Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Bed rest

I started off on modified bed rest at 16 weeks. I was able to get up and do stuff around the house but rested whenever I could. After contractions started at 20 weeks, my bed rest became stricter. I’d say I’m laying down 85-90% of the time. I get up for meals and sit at the table and take showers but not much else. Last year after I PROM’d (Premature Rupture of the Membranes), I was completely horizontal all the time, including eating lying down. Talk about major heartburn! At least this time I’m sitting up. However, I did cut my hair significantly to shorten my time in the shower. I have to lie down because every time I’m up, I have tightening (contractions) in my belly and the babies’ weight feels enormous. It could be because I’m not used to the weight, but given what happened last year, I’m not taking any chances. Already, I’ve had some funneling/beaking above my cerclage. Any change to the cervix before the babies are full term is not good.

I used to romanticize bed rest. Doesn’t it bring up images of being in front of the TV, remote control in one hand and bon bons in the other? But that’s not the case. Bed rest is lying down; preferably on your left side (circulation is better for the babies rather than flat on your back or on your right). There’s not much you can do in that position. Remember, it’s lying down not sitting up. You can’t drink without a straw or a sports top bottle. You can’t read a newspaper. You can’t write. You always forget something that you need near you. And the space around you is limited. I currently have my glasses, cell phone, home phone, water bottle, pencils (pens don’t work when you’re laying down), note pad, book and calculator.

Bed rest hasn’t been easy. I moved into a house that I’ve never seen before because Mike had to make the decision on his own. I don’t know what the new neighborhood looks like because I arrived lying down in the backseat of the car. I don’t know what the second floor of the house looks like because I’m not allowed to climb stairs (although I cheated and snuck a peak). I can’t give out directions to the cable guy because I don’t know what the nearest cross streets are or land marks.

Sometimes I go days without stepping foot outside. Usually my days consist of getting up, having breakfast, going to the living room and lying on the couch with the laptop, then lunch. I’ll go back to the living room and stay there until it gets dark, then I move to the family room, lay on the couch and watch TV for a bit until dinner is ready or Mike gets home. That is my day. My only outings are for doctors appointment. Mike’s company Christmas party is coming up, but I won’t be able to go. I can only imagine what kind of desserts they’ll be serving! Maybe I can persuade Mike to sneak me back something (pretty please)?

I’m very lucky I have great support. Mike’s been awesome, offering to go to the store in the middle of the night to get me ice cream or helping me get up from the couch or doing all the unpacking from the move. My parents have also been incredibly helpful, waiting on me hand and foot. Initially, I stayed with them at their house, but now since we’re in O.C. they live here part time with us. Either my Mom or Dad is always with me during the week while Mike’s at work.

I’m not complaining, or I’m trying not to. This is a temporary situation that we’re doing for the babies. It is incredibly boring; the days are long and run into each other. Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is. I also wonder about my ability to rejoin the civilized world. I feel like I’ve been on my own for so long, I won’t know how to interact with others. Will I be able to pick up where I left off? The more time passes, the harder it seems to be. I want to see friends, yet I don’t. I’m afraid to make plans and then have something go wrong.

I know I’ll get over this. After this week, I only have 4 more weeks of strict bed rest. I don’t know how much activity I’ll be able to resume after resting for so long, but it’ll be better. Like I’ve mentioned, this blog is also a diary for me. I know a year from now when the twins are crawling/running all over the place and I’m meeting a friend for tea or doing errands, I’ll find it hard to believe I was feeling this way or maybe I’ll be nostalgic to when I was laying down bored out of my mind.


Kj said...

my image of you eating bon-bons peggy bundy style is gone forever.... jk.

your blog is great! it's wonderful to hear your voice -- thanks for sharing.

lots of love,


Amber said...

Lisa, I'm glad to hear that while a bit cabin-fevered, you and the babies are well. I told Mike that we're very glad to have you around here. If I didn't work during the day, I would love to be helping you. Far, far away from babies, all I can do about my "baby obsession" is read about it. I just read a book called "Bed Rest" (by Sarah Bilston) and her description of the tediousness for weeks on her side because of oligohydramnios made me so sad for her! Anyway, I wish you all the best, and I hope to see you soon!!