Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Oh, the irony...

I will be completely honest and tell you that there were mornings in my first two trimesters that I snoozed through my alarm for an hour and drug myself out of bed exhausted and/or nauseous to get ready for work.  On some of those mornings, in the back of my mind, I remember thinking, "hmm--wouldn't it be lovely to be on bed rest?  I could sleep, watch TV, read and play on the computer all day everyday." 

As the title of the blog suggests, there are times that the reality of being on bed rest isn't too far from my little fantasy.  There are also times when I'm so frustrated that I could completely lose control-- as in jump off the couch stomping my foot and screaming with my head spinning and eyes rolling.  Of course, if I did that, the prison personnel would respond with one of my two favorite quotes:  "Should you be doing that?" (said calmly, and with great concern for my unborn child) OR "SIT DOWN!"  Here is a short run down on the daily reality of my life:


First and foremost, I have to thank my awesome husband, Brian.  He's the one person that doesn't really get a choice in living with me/being my personal slave.  And yet, he's been so patient and helpful even when some of my OCD requests would test anyone's patience.  My mom and grandmother also stayed with us for the first two weeks that I was on bed rest, and Brian and I were both amazed at how much they did for us. Currently, Brian's parents are staying at our house and taking such good care of us.  We are so blessed to have families who basically dropped everything going on in their lives to make our life easier. So the things about bed rest that I have been particularly enjoying:
  • my bed is made daily
  • my bedding and bath towels are washed MUCH more often than what happened in "real life"
  • our laundry is done almost as soon as it hits the basket
  • breakfast is served to me on the couch while I watch a little morning TV
  • home cooked, nutritious dinners
  • the kitchen is cleaned while I sit on the couch
  • my mug of ice water is constantly being refreshed
  • I have "people" to go to the grocery store and run other errands for me (and they even put the groceries away when they get home!)
  • I have had lots of fun visits from friends, and it's been nice to have an excuse to sit and talk uninterrupted. 
  • I have not set my alarm clock in 3 weeks :)

Now--it's time to whine.  As many of you know, I'm a complete control freak.  Hands down, the hardest thing about being on bed rest is COMPLETE LOSS OF CONTROL.  Wow,  I get all nervous and sweaty just typing those words.  I look around my house and see all that needs to be done.  Generally, these are things that I could do in a matter of minutes.  It takes me forever to explain what I need done, where things go, how I usually do it, etc.  For instance, having my mother-in-law put away towels that had come out of the laundry.  There are rags for the laundry room, dish cloths in one drawer in the kitchen (but dish towels go in another), the light blue hand towel goes in the half bath, the green and ivory bath towels and hand towels go in the linen closet in the guest bath, the green, ivory and khaki large wash cloths go in one stack in the linen closet in the guest bath (but the small multi-colored wash cloths go in another stack) and the gold  bath towels and hand towels go in the master bathroom. 

Even better, directing people in putting away our Christmas tree and all my Christmas decorations last night.  Special ornaments go in special boxes, ribbon goes back on it's spool (which may, or may not be in its labeled box), ribbon comes off the garland but the beaded accents and lights stay on the garland when it goes into the box labeled "garland for the mantle", tissue paper needs to be tucked into the loops of all bows so they don't get squashed and lose their shape, faux snow goes in the ziploc bags labeled "faux snow"...  Am I exhausting/annoying anyone but myself yet?!

So, other things about bed rest that are making me a little cranky:
  • Not leaving my house.  Seriously, I've only escaped 4 times since getting home from the hospital on December 15.  I've also taken 4 "tropical vacations" to the lounge chair in our backyard on sunny days.  The pool boy even brings me drinks sometimes!
  • Pain.  My back and ribs ache constantly.  The only position that I'm comfortable in is standing.  I'll bet you can guess how well that goes over with the warden and guards.  
  • Lack of privacy and alone time. Don't worry, the prison personnel don't escort me to the bathroom or give me sponge baths!  It's just that I'm VERY rarely home alone--I think only 2-3 times since I got home from the hospital. 
  • Finishing my Christmas shopping online and relying on others to purchase stocking stuffers for me.  I managed to get them all purchased without any family member purchasing their own.  And, all my internet gifts made it on time!  
  • The nagging feeling that I should be doing something life-changing and productive with all this free time.  So far, my life changes have involved rediscovering Super Mario Bros. (the original and 3) on Brian's new Wii (more on that later), reading a lot of blogs of friends and complete strangers and discovering that there is NOTHING on TV during the Christmas season.
  • ME.  I've tried to keep up with personal hygiene, and in many instances, it has improved.  I have time to shave my legs daily.  WOW! I even have a new facial care regimen involving multiple cleansers and moisturizers.  However, that doesn't change the fact that my morning routine involves changing into a clean pair of pajamas (or sweats if I'm feeling really fancy) and I'm getting bigger by the day.  My "laundry people" have explicit instructions not to dry any of my pjs or sweats lest they shrink leaving my belly exposed.
  • Two words: STRETCH MARKS (all the cocoa butter in the world isn't taming the road map on my belly)
  • Reflux. I take Nexium and no longer have classic heartburn symptoms, but when I go to bed I frequently wake myself up throwing up in my mouth.  Yes, it's disgusting, but this is "the ugly".  I try to allow at least 5 hours between my last meal and going to bed, but sometimes that doesn't help.  I also try to sleep propped up, but that is really difficult when you have to sleep on your side!
  • My personality at times.  I've gotten increasingly crabby on bed rest. While I cannot thank the prison personnel enough for making this stay delightful, I'm afraid that sometimes I am not the most pleasant inmate.  
The bottom line is: the baby is still inside me growing bigger and healthier each day and I can weather any minor irritation and discomfort to bring this little life into the world thriving.  OH, and I am SO, SO, SO lucky to have the greatest friends and family supporting me.  

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Quick Update

So today marks day 15 of bed rest.  This will sound strange, but in some ways, it seems like time is flying.  I think the fact that we're in the middle of the holidays really helps.  It doesn't feel TOO abnormal being at home this time of year especially because we've had so much company. 

My mom, dad and grandmother were up here for awhile, and we celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas day at our house along with Sarah, Toby and Cason.  Yesterday, Brian's mom, dad, two brothers and sister-in-law all arrived for round two of Christmas celebrations.  

Medical Update:  
I had two doctors appointments last week on Monday and Tuesday (one with the high risk OB and one with my regular OB).  The appointments were great fun!  Seriously---the only times I've left the house since I got home from the hospital.  My status has been pretty stable.  My cervix is no better, no worse (I know, you couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve because you were waiting for that little factoid!).  I'm still not having any contractions which is a very good thing.  So for now, I'm still on bed rest but not receiving any medical intervention (drugs, monitoring, etc).  I'll be 31 weeks tomorrow, but whose counting ;)

Overall, this post has been quite positive, and that's generally how I feel.  I'm so thankful to still have a healthy baby inside of me!  Don't be fooled though.  Bed rest has NOT been easy for me and I'm still making mental notes for my commentary on the joys of house arrest.  For now I must get back to hosting 5 people in my house while sitting on my couch.   

Friday, December 19, 2008

Proof of My Boredom

So I actually started this on Friday, 12/19, but I've been surprisingly busy for a gal on bed rest so it's not getting finished until now...

 I have officially given in and joined the blogging masses.  I have mixed emotions about blogging, but I figured I have nothing better to do right now, so why not?

I'm sure most of you are aware by now, but it has officially been one week since I was placed on bed rest.  Last Friday, I woke up anticipating a normal day and weekend.  I had lots of plans to finish Christmas shopping, finish the last of my Christmas decorations and clean up my house. But alas, it was not meant to be...

I have been having weekly sonograms since I have been considered "high risk" throughout my pregnancy.  Up until last week, it seemed like a meaningless label because every time I went to the doctor they told us everything looked perfect and absolutely normal.  We were feeling so good about things that we decided it would be fine for Brian to go to New Orleans for his best friend Noel's wedding.  I had also started planning on working through February in anticipation of my March 2 due date.  

So, Friday morning, Brian left for New Orleans, and I went to work.  At 2:00 pm I went in for my routine sonogram ALONE.  Brian has been wonderful throughout my pregnancy, and this was only the second appointment he has missed.  My mom was able to go to the only other appointment he missed back in November.  As soon as the tech started the sonogram, I knew something was wrong.  She quickly showed me that my cervix (which had previously been described as "normal" and "very well-behaved") was "funneling".  Basically, the top was starting to open leaving the bottom, closed portion very short and weakened.  These are considered hallmark signs of impending preterm labor. 

I was whisked over to my doctor's office thinking that he would tell me to go home and take it easy for the weekend.  He's quite laid back and typically takes a very conservative approach to treatment.  Imagine my surprise when he told me that I needed to walk over and admit myself to the hospital!  

After a little bargaining, I was allowed to drive myself home to pack a bag (honestly, it was more to check on my cats).  My sister and her 3 week old baby came to pick me up and drive me to the hospital in rush-hour traffic.  Her husband met her in the parking lot for a baby transfer while I checked in. Meanwhile, Brian was trying to make it back to Dallas.  After horrendous traffic in New Orleans, missing two afternoon flights and a twice-delayed evening flight, Brian made it to my room just before midnight.  My mom and grandmother had driven up from College Station soon after I called, and they relieved my sister from "Allison watching" and stayed with me until Brian arrived.  

I was in the hospital for 3 nights and about 74 hours (but who's counting!).  During that time I was given a series of steroid injections to speed development of the baby's lungs "just in case".  I also underwent monitoring for contractions twice a day.  The good news was that I was not having any contractions so they let me go home with strict instructions to stay on bed rest. 

So, I've been at home under the watchful eye of the prison warden (my mom) and her guards (my grandmother and Brian) all week.  So far, I'm still somewhat sane and the baby is still cooking so we're in good shape!

More to come on the joys of bed rest...