entering my 18th week of bed rest...
Today marks another milestone in my journey with this pregnancy. At noon today I can say I have been on bed rest for as long as I have not been on it this pregnancy. At noon today I can look back and think of what could have been had I not been put on bed rest; and trust me, there could have been a lot in either case. At noon today I can recall what the last thing I did was, the last place I visited, the last mile I drove, the last of many lasts and the first of many firsts.
What began as a trial bed rest period stretched out to become a new way of looking at the world, a different way of dealing with circumstances, an alternate approach to being. What started as a week of observation, turned into a month, two months, twelve weeks, and now eighteen. Only a little remains of this pregnancy, but what remains will remain wrapped in limited mobility, in house arrest, in being careful. By the end of this pregnancy I will have been down more than I have been out and about.
There has not been a day in the life of this pregnancy that was worry-free. From the day the test turned positive to the day the sonogram showed an incompetent cervix to this day, I have been flagged with one medical concern after the other. First, came the bleeding and the fear of another miscarriage. Then, the morning sickness, the cramps, the side effects of the progesterone pills. Giving up yoga, limiting my outings with Jannah-Rae to one a day, not being able to push the stroller much past our apartment complex, getting through the first trimester to annouce the news to friends and family.
Once the twelve week mark came, I sighed a sigh of relief. I left my progesterone pills behind, and looked forward to a pain-free second trimester. The announcements went out, the news circulated. I bought maternity clothes, got a pregnancy massage, booked a hair cut (which I never did get). But, I was still experiencing physical pain and needed help pushing the stroller up the hill. Many times I would stop to catch a breath, sit rather than run around, order in rather than cook. The doctor thought it was just my body stretching to accommodate the new being. I thought not much more of it. I coped and took my constipation medication regularly. I paced myself and did my best to balance the pain with JR. The walks were taking the place of yoga, and that was ok; it was all temporary and I was still getting some exercise. In the back of my mind, though, there was still the concern with placenta accreta. The complications from its previous occurrence still fresh in my mind. Every day that passed I thought about whether or not my uterus would rupture; that risk was also there. What would happen if I needed a hysterectomy. Jeff and I always thought I would be put on bed rest during this pregnancy, we just never thought it would happen so soon.
The promise of a pain-free trimester, however, was never fulfilled as six weeks into it brought on the status quo, during which I graduated from the "golden" trimester and entered the home-stretch of the journey. The transition was obvious: the scale read out the numbers, the mirror reflected the image, the aches and pains told stories. What started as a much awaited pregnancy, turned into a must forget journey. But at least the journey is still ongoing.
It is easy to lose sight of what the status quo has meant for the baby when I focus too much on what it meant for me, Jeff and Jannah-Rae. Some days all I can see is the "I don't have's" and "I didn't do's". Other days I feel blessed to have landed in bed by a mere stroke of a talented doctor who spent an extra five minutes reading through my history and another five minutes looking past the routine.
When I look back at how seemingly coincidental her discovery of my condition was I am left speechless. When I think how her partner's medical opinion could have cost us the life of this baby I am left outraged; outraged that he was willing to risk the baby's life because of studies he had read and research he quoted; outraged that he was not willing to take a chance, think outside the box, perform a procedure. I am also left thankful; thankful that she was of a different opinion, thankful that she had a different approach, thankful that she took the decisive action, thankful that she took a chance, thankful that she followed her intuition and did not let the past dictate the present.
This bed rest has been many things. I can name them all, but that would mean a laundry list of feelings I would rather forget. It would also mean a separate, but equally lengthy, laundry list of those I need to remember. This second list could be summarised in one word...Grace. If nothing else, this bed rest has saved this baby's life. That is a true blessing.