Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bedrest and Me

I've been on modified bedrest for the last four weeks since I started feeling a lot of contractions around 30 weeks.  We had just returned from a month long rotation in Houston and were nervous about what my uterus was doing this time (my second and third were both premature).  The doctor checked me and I was at 2 cm and 70% effaced, not too shabby for a fourth pregnancy, but given my premature pre-term labor at risk VIP status, the steroid shots were administered and I went home with a prescription for some nifodepine pills (to help my uterus relax).  When I saw my own doctor (who wasn't available the first day we were back) a few days later, he wanted to check me, but I persuaded him not to, telling him I had too many responsibilities at home with three other kids and that all our extended family was out of town (in China) for another week.  He agreed, but told me sternly that I must take it easy, I was essentially getting all the meds a person would get on hospital bedrest.  I agreed.

Bedrest at home with three kids meant a lot of screen time for all of us.  I went through seven seasons of Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the revival on Netflix.  I'd never watched the show initially, well a few episodes here and there, but I certainly was not on the GG train.  My kids played a lot on their ipads, and we still made our way out for kindergarten drop off and gymnastics or music class.  I did change my own carpool rotation to drop off which is significantly easier and less arduous than hiking up and down the hills with my two littles for pick up.  I had stopped working out a few weeks prior after feeling a lot of contractions and talking to the nurse over the phone who advised I try to take it easy (they really like that phrase!).

I started doing the dishes while sitting.  I started sweeping in a sitting position.  I even started taking showers while sitting (we have a handicapped seat in our shower).  And we started eating a lot of frozen food.  Take-out too.  And you know what?  It was hard!

I never realized how much of a spastic move around, must be doing something, type person I am, until this last month.  I have never disliked hospital bedrest, it's always been a fun time to catch up on shows that everyone raves about but I've never had the time to follow.  But this was different.  Here without the confines of a hospital bedroom away from the possibilities of things I could do at home, I really longed to be mobile.  I really wanted to go shopping, do fun things while the fall weather was still around, do fun Thanksgiving crafts with my kids, schedule playdates for my kids, and I was really looking forward to cooking some side dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving.

Instead, I lay in bed watching Rory and reminiscing about the stuff we used to wear back in the day (the show runs from 2000-2007 and my friends and I all wore a lot of the stuff she did on the show) and wondering where I'd be on Thanksgiving.  I started online shopping, but it was so incredibly and insanely dull.  I know the convenience is awesome, but sometimes I just want to walk around and SEE things firsthand.  Touch the fabrics, smell the stuff, feel the textures, and see the true size of items instead of clicking on "item details" to see more.   And one of my favorite parts about shopping during the Christmas season, is seeing all the Christmas lights and decor, smell the pine cones, pumpkins and cinnamon.  I really enjoyed the sparkle that permeates the air of the shopping frenzy all around.  When I was in my 20's in LA, my favorite place for a date during the fall/winter was The Grove.  I mean, they even had fake snow!  There was just something so fascinating and comforting about walking around the cool 60 degree air with a jacket and a handsome guy, seeing the twinkly lights and shopping bags abound.  I absolutely loved it!

We put up the tree early in case I wouldn't be around.  I'm almost done with Christmas shopping.

And then Thanksgiving came.  And I was still pregnant.  But then I got sick.  Head cold.  Runny nose.  Scratchy throat.  Lots of coughing which really hurt my upper stomach and probably scared the baby a bit.

To be on modified bedrest and not be sick.  It's funny how quickly you realize how ungrateful you are for the small and simple things.  Thanksgiving has passed, I am 34 weeks and still on modified bedrest but have been given permission to do "a little bit more" since I'm not 3.5 cm and still 70% dilated.  There seems to be hope that this baby can make it to term or close.  He's already passed both premies and still no blood.  Funny, my doctor told me blood does not indicate anything, a lot of people go into labor without bleeding at all.. but since my experience has been blood that triggered a trip to the hospital, I seem to think that will be the turning point.  I am still getting over my cold, but how grateful I am and how ungrateful I feel I had been, complaining about not being able to do anything.  How naive of me.

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