Pregnant with ADD

I am glad I happened to see Dr. Phil's show tonight, as I love this web site.  I have read so much already on women dealing with husbands who have ADD but not much on woman who are the ones with ADD.  My husband and I have been struggling with the same issues since our marriage began, most of which have to deal with my ADD symptoms/actions and the way my husband deals with them.  I took the innitiative to try everything to change myself and after finding it impossible, seeked professional help.  I was very depressed and losing sleep due to extreme anxiety, but after seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with ADD.  Medication made a night and day difference.  Although the problems did not go away 100%, they truely made our marriage so much happier.  My problem right now is that I am pregnant and having to learn to deal with my ADD without medication.  I feel like I am having to start all over again with nowhere to go.  It makes it very difficult that I know that I have a true medical problem and that there is medication that helps - BUT I CAN'T TAKE IT WHILE PREGNANT!  My husband seems to have absolutely no undertstanding about how difficult this is for me - physically and mentally.  He is back to the constant nagging and put downs and doesn't understand why I can't just "get it done".  Do you have any insight on things that I can do to deal with my ADD for the next nine months (actually seven to go).  I am having such a hard to convincing myself that I can do this for seven more months.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

reply to Pregnant w/ADHD

I do not have a soloution or tip for you but I DO understand your frustration & pain! I am ADHD w/depression and haven't taken Adderall since 2007! (I am still nursing my son.)  I really don't want to wean, nor does my son, but feel I have to so I can go on my meds.  My house is a DISASTER!  I am so overwhelmed I don't know where to start organizing my home. To make matters worse, we moved into this house one week before I found out I was pregnant so I still haven't found a place for everything...... or more accurately a place for ANYTHING yet!  ;-D   My husband was also frustrated with me. Pregnancy is stressful for men too. He may be unsure how adding responsibility is going to work as well as dealing with the financial stress of having a child.  This is not to say they shouldn't be compassionate of our condition, but that it is just adding to the fire.  All I can suggest it to talk to him when you can be calm & be honest with him. Tell him that you are really struggling to get things done and you need his help. I'm not saying he should do everything, but that maybe you could create a schedule of who does what & when. Make one with a checklist if you have to. I am at the point where I tape my morning schedule to my bathroom mirror & the rest is on a dry erase board on my fridge. I list the weekly tasks w/wet erase marker so I don't have to re-write it each week and list them by day of the week. If I add items or check off, I use dry erase markers. This is where I put EVERYTHING, Dr.'s appts, dry cleaning to pick up, play dates, reminders to write in my journal, EVERYTHING.  It is pretty basic, but it helps me function.  Obviuosly it isn't foolproof because my house is a disaster but the rest of my life is ok.  So, my husband IS dissapointed in me with the housework because I am a stay-at-home-mom, but my children are well taken care of.

Anyway, sorry for the book... just hang in there, be open & honest with your husband & talk together about what you can do so that you can handle everything coming up. 

BTW, you will be a great Mommy, ADHD does not take that away from you!

Janette

Hello kdschml, I feel for

Hello kdschml,

I feel for your situation.  I was diagnosed at a young age but was sure that I'd outgrown ADHD.  I was wrong and it almost cost me a 11 year marriage (I don't blame ADD for everything but I think it intesified other issues).  My current medication is concerta 54mg but I have had 3 healthy babies and nursed them all for a year without taking medication.  Lists became my staple.  I tried to make lists for almost everything in my life.  Had a pocket calendar that I used for appointments, etc. and a notepad for writing things down as needed.  My husband has the opposite of ADHD, what was previously referred to as "attention surplus" so it was a trying time for us.  For me, keeping a regular exercise schedule was very important.  I am a runner but never liked to do it while pregnant so I walked.  Lots of walking in the morning while I had the energy.  I also scheduled in naps during the last two months of the pregnancies.  Without them things would get really crazy.  I tried to eat a balanced diet but did not say no to certain cravings either.  Pregnancy is a hard time for anyone but can be even more challenging for those with ADD/ADHD since medication shouldn't be taken.  Things will also seem a little more manageable as you enter the 2nd trimester.  I was not feeling well the 1st for any of my pregnancies so it was very hard to be organized. 

Also, prepare yourself mentally for the challenges of a new baby.  As organized as you may (or may not) get during this time without medication, a baby will disrupt any possible schedule.  It was really hard for me the first time.  Prepare your partner to help allow you to have enough time to sleep, eat, etc.  I had no interest in exercise until after my postpartum check up and most doctors will advise against anything more than walking.  We invested in a good breast pump so that I could let my husband help with some feedings.  I also was fortunate to have my mom help out a few weeks with each new baby. 

Lastly, you can do this!  It won't be easy but the good things never are.  You will make mistakes during this time so allow yourself a little slack but try your best.  Have a friend/confidant that you can share your feelings and frustrations with because that person will also help celebrate your achievements.

Good luck!