It’s been a rough year. For me, probably the roughest of all rough years. Pregnancy is no picnic for anyone, but it seems for me complications are unavoidable. My first pregnancy was a challenge, and not to be outdone, my second pregnancy has been even harder. Throw in caring full time for a very active toddler who doesn’t understand the words “Mommy feels really sick today…let’s rest,” a huge construction project, and the unexpected passing of my mom during the holiday season; to say that I am weary at this point is quite the understatement.
So at 30 weeks, when a phone call to my OB to ask about some weird pains I was having landed me in Labor and Delivery, I can’t say I was shocked. I have been on watch for signs of preterm labor, since my first was born 5 weeks early. After monitoring me overnight, my doctor determined that I was not actually in preterm labor, but just experiencing contractions. I was sent home with a prescription for Procardia, instructed to take it if I experienced more than 6 contractions in one hour, and asked to “take it easy.”
After a week of “taking it easy,” the contractions were not slowing down. In fact, I ended up in Labor and Delivery again, when the meds did not stop the contractions that I was having every 2-3 minutes. This time, my doctor decided modified bed rest was our best chance of getting to at least 34 weeks. My husband and I quickly decided that there was no way for me to actually adhere to this restriction while caring for my 21 month old, so we scrambled to find someone who could care for him during the day. We were incredibly blessed to find another stay at home mom who was available to watch him, and that we had some extra savings set aside “just in case.”
And so began the waiting. The helplessness. The knowing that the management and running of my household was no longer up to me. The sadness of watching my sweet boy load up in the car every morning, not to return until almost bedtime. The guilt I felt watching my husband cook dinner for us after working all day long, while I lounged in the recliner watching Friends. Yes, I know this was what I was “supposed” to be doing. I was growing a precious tiny human, after all…no easy feat….but it feels so completely unnatural to watch your life from the sidelines. To have so much to do, and not be able to do any of it. To not be able to hold your first baby when he cries for you at bedtime for hugs, because to do so might endanger your second baby.