Tag Archives: ADHD and pregnancy

Third Trimester

So we’ve reached 33 weeks of pregnancy. I’m 13 kilo’s heavier, tire halfway through what I’d normally be able to do, and can still wear my engagement ring. I’d want to post more often, but work and everything, you know.

The ring, by the way, is not entirely accurate any more. TDH and I got married on January 5th, without a wedding. We went to the town hall (of another town) at 9:15 in the morning, me wearing a black pregnancy number, and got married for free. Don’t worry, there will be a party. I suppose that makes me Mrs Darling-Dark Handsome. I didn’t think that one through when I came up with the nicknames.

The Busy Baby is still alive and kicking and growing so fast now. She’s head down and tends to drop in, only to un-drop a few days later. You’d think I’d have some extra space when she drops… but you haven’t met my daughter. Whenever there is some extra space, she uses it to stretch her little legs a bit. I’m pretty sure she has my endless legs!

My maternity leave starts in a week and I am looking forward to it. Work is getting exhausting and I am beginning to feel out of place. I just want to go home and make our little nest. Our messy home is irritating me, and I want to search for the ‘perfect’ stuff for my little lady. Baby’s room isn’t really done yet, but we have a bed so that counts. We also have about 100 nappies… all gifted. I didn’t think this part of pregnancy would actually happen to me!

Otherwise I am doing well. The midwife was surprised to see how well I was holding up, given my history, she even called me a ‘power lady’. Perhaps I am just good at this, perhaps I have been through enough to be able to handle this. Perhaps you really do come out stronger? My mood is actually stable and in general I feel good. Some things are actually better now than during my second trimester: I am only doing day shifts which has a great effect on my sleep quality and my alertness, I am actually feeling some of my familiar restlessness again. I’m walking easier now, I suppose my stretchy joints and muscles gave their problems early enough in pregnancy to allow for my body and my muscles to adapt and get stronger. Even my reflux isn’t as bad as it was.

Of course, some things are worse than they were: my belly is pretty big! The floor is getting further away every day and that doesn’t combine too well with pregnancy related clumsiness! Seriously, I’ve dropped my phone perhaps once or twice before pregnancy. Now it gets dropped about daily! Shoes are getting harder to put on too… And sleeping is sometimes a bit challenging. I wake up several times each night, but so far so good.

Another up side of pregnancy: most pregnant women suffer from pregnancy brain…. with me I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy or ADHD but it’s not worse than I normally am! Except people can’t tell the difference and for once in my life I am ‘normal’! (And that strong nesting drive is sort of helping me focus…)

TDH is being very caring, but impatient for his little princess to arrive. He is, like many dads, worrying about money and providing. He wants his business to thrive so he can provide. It’s just very interesting to see how this works: the initial plan was for me to provide and him to be the primary caregiver, but as it is at the moment we’ll be working equal hours. He is also very much in love with BB’s crib mobile… but doesn’t understand my drive to want to make everything pretty.

That drive is rather simple. Style and creativity is a part of who I am, and I don’t feel like myself in all of this. I know motherhood changes you, but I want to make things look good, and I want to look good and I want to make the baby look good because it makes me feel more ‘home’. I need that ‘X factor’. I miss that part of me. And the mismatching nappy bag and pram irritates me.



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Posted by on January 23, 2016 in ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby, Health


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Pregnancy and ADHD…

You know that thing called pregnancy brain? You know that thing called ADHD?

In general, my state is the love child of the two of them. I feel hazy most of the time. I lose time, not knowing where it went and what I did with it. I forget things. I have trouble getting anything significant done. I am distracted.

And my hyperactivity is nowhere to be found. I feel hazy and a bit lethargic. I’m more tired than usual, I suppose that’s part of the why.

Class is a nightmare. I spend the day just trying to not fall asleep or fall off my chair. I can’t focus one bit.  Their way of educating me is still not a way in which I can learn… and I leave with muscle aches and a horrible mood.

I mean, I don’t want to complain too much and generally my mood is good, but there’s just this one part that is frustrating.

Next time I’m going to make sure to enter pregnancy with a better level of physical fitness.

Next time I’m going to have more of a plan set up before hand. Hah. Hah. Hah.

Next time I probably won’t be working irregular shifts though, that will help a lot.

Irregular shifts don’t help me at all, despite not doing nights. Having to plan every single day doesn’t work for me. I need some sort of structure in my week, so I can spend my scarce mental focus doing more important things than figuring out how and when I’m going to get my exercise in this week, for example, because most of my options are screwed over because of work.

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Posted by on November 23, 2015 in ADHD, ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby, Work


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Busy baby due March 10!!

Busy baby due March 10!!

Yesterday marked week 10 of my pregnancy. I decided to blog about it because I couldn’t find much about ADHD and pregnancy so why not do something about it. 

Yes, I really am pregnant. It happened a little sooner than expected. Of course it did. My impulsive nature may or may not have something to do with it. Result: I won’t be going to my cousin’s wedding in South Africa. I will miss a chance to see my family again. 

So far I am doing well I think. Tired. Very tired. I have a cold now but the nausea has lessened. 

I went to the gynaecologist beforehand to talk about meds. Essentially I had to stop taking concerta by the end of the first trimester and I will be followed by a gyn (or rather a few different registrars) because of it. In the end I fell pregnant during my vacation off meds. I never really started back on them except for a few tablets for school. 

I’m definitely more ADHD although I am often too tired for the ‘H’. 

We found out a week after the engagement. 

Had a first sonogram last week. Really strange to see this tiny baby thing inside of me. He or she was moving! Or it’s my imagination. But I saw movement. And the heartbeat! 

TDH and I and the rest of the family are really happy. 

I’m going to talk again later as my eyelids are getting really heavy….


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Considering a Busy Baby

Considering a Busy Baby

So a while ago I thought I’d write about ADHD and relationships. I don’t have much material and I don’t think we’re facing more issues than other couples. Perhaps I should write about it more, then. Everything is, in generally, going well.

I’m 29 and in some sense I suppose a certain clock has started ticking. Perhaps it’s just that I’m in a phase where everything is well, and that leaves me time to -gasp- think about the future. Children is something that seems to have moved from the ‘maybe one day’ time slot in my head to the ‘possibly relevant over the next few years’ time slot. I won’t be talking about trying to conceive on here, I’d just like to keep certain things to ourselves. I will probably mention it again when that possibly-somewhere-in-the-imaginable-future Busy Baby is actually on his/her merry way.

It’s just that here I am, thinking ahead.

Yes, the world is about to end.


Hey, wow, it’s still there.

I’m anticipating that pregnancy would bring along certain challenges for me. I have a complicated past, I have ADHD and use medication for it. I would have liked to get more info on what to expect, what helps, what doesn’t.

So I googled.

‘ADHD and pregnancy’ in 2 languages and a few different ways, gave me one almost useful result: a blog post from 2012. The rest was all about medication and ADHD: we still don’t know if it’s safe. What I found a bit disturbing is the amount of results focusing on things to do during pregnancy to cause ADHD in your offspring. Most popular one: tylenol or paracetamol apparently. I’m pretty sure that’s skewed research and perhaps the reason WHY women need pain killers can be the risk factor? Stress during pregnancy is a known risk factor, pain causes stress so… duh. Besides, why are people so terrified of ADHD anyway? At least I’ll know what ’caused’ it if I have a kid with ADHD…. me.

So, no useful info.

I then realised it may just simply be ‘new’ grounds. I’m part of the first generation of women who go into pregnancies and motherhood KNOWING they have ADHD. There probably is very few research about it, there’s simply a lot more glamour in -I don’t know- demasking Paracetamol as a possible cause of ADHD than there is in finding out how pregnancy affect women with ADHD and how to make the most of it. It’s not that the data isn’t there. Women with ADHD have been having children since women have been having children, but to find out about ADHD and pregnancy you’d actually have to go talk to them, you know.

I’d like to know how to cope, that’s all. ADHD forums (something I’ve been avoiding, to be honest) are littered with the meds-or-no-meds debate. Not useful. Meds are only 50% max of what you can gain.

And I suppose perhaps that’s the answer.

I’ll have to find out what works for me and I’ll have to find support from those around me.

Just like ‘normal’ pregnant people.

So I went out to look for a normal pregnant book. (Ok, fine, I walked around the city centre, looking for a book, mainly because I was off my Concerta and needed the business and the walking to think. Getting it online would have been easier, but I needed to think). I wanted a book that was fun and practical. Because of Dutch being my second language, I went to the American Book Store first, but What to expect when expecting and the like was too text-y. Mindful pregnancy or something like that seemed too Buddhist… I ended up getting this colourful Dutch book, which seemed just right:


Yes, I know, I’m a doctor and I don’t need fruits to explain to me how big Baby is, but it has a lot of practical tips and overview tables which I do find useful. It’s cheerful, it’s fun. TDH complained about it being too ‘simplistic’. I handed him my Gynaecology and Obstetrics text book from med school. ‘You don’t really think I’m going to read that, do you?’ he said.

I’m probably going to go for some preconception advice at some point, considering everything. I just don’t know where to go for that. In this country, midwives do preconception stuff too, but then I’d have to find a midwife I like and who understands this kind of thing first. It might end up with the same impasse I’ve run into before: I’m a doctor.

I think rule number one is to just chill out.


Then I was thinking about what kind of mother I’d like to make. I’ve heard that I have a natural ‘knack’ with children a few times. That I’d probably be a very relaxed mum. Possibly true.

My own upbringing has more resemblance to Bringing up bebe than the ‘self expressive’  upbringing common in Holland. Despite many things I would want to do differently, I think I owe a lot to my parents for that. Especially considering who I am and what my shortcomings are. I was reading something about the French style, and it reminded me of the way I grew up. I think I want to read one of the books about the French parenting. Imagine how disastrous it would have been if my parents had given in to my whims. If I try to think what I would have been like if I’d been raised like the Dutch, I can’t imagine a functional outcome.

I wouldn’t be so resourceful if my mum didn’t send me back to go amuse myself if I complained about being bored.
I wouldn’t have the frustration tolerance I have -and need- if I hadn’t been told to wait till the grown ups finished talking, or to wait until dinner.
I wouldn’t have my perseverance if my parents didn’t teach me that.
I would have frustrated my parents too much if they didn’t set boundaries like they did. I wouldn’t have learned to make the best out of what I have if they had accepted ‘not in the mood’ or ‘a C is enough, do what you please.’

I fully believe I would have been less creative if the focus had been on self-expression.

It comes down to this: I believe in boundaries for children. I believe that they need to learn that they’re part of this world, and that it’s harmful to them to deny them a safe ‘cadre’. We can be friends when they grow up. They can do as they please when they’re older.

Sorry, Busy Baby, you have an Afrikaner mum.


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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in adult ADHD, Busy Baby, I believe


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