Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

When we were in law school and drowning in final exam preparation and later when we were drowning in bar exam prep (all hurdles that felt so huge at the time and seem so small in hindsight), my friend Kath used to always quote Dory from Finding Nemo -- "JUST KEEP SWIMMING." That mantra always helped me to keep on keeping on with outlining, studying, whatever I needed to do to succeed. And, as we've hit our bumps in the road post-law school, I often think of that saying.

So, here we are. We've hit this whole "bed rest" bump in the road and are having to -- once again -- adjust our "new normal," but we are still swimming right along. Almost unfazed by this new bump in our path.

Okay, so the news you were waiting for - and the beginning of what we'll call:


So, I went back to the perinatalogist on Monday. I sort of thought that if my cervix measurements were better, they'd be like, "okay, fabulous, false alarm, resume life as normal." That didn't happen. The good news is . . . my measurements WERE better (over 3 cm, thank you very much) but the doctor just said that the good measurements meant that what I'd done for the past week had worked, so to keep doing that . . . which meant - NOT going back to work (but continuing to be able to work from bed); minimal lifting of the Bean at home; and just generally keeping myself to a very light activity level and resting as much as possible. And, I've earned bi-weekly perinatalogist appointments and cervix scans. So, if things start going downhill, we'll know promptly and then we'll readjust our plan. This all gives me great confidence that we WILL make it to term with this new little girl.

At first I was ecstatic that my cervix was, as I immediately declared, looking "long and strong," then I was disappointed that I wasn't being released from the whole (modified) bed rest thing. The thing is, although I might complain about my job and say that if given a choice I wouldn't work (if that were financially an option for us) but I'm not sure that's really the truth. I worked hard to be where I am professionally, and MOST of the time, I do like my job. I thrive on the intensity and the challenge and I LIKE lawyering. So, it is kind of a bummer to be sidelined for what COULD amount to nearly 8 months (4 months pre-baby; 4 months post) and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad worried about what that will do to my career trajectory. And I DO care about my career. A great deal. It certainly isn't my number one priority -- my family is -- but it is still important to me, and I know that's okay too. So, I was bummed. Disappointed that the complications were hitting this soon. Disappointed that I'm apparently just not one of those women who can gestate and teach aerobics and run miles and miles and work my tail off until the 9th month. Not how I was made, so to speak.

But, then, I gave myself a pep talk and realized that I CAN still work from home and that MAYBE if I just have a super positive attitude about this, and continue to do QUALITY work while on bed rest for as long as I can, maybe that's what people (read: the people who make promotion decisions) will remember. Maybe they will take THAT as a sign of my commitment and not fault me for what is truly not my fault . . .

So, all I CAN do is just keep swimming and do my best work for as long as I'm able, and listen to my dcotors and do what they say and hope for the best.

And, in the meantime, this whole "modified" bed rest/light activity thing is WORLDS better than REALLY being stuck in bed. I can't lift Sammie B often, but I CAN get in the floor and play with her. We can continue our nightly ritual of "wall-standing" which helps build her leg muscles and helps her work on balance. We read books while wall standing every night (this kid could literally be read to all day everyday and be the happiest Bee in the world; she LOVES books; she finishes the sentences in her books; she seems to know them by heart and is constantly saying "more" when we finish one book).

It's actually become a fun part of our nightly routine -- we read to her while she wall stands, and then we count how many books we read together. When I have to go through "where we are" motor-skill wise with professionals, they always ask how long she's able to wall-stand for and I always have to give the "time" in our number of books. And, right now, I'm proud to say that the other night . . . we READ TWELVE. TWELVE. And tonight . . . EIGHT. And then, together, we counted to eight. We started this little "tradition" at just TWO books. Progress.

And on the weekends, when my bed isn't my make-shift office, modified bed rest most DEFINITELY includes naps together. What's better than that?

So, it is not what we hoped for -- an uneventful pregnancy where I'd get to "go go go" as I normally do. And, yes, we are having to sort of rework our "normal" so that Sam and I are alone less (though we've managed despite B working a little late most evenings this week), and B definitely has to do a little more than he normally does. But, things are looking up, and this "modified bed rest" that allows me to keep working (even if only from home and probably not as much as my "norm") and continue to play with my girl is WAY better than what I feared last week - strict bed rest. So, all in all, good news.

And, of course, Sammie B IS getting used to breakfast in bed while we wait for her nanny to arrive and take her downstairs to leave for school and/or therapy :o) We've even taken breakfast in bed to a whole new level with a new Dora table so Sammie B is tickled pink.

Just a bump in the road. And we -- all of us -- are going to keep on swimming.


abby said...

The whole wall-standing-while-book-reading thing is fabulous. We are also a family of readers around here (books are Hallie's favorite things, too, and I imagine that it won't be very long before Sammie B. starts reading to you guys while she wall stands). I also love the pink Dora table and all of the great quality time that you guys are getting to spend together. I am sorry that you have to do the whole modified bed rest thing, but I am so glad that you have the excellent company of Sammie B. while you do it. We are sending you (and your cervix) long and strong thoughts!

Kristen said...

love it! we are going to try the wall standing tonight. we just keep swimming over here too!

Attorney At Large said...

Oh, I have been on the bedrest bandwagon while practicing and it is not fun. GOOD LUCK keeping your little girl inside as long as possible - and having fun with your big girl, too. :)