Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bedridden and Sad (and a lot of talk about lady parts)

She's tickled by breakfast in bed . . .

Mama's heart is oh-so-heavy (but her smiles help).

Over the weekend, I was feeling a bit of pressure in my lower abdomen. I (of course) hoped beyond hope that it was nothing, that I was just being paranoid because of my history of pre-term birth with Sammie B, but I did remember that feeling of "pressure" as one of the first signs I had of pre-term labor with Sammie B. And, I was worried, even though I told myself *not* to worry, even though B told me *not* to worry.

So, Monday morning, I called my perinatologist and went in. I generally love him, but I think he'd woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. . . and I fell a little out of love. Every time I've seen him thus far, I've asked about activity, I've asked about lifting Sam (and he's said "women were putting their kids on their backs and working in fields for generations, so while it may not be ideal that you lift her, it is reality, so try not to worry too much,"). So, his optimism has comforted me up until now and I have been living my life as normal.

I told him that I had a busy weekend, and that I had this slight, occasional pressure in my lower abdomen and he started lecturing me about how I need to slow down, B needs to help more, and that I *need* to remember I'm a high-risk pregnancy. I was sort of blindsided by that, since he's never acted worried before. Anyway, so then he had a look at my cervix. And, for those-in-the-know on cervixes, you know that funneling/shortening means you are *maybe* having signs of pre-term labor (the predictability is difficult, many women might have shorter cervixes in the beginning and go to term, but since it is hard to predict, short cervix = precautionary measures). Anyway, my cervix was "intermittently" shortening and funneling. Bad news. Doctor went into super-cautious mode, told me he wanted me on bed rest for 10 weeks, talked about how if I went into labor now, the baby wouldn't make it, etc. etc. Me = sobbing mess. I texted B "bed rest. can't talk, sobbing."

I just felt, in that moment, the weight of the world. The same weight I felt the day I got put on bed rest for Sammie B. Like this other little person is counting on me, and my body is failing us. Just like it failed Sammie B. Only now, I feel like it is failing this new life AND failing Sammie B all over again. Because she needs a mama that can be fun, that can play in the floor, pick her up, go swimming. And, I can't be that mama if I'm stuck in bed for 10 weeks. It also hurts because everyone keeps telling me that I HAVE to, just for now, put the new baby first. Before me, before Brian, before Sammie B. And, to be honest, in the last nearly three years, Sammie B has been our number 1, she just has. And, right now, putting anything as a higher priority than her just kills me. Guilt that I can't mom up for Sammie B. Guilt that I guess my body isn't meant for gestating. Fear that we'll be on that same familiar NICU roller coaster again. Fear that we won't even make it that far. Guilt, fear, worry. And, just a general longing to pick up my girl and do the things with her that we do.

So, after destroying me emotionally (or maybe just doing his job and putting the fear of God into me), my peri sent me to my regular OB. She'd already talked to him. She said she needed to see my cervix for herself. (Again, for those in-the-know, when the peri had measured, it had intermittently shortened to as short as 1.7 cm, but then lengthened again to over 3. Apparently, 1.7 is bad bad bad (1.5 = hospital bed rest); 3.3 is good good good (above 2.5 is normal)). She measured it at 4 cm, and said she'd swear on her life his measurements were wrong. The thing is though, he showed me the shortening/funneling, so I know he wasn't just making it up. Anyway, the OB mentioned a cerclage as a precautionary measure, but she'd talked to the peri about it and he disagreed. So, she wanted me to see another peri and I went to him immediately. He got the same great measurements she'd gotten, and he took several . . . all above normal. So, he explained that the cervix is dynamic and can literally change in hours or days or weeks, particularly when "maternal stress" is lessened or increased. Because he got normal measurements, he just wanted me home on bed rest for a week, and then to re-evaluate in a week. So, that's where we are. Home. Bed. Sad. Worried. Guilty. And trying not to stress. I'm working from bed this week, our nanny and B are doing all the Sammie B lifting, and well, that's that. It stinks. Pure and simple. But we are optimistic that when I see my peri again Tuesday, things will look better.

And, all my amazing mama friends have already rallied around me, reminding me that Sammie B doesn't care if we are playing in bed, playing on the floor, or playing at the pool. That, "working with her" on her PT *can* (and for now, has to) be left to dada and our nanny, and that this is my chance to spend time cuddling and giggling and playing in bed. That lessens the guilt, though it is still there. Ever so slight.

I know that even if I do end up on long-term bed rest, this will just be little blip in our family's history. I know that. Yet, I feel like all I want to do is hold my girl, and apologize to her little 2.5 year old self, and tell her that mama is so very very sorry if she's not being the mama that she needs me to be.

To my Sweet girl - my first - the magic little girl that made me "mama," I can promise you this . . . every single day I wake up with the number one goal to be the best mama to you that I can be. To be the mama that you need me to be. And, even if the ways in which I can do that (or the location from which I can do it from) is a little limited for this short time because I have to also figure out how to be the mama that your little sister needs me to be, it is still my goal. To be the mama you need. I love you with all my heart, and your magic and your smile comfort me and soothe my soul in a way that nothing else can. I love you.

This is hard.


Kristen said...

You are going to do this, friend! I am hoping and praying that you will get the same great measurements next week. But, until then, give yourself a big break. You are a great mama! Sam will not remember the bed rest but only how wonderful she was and is loved!

Gina said...

I had a bleed in the first trimester with Gray and I felt SO guilty that I couldn't lift Lo for my entire pregnancy. he asked me several times during my pregnancy to hold him, and it always broke my heart to tell him that I couldn't. I'll never forget when, after Gray was born and I was finally allowed to pick up Logan, he was giddy. He hugged me and kissed me and said, "You CAN pick me up! I love you, Mommy!!" And he's never said a word since. It just made him realize how special snuggling in my arms is, that's all. ;) Hang in there, sister.

Jen, Paul and Gracie said...

Hi Allison, thanks so much for your response to my Kidwalk post on Baby Center. I clicked over to your blog link to read more about Sammie. It's really nice to find another mom who is working through some of the same gross motor challenges. Gracie also does therapeutic riding and swimming. Nice to "meet" you and I look forward to keeping in touch. Sorry to hear about your bed rest!