a rough start to our journey

It’s been two weeks since I announced publicly that Sluiter Nation is looking to add a new member.

I wish I could say things have been all happy and butterflies since this announcement.  But not so much.

I quit my birth control a few months ago because it was giving me horrible cycles.  And now I have acne like a 13-year old.

But that is manageable.

I got a pretty bad cold a couple weeks ago, but I recovered, and that has nothing to do with this.

Or does it?

I still have the cough.

But it’s not a reasonable cough that is all congested and then I hack it up.

No.  It is a rattle that I can hear and feel, Cort can hear, others can hear, but pretends that it doesn’t exist when I cough.  It just stays put and makes me look like a big cough-faker.

What does this have to do with making a baby?

I’m getting to that.

So I have this cough.

And zits.

And now?  I am starting a new cycle and my OB would like to see me try this pregnancy with no anti-depressants (I am currently on Celexa, for all you note-takers).

We talked about this in August at my last appointment, and I talked about it with my General Practitioner, and I talked about it with my Therapist.

Fear not, it has been discussed.

I know how to wean off the meds safely.

I also know that both my GP and my Therapist are standing at the ready because they would both like to see me on something.

“A healthy mom comes first.  Then a healthy baby can follow.”

But we all understand where the OB is coming from.  Why take meds if you can get by without?  And they all agree that pregnancy hormones could very well “even me out” to where I won’t need them until postpartum again.

And thus began The Wean.

Halved my dose until I was ready to do a half dose every other day.

I am on every other day right now.

People?  This is hard.

So hard.

At first I only had physical side effects that were annoying at best.  I had sort of a fuzzy feeling in my head, headaches, a tightness in my back, and an occasional “buzzing” sound/feeling in my brain.

I still had this cough the whole time.

I continued to taper.

My back got worse and worse.  It’s a pain in my upper back, most the left side, behind my shoulder blade that feels like someone has a knife in my muscle and is twisting.  And while they twist, the muscle rips and simultaneously wraps itself around the knife.

It sucks.

And it’s there constantly.  No medication makes it feel better.

There is also exhaustion.  Sheer exhaustion.

But I continue to taper my antidepressant.

Wednesday was my first day with NO dose.  I was surprised at how Ok my brain felt.

Today?  Everything crashed.

My pain in my back and neck is worse.

I could fall asleep on a dime, I am so damn tired.

My cough is less productive, but the rattling is still present.

And my mind?

Today I had to put my head down on my desk more than twice to control the Raging Bitch Monster that was welling in me.  The very same Monster that took over my brain when I had undiagnosed PPD.

Tears welled in my eyes as I felt an urge to lash out at everyone.

Just like before.  But this time I saw the Monster coming.

Everything today sucked because of this dumb Monster.

And just because I knew what it was, didn’t make it less terrible.  In fact, knowing it was coming and who it was and that just by NOT taking my meds as usual, I had opened a door to let this Beast in?  Pissed me off.

So I am emotional and ragey because of detoxing and I am emotional and ragey because I can see it’s NOT going to be Ok.

Today was hard.

And my back still hurts.

And my cough is still there.

And now my wrist hurts.

I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner on Monday.   Things need to be sorted out.

Because this is not a happy way to start our journey toward Sluiter Baby #2.


Tomorrow I will post the first in my three-part series on how I built Sluiter Nation: The Blog including Tips for Blogger, Switching to WP, and all things Social Media in Between.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. So sorry hun. Just doesn’t seem fair that trying to conceive should be so difficult. I recently got back on the pill and had the worst acne of my life for months. So wrong at 38. It seems it doesn’t take much to upset the balance of hormones, yet they control every aspect of our life.

    On another note, can’t wait to hear your transitioning to WP thoughts.

    • thanks, you. yes…it’s hard on me to watch the teenagers I teach randomly get pregnant and I have such a hard time with it all. That is like salt in the wound.

      and it doesn’t help my crazed hormones.

      my switch to wp was lovely. I can’t wait to tell you about it 🙂

  2. Oh sweetie. I was so, so, so hoping that things would be ok for you. So hoping. But as your doctor and Therapist said, a healthy mama is The Most Important Thing. Once you’re healthy, physically AND mentally, then you can have a healthy baby.

    I too have found that if I’m off mentally then things start going perquacky physically too. It sucks. Clearly they’re all interconnected. (Duh) Sigh…

    I hope you can find some good answers at your doctor’s appointment. I also hope you can feel better for you. The rest will fall into place.

    • maybe things can still be better? I have hopes.

      and I like the word “perquacky”. you get a gold star for that 🙂

  3. Oh Kate, I’m so sorry you feel so poorly. It sucks, plain and simple. I hope the weekend brings about better and brighter things for you. Sending love and light your way.

  4. Much love to you, and whatever else might help even your keel. Flowers? fish sticks? Good chocolate? Swedish massage? Swedish fish?

    But mostly just love.

  5. I’m so sorry you feel this way. I wish I could say something to make you magically feel better. Just know that we’re all here for you! Sending hugs your way!!

  6. Mariah Meersma says

    First, I loved you as my teacher and I could ALWAYS tell you cared about us, even when you had a bad day. Please don’t let yourself think you are “lashing” out.. We love you, and I am sure the classes you have now do to, so I highly doubt they care if Mrs. Sluiter is pissed off and needs to VENT. Also, I have the same cough.. my cold was about three weeks ago, and I am still attempting to hack up a lung trying to get whatever is in there OUT. I hope you feel better soon, and I hope you know that although some of your students may not contact you as much anymore, we are still here to support you. I know I am. :]

    • oh Mariah, it makes my heart so happy when my former students tell me how much they care. Dang it…it brings tears too.

      Thank you, girl. I appreciate you tons.

  7. My heart goes out to you. I have only been on antidepressants (paxil is what worked best) for 1.5 years, and I can say for a fact they saved my life, and probably my kids from years of additional therapy too. I hope you find answers and something you and your OB can live with.
    Please know I’m thinking good thoughts for you.

    • yes. I am thinking I am going to not do no meds. it is too hard. i hate it.

      i have an appointment next week.

      and thank you…i can feel those good thoughts 🙂

  8. Thinking about you, sweet lady, and wishing for brighter days ahead. My very wise son once told me during a major crisis in my life that simply, “things will change and won’t always be this way”. He was trying to console me, but his words meant more than I can say….because he was right. You will find solutions and your way will be cleared for that Sluiter #2 baby. Hoping you feel better soon.

  9. I’m so so sorry.

    I know that I don’t have the right words for this moment (if indeed, there are right words) so I’m just sending you love and prayers of comfort and peace and wisdom.

    • love and prayers? are the best comfort there are. I hope I can give you all a happier update soon.

  10. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. Sending positive thoughts your way…..and have lots of support for you and hugs when I see you next. Hang in there…..We’re all here for you 100%

    • thanks, Tracy. You are an amazing friend and I love you tons. Can’t wait to see you again soon…we need to plan something.

  11. Katie, I SO get this. Withdrawal from antidepressants is awful especially if your mental health really isn’t ready to be off. I also tried before conceiving my first and ultimately made the decision to go back on (w my doc of course). If you feel in your heart that you shouldn’t come off, truly I believ it’s better for your health and the health of yourpregnancy to be mentally fit. I really hope your doctors help you decide what’s best. You are a strong mama for trying to do this for your future baby. Hugs!

    • Cristi, you are so right. I am NOT ready to be off. I am going to tell my doc that I just can’t, I think. Because you are AGAIN right…my mental health needs to come first.

      Hugs back!

      • I know it sucks bad to need them, but if it’s what you ultimately decide, it’s going to be ok. I promise you can get through it. And your sweet boy, as well as your future baby will be happy because you are happy too. One thing to ask about maybe is dropping to the lowest dose you can handle for the first trimester. I was able to be on a very low dose for 10 weeks before it got too bad and I had to bump up. Something to think about. Take care.

  12. You can always vent to us! We’re here to cheer you on no matter what you decide about staying off or going back on. I know it’s not a great start but it will all be worth it in the end 🙂


  13. (((((((()))))))))

  14. I’m sending you huge hugs and wishes for an easier road, my beautiful friend.
    I’m right here…

  15. Oh the things we go through in our quest to bring children into this world.

    I feel you on the exhaustion.

    I know how the compounding issues: acne, lack of sleep, pain, and emotions merge together into a horrible monster threatening to take control.

    I can’t make it better, but I know (for me) sharing the monster with others, how you feel, helps me squish it down to manageable size.

    I hope they figure out the cause of the pain.

    Sending happier thoughts your way.

  16. Oh honey. I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you something…anything…but I can’t. Just know I’m here for you and there are so many other women on this journey WITH you. Love you. You can do this.

  17. I prescribe Mucinex, fish oil, dark chocolate, and sunshine.

    Hang on, my dear.

    Much love.

  18. First, I love that one of your former students commented up there. Love.

    Second, there’s a poster hanging in Joshua’s pediatrician’s office that details the clearing up of a cold. After the major symptoms, the post-nasal drip and the cough last for about three weeks, so here’s hoping yours is gone soon.

    Third? IT FACKING SUCKS that this isn’t easy for you. I’m all fist-shaky at The Universe over here.

    Hang in there.

    • i am fist shaky too. I cried today. Cort says he knows it’s not me, it’s the monster in my head and that we have to handle it, even if it’s with meds.

      but I cried because I am mad that I even HAVE a monster. It never goes away. Meds just put it in a cage.

      I facking hate PPD.

  19. Katie, I’m so sorry this has been so difficult. I hope you can figure out the best course at your appt. I had a similar sounding pain in my shoulder blade area a few weeks ago that came on suddenly for no apparent reason and scared the crap out of me. It disappeared a couple days later just as mysteriously. Would love to know if there’s any way to avoid this pain in the future!

    Hugs to you.

  20. I went off my meds at 10 weeks pregnant. It was not good. Eventually begged the doctor to find me something. He made me feel like I was a horrible person for considering it, and so I left that appointment with no meds AND feeling like I sucked. It is this memory that makes me afraid to consider a sibling for aiden. I am scared of being on no meds with a child who needs me… Hhmmm… Didn’t mean to make this all about me, lol! I know where you are coming from, though, and I will pray for peace and strength for you! 🙂 hang in there, mama!

  21. I’m so sorry you have to go through this – I know I can’t imagine. Hugs and prayers are all I can offer.

  22. Oh, Katie – I’m so sorry the tapering was more than just the headaches and such. I hope you get some good information from the nurse practitioner!

  23. I’m thinking of you. I don’t have words of wisdom because it sounds like you have all the tools and information and you just have to trust yourself and those closest to you to decide what’s best for you and baby #2. How about: I have trust in you.

  24. oh friend. this is hard. sooo hard. i hope you can find some answers/alternatives/help/support… all that you need and more – SOON. love to you!

  25. Well. Shit. This is a very high level of suckage. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Much love and hugs to you!