I was an IF patient at the time. All that goes to show is that mental health is just as, if not, more important than physical health.

    Michelle, I am SOOOO happy for you! Keep me posted on the progress! I took Depakote while breastfeeding DS, and I had effective mania control but did have a bit of weight gain. I actually sought therapy for PPD & that's when she put me on the depakote as a sort of mood stabalizer. It is the only med (at least back then) that is approved by the POA (Pediatric Association of America) because only 1%-10% passes on through breastmilk (depending on dosage). And so far there are no known effects to baby. I know when I have my next baby, 6-8 weeks post delivery I will be going back to good 'ol depakote, regardless of the weight. My DH will just have to enjoy my chunky-butt for a while. OR, if the seroquel I am taking now is OK, I will continue with it. My psych actually practically doubled my seroquel last week from 200mg to 350mg because she says I am getting manic. I admit I am too... the problem is that my RE cancelled my IVF (cause she's a be-otch) and now I have to find a new RE, so my manic & OCD is kicking in big time. I have an appt. w/a new RE tomorrow & with yet another one next Monday. And am waiting for another to call me back. That's the great thing about living in a big city... lots of options for medical care accross the board: RE's, OB's, Peri's, psych, & therapists. Times like this I am glad I live so close to Houston, despite the horrific traffic!

    KEEP ME POSTED ON YOUR PROGRESS!
    Living vicariously through you...
    Take care,
    B

  16. Michelle, actually, the higher the dosage of Seroquel, the lower the side effects. Pretty wierd, huh? I was comatose myself on 50-100mg, and then when she bumped me to 200mg all the daytime drowsiness went away. My therapist says it's the higher dose, my psych claims my body got used to it. Who knows for sure? I take 300 mg of the dosage about 10pm, and it helps me fall asleep but other than that it's good. Taking 50mg during the day helps to control my daytime manic, you know, agitated & rapid talking, inability to sit down, (shopping ) etc. And I do get a bit stuffy from time to time, but I always attributed that to IF hormones so maybe there's a connection there I didn't realize? And I am lucky... I so far never heard voices but that doesn't mean I never will. My psych & OB plan to keep me on meds during preg (maybe not 1st tri but definitely 2nd & 3rd.) They say (for me) the benefits far outweigh the risks. I trust them completely.

    I watched on local news about Yates... must admit I wanted to go down to Harris County Courthouse & yell nasty things at her but it really isn't her fault. (Did I really just say that?) I had a very difficult time with her "not guilty" verdict. I have actually broached this subject in therapy. I think the close proximity & my loss of DD made it harder for me than it should have been.

    Tiff, I am glad you are open to ideas. That is the first, and biggest step. Take baby steps, and move forward when you are ready. We are here for you too. Whenever you need to talk. And maybe look in to finding a psych who specializes in IF? I am sure your RE or OB could recommend someone for you. Just keep in mind, it took me MONTHS to get used to my therapist, and now I pay out of pocket for her, I like her so much! (My ins. changed, she is not in-network anymore.)

    Well I had my first consult with new RE today. Cannot believe the difference. I think I am going to really like this new doc. She is completely on board with PGD, very optimistic, and overall just nicer than my last RE. My IVF is now (tentatively) planned for early Nov. I'll keep you posted!

    Take Care,
    B

  17. Good luck to you Tiff...I hope maybe for you in the future that you might find a p-doc you like and feel comfortable with.

    My current OB and my pdoc are both in contact with each other over my care plan. I am glad that they both concur in keeping me on my Navane. I hear voices pretty bad without it. I would still really like to breastfeed though..so I will have to pick both doc's brains closer to time.

    Brandi: Yes, Andrea Yates...had a brain fart last night and couldn't think of her name to save my soul. I can't believe you lived so close to her...that must of been kinda spooky! I'm sorry you are close to mania right now. Hopefully the increase in Seroquel will do the trick. If I was taking that much Seroquel, I wouldn't be seen for days; I'd be in a coma,lol! I remember back when I was taking 100mg of it and was in a delirium. It also made my nose really stuffy...do you suffer that too?

    Anyway, I hope you find a good RE and get your cycle restarted again...best of luck to you!

    Blessings, Michelle

  18. Very sad news for me. All they saw on my U/S were 2 very tiny empty sacs. My beta was only 308. I miscarried them probably 2 weeks ago or so. I'm just now starting to spot. I am just devastated.

    Blessings, Michelle

  19. Tiff: I am very sorry about your uncle...that must be really tough. As far as the not crying thing goes, maybe you are just still in shock? I cry at the drop of a hat but I'm very hormonally bipolar if that makes sense.

    Brandi: I'm glad you found a good RE...much luck to you! I love my RE and am gonna miss him terribly when I graduate to my OB doc. As for me hearing voices, I was also diagnosed schizo-affective...in addition to bipolar, because not only would I hear stuff when manic, but I hear it all the time now which upped me to schizoaffective. So that is my happy story, lol.

    Both of you keep me posted on your situations; it is nice to talk to people who "know".

    Blessings, Michelle

  20. Oh, Michelle, I am so sad. I really wanted this pregnancy to go well for you. I know there is nothing I can say to take away the hurt right now but I'm here for you.

    Prayers,
    Brandi

  21. Are you doing okay Michelle? Haven't posted since you found out... I'm worried about you. If you m/c 2 weeks earlier, that was right around your BFP. Do they think it might have been a chemical pregnancy? If there is ANYTHING I can do for you, let me know.

    Tiff, how are things going with you?

    Take care,
    B

  22. I talked to my clinic today about doing a last IUI. They said I need at least one period before I do that...not counting the m/c period. I am sad some days are okay and others are really rough. They didn't say it was a chemical pg because I had 2 little sacs on u/s. They just stopped growing for whatever reason, probably chromosomal they said.

    I hope the rest of you are well...

    Blessings, Michelle

  23. Hi Everyone,

    I was very happy when I discovered this thread about BPD. I was diagnosed 5 yrs ago with BPD type 2 and OCD. I had been given stimulants like ritalin and dexedrine to supposedly treat ADHD. When I kept getting sicker and sicker, not being able to work anymore and the big one was losing all my money $100k day trading on the stock market. Anyway, thats in the past - I now have the correct diagnosis and an excellent doctor.

    A big hurdle is coming up that I would love to hear your thoughts about. I'm going to TTC#1 with donor sperm in the early part of 2007. Right now I'm taking lithium, wellbutrin (my saviour), a small amount of seroquel to sleep and a small amt of risperdal, also with synthroid (due to lithium making me hypothyroid). I've talked it over with my dr. and he said I have to go off all of them - but need a mood stabilizer - and he has recommended olanzapine. I'm scared to take anything during pregnancy but I have to receive treatment as part of my insurance coverage and for my own health. I'm going to do the switch of lithium for olanzapine starting Nov 23 ... I'll then stop the others 2 months before my first IUI or IVF.

    Any comments or suggestions ?

    P.S. I thought of stopping the olanzapine so no one else would know - to protect the baby - at least for the first trimester - but its a risk ... I know there is a blood test for olanzapine its just not routinely done like lithium is ...

  24. I've seen better days, too. My new RE decided to delay my IVF by 3 weeks to take estrogen & "boost" my lining since I just had a D&C. Now if this IVF works that will put me due at pretty much within 2 weeks of my stillborn daughter's birth day. Talk about added stress. Plus, my sister in law is preg & completely oblivious to how hard this is for me. And my next door neighbor just had a baby, and my cousin just got preg (via IVF w/my new RE). Seems everyone around me is getting there & I am just sitting idly by watching everyone else's family grow but mine.

    But I know I am nowhere near the level of devastation you are probably feeling, Michelle.

    It just sucks to be playing this waiting game.

    My psych now says I am in a "mixed episode" - depressed half the time & manic half the time. My days consist of crying & laying on the couch all day without even getting dressed, and then staying up all night watching TV & eating junk food. She raised my Seroquel to 500mg a day & Prozac 20mg every other day.

    Take care,
    B

  25. I'm pretty scared about all this .... having BP, having to go off most of the meds and being a single mom ... I want a child so badly but maybe its not the best move for me ... I wish I knew how I hard it is going to be, if I can cope like I always do, but now there will be 2 people to worry about and not just myself ... most of the people I know think I shouldnt be doing this ...

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