Babies or Stability? Bipolar Women and Heartbreaking Choices.

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I was adopted when I was only nine months old. My Dutch parents gave me every opportunity in life, to grow as a person and to develop myself in every single way. Little did they know, about their Colombian baby girl, being blessed with a mental illness, not yet to be discovered.

Since I was little, I dreamed of having my own children. It would be one big happy, noisy family with a strong man at my side. My rock. The best opportunity for me, to feel what it's really like, to connect with someone, having my blood, running through his/her veins.

After my fourteenth birthday, depressions took a hold of me. We never recognized these first signs of Bipolar Disorder. I started to work as a teacher when I was 21, worked for 8 months and was send back home again, by the school director. He saw me getting crazy in the middle of the classroom. I never made it back to my job and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder two years after.

IMPOSSIBLE QUESTIONS

What Do You Really Want?

Click on the video and pay close attention to this young woman of 26. If you do so, she will share her thoughts with you. Look into her eyes and notice her desire of becoming a mother. You will be witnessing the battle, she's fighting in her head.

I'm not asking you to judge her, whatever decision she might take.
I can only tell you about mine, after fighting similar battles, before making a life changing decision on my own.

What you don't want

When my Bipolar Career started, instead of my Teaching Career, life sucked! I was 23, labeled with Bipolar Disorder, not stable enough to work and on the verge of losing my boyfriend. When I finally did, I went into the worst maniacal episode ever, wandered around Holland for a whole summer long, and ended up for months in a mental hospital.

While recovering from my crazy summer, I witnessed more than once, how proud daddies came to visit the mothers, who recently gave birth, to their precious little babies.

The site of mothers cursing their husbands, not recognizing them for being the father of their child, made me wanna scream myself. They didn't want to hold their babies, turned their back to their partners, spitted in their faces and were taken away quickly, by a group of strong nurses.... of to isolation.

When I left the hospital, I was 27 and I had seen enough.

My two cats Kees and Loes playing around like toddlers can do.
My two cats Kees and Loes playing around like toddlers can do. | Source

Dreams Can Change

I always wanted kids, I always wanted to get married and I always dreamed of being a stewardess, flying around the world. Yet, it took me until I got 30, to decide for myself, that I wasn't going to live my life as a mother.

I went through a long process of balancing the good and the bad, talking for years with my psychologist, psychiatrist and gynecologist, to make a final decision. It was to become the hardest decision I had to make, sacrificing the one thing I really wanted as a child.

For a fairly simple procedure, I wasn't given anesthesia. The doctor would proceed with the sterilization, inserting a small spiral, in the opening of my two ovaries. It hurt like hell! I cried during the entire 15 minutes, saying goodbye to a dream forever. I chose for a new way of sterilization, not giving me the option to undo, what had been done.

Even though I can't have children anymore, I can tell you honestly that I never had any regrets. With my type of Bipolar Disorder, living a stable life on my own, would be a full time job anyway. And I succeeded!

And they grow too....
And they grow too.... | Source

How to cope with Bipolar Disorder

After the story I shared with you, below you'll find a list of several coping strategies I apply, to live a healthy and steady life with Bipolar Disorder.

  1. I always take my Carbamazepine and Seroquel between 21 and 22 o'clock.
  2. If I look for a job, I never want to work before 10 o'clock. I need two hours to wake up from the medication I take.
  3. I always look for a job with little responsibility even though I'm highly educated.
  4. I never work more than 4 or 5 hours a day and no more than 20 hours a week.
  5. I never work more than two days in a row. This means: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
  6. I say no to parties, meeting up with friends and having dinner with my partner, if I feel I have little energy or if I feel in stable.
  7. I walk out of a relationship if it effects my mental health in a negative way. I don't expect a partner always to take in consideration, I have a mental illness.
  8. I try to avoid conflicts with friends, a partner or colleagues.
  9. I divide my household over the week and I never do too much in one day.
  10. I get out of bed when I wake up from a bad dream, look some television and go back to sleep. This gets my mind of the bad dream completely.
  11. I always go outside for some fresh air, instead of staying inside the house, feeling locked up easily. (When I don't work)
  12. I call a friend if I want to talk.
  13. I meet up with a friend if I feel alone.
  14. I look into my charts to see if my stability is still intact. Small warning signals are often forgotten. My charts help me to stay focused.
  15. I warn my partner if I feel in-stable and take some time off on my own.
  16. I call my psychiatrist if I need some advice or make an appointment to come as soon as possible.
  17. I ask for more medication if I feel I'm losing control.

Finding a balance between household, quality time for myself, friends, work, hobbies, gym and taking care of my cats, therefore is a full time job. One I've had for over fifteen years now, sometimes very annoying, but most of the times I'm quite happy the way I managed to run my Bipolar Career.

Bipolar Children, Parents and the Road That May Lay Ahead

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Comments 25 comments

Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

I knew a woman in Mississippi who was diagnosed with bipolar. She and I had husbands in the same military unit. I know she struggled with it, trying to find the right medicine that didn't have too many side effects. I often felt sorry for her children. When she was in her manic state, she neglected them b/c she was madly writing, shopping, etc. (She was - is - absolutely brilliant). When she was in her depressed state she neglected them because she was too down to get out of bed. She eventually moved to Texas after her husband retired. We correspond just at Christmas but I know she has finally found medicine that works for her.

Best of luck to you. Voted up and interesting.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

This is a touching article that I have read three times now. In college/grad school, we learned that BP is the toughest SMD to treat and the patients over the years I saw proved that. Some were quite, quite miserable. I am sorry for your loss of a dream child or two, but salute your decision as your own. Best wishes to you!


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

Hi Danette,

I'm glad to see, she did find the right medication. Too bad it took such a long time, but I know this seems to be the road for most Bipolar friends. Thanks for voting up! I'll be following your work too:-)


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

Dear Patty,

BP is a tough illness indeed but I'm so lucky that I found a real, good and satisfying way to live with it.

I'm truly happy and the loss of that dreamchild, became the most significant decision I took, to guarantee myself...true happiness!

Best wishes to you too:-)


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

This was a very moving article. The strength it took to do something so selfless touches my heart. I wish you many blessings in your life. I pray that you will be blessed with many children who have the disease and need someone like you to be their source of comfort and to learn from your tragic loss.

Take care. I voted up. I admire and respect your story.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

I love your attitude and views, Escobana!


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

Wauw! Thanks so much Jo...I kind of forgot about the tragic loss and I do hope with all my heart that other women, going through something like that, find some strenght in my story.

Great to read a comment like that!


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

Dear Patty,

I can't be more honored! To read such feedback, from a woman like you! I'm buisy writing the follow up for this delicate and important subject. There's so much more to it!


regina s profile image

regina s 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

Thank you for sharing such a personal and difficult part of your life! I was so amazed by your story! You are truly and strong woman who put much thought and love into such a painful and difficult decision.

I have anxiety and depression and decided not to have children for some of the same reasons...and I don't regret it. I am 40 now, happily married and have a wonderful step-son...I knew that having a baby myself would not be good for me and I was very concerned that my needs and difficulty with everyday life would not create the environment I would want for a child. I am not saying that women with mental disabilities, including bi-polor disorder should not have children, but I do believe that one should consider how the mental disability would affect a child. :)


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

You're very welcome Regina:-) I'm glad we're saying the same thing. We don't want women with mental disabilities to stay far away from children, but it's worth so much, giving it good time and thoughts, before deciding anything.

I admire your choice for not having children of your own. Hard choice indeed! Good to read that you've found your happiness with your husband and step-son.

After all we can give our love to other's than just our own children, feeling attached to them in a different but beautiful way.


Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

I have been living with bipolar all my life yet it was only diagnosed when I was 59. Not knowing what is wrong with me has really caused a lot of problems. I think it is good to be aware of this and make sure you do not miss it in a child to prevent so much damage to someone's life.


Escobana profile image

Escobana 5 years ago from Valencia Author

Thanks for sharing this Hendrika. It must be very hard, not knowing what's wrong with you for such a long time.

I can't imagine the struggle you must have had, knowing my struggle has been horrible at times, knowing about my Bipolar Disorder.

Children having it, should be monitored in a way although it must be difficult to recognize what's really wrong sometimes.

Thanks for stopping by. Really appreciate it!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Que guay! I loved this hub. In my immediate family, there are at least three bipolar people, but only one of them was formally diagnosed. I want her to see this hub. Thanks for sharing.


Escobana profile image

Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia Author

Gracias CClitgirl!

Hope she will like my Hub as much as you did. After being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder there are many questions that arise.

To really get deep into all of the questions that come up when you want babies, while being Bipolar, my Hub about thanking God for not having them, will be useful for your friend.

Thanks for commenting! Great to see some Spanish too:-)


emilybee profile image

emilybee 4 years ago

Such an informational hub. I can't remember the last time I read something so raw and real. Great information to have. Will pass on as needed. Voted up and useful.


Escobana profile image

Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia Author

Owww! That's such a wonderful compliment you gave me here. Raw and real. Thanks for passing it on to others and again thanks for your votes!


Escobana profile image

Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia Author

Thanks for marking my site Marc-Carilett:-) I'm not sure if the link to this site is ok. I'll see if Hubpages says anything about it....

Have a great day Marc!


Jellybird profile image

Jellybird 4 years ago

Hi just keeping in touch

Peace + J


Escobana profile image

Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia Author

Hi Jellybird,

Hope you're doing good! Don't lose touch:-)

Warm wishes to you...


Jaclyn Albanese profile image

Jaclyn Albanese 4 years ago

Not just honest...very inspirational.


Escobana profile image

Escobana 4 years ago from Valencia Author

Thank you Jaclyn:-)


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 3 months ago from Close to Heaven

Thank you for sharing this. You are very inspiring in your authentic vulnerability. It must have been heartbreaking to make the decision that you made on not to have children, but you did it for the best reason you thought possible. Amazing article. :)


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 3 months ago

Hello!

It's been 5 years since my last comment. How are you? five years later?

I hope my prayers have reached you over the years. And you are doing wonderful! This is still an awesome story. And I feel so honored to read this again! Blessings Author Escobana!


Escobana profile image

Escobana 2 months ago from Valencia Author

Dear Carolinemd21,

Thanks for your awesome comment. I'm not as active as I used to be but I genuinely appreciate your comments lately on my Hubs.


Escobana profile image

Escobana 2 months ago from Valencia Author

Hey Jo Goldsmith11,

I'm doing great. Just published my latest Hub in which I look back on the last 7 years. I'm only here once in a while but I still love writing.

Hope you are well and happy. Hugs to you :-)

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