Hey Friends. Polly here.
Because I can get a little chatty when I write personal posts like these, I’ve decided to break this up into two different posts: 1) The backstory to how I ended up on bed rest and 2) Some initial observations and things I’m learning from sitting on my butt all day.
Ready, set, launching in…
In a matter of one doctor’s appointment, our world flipped around a bit and things are just, wow.
I’m 34 weeks pregnant and last Tuesday, was just having a very uncomfortable morning. Weird pressure, lots of Braxton Hicks contractions and just feeling–off. I’m not one to call the doctor much but something in my gut just told me to. I thought for sure they’d say, “Lady, you’re fine. You’re 34 weeks pregnant so of course you’re going to be uncomfortable…” Well, apparently when you’re 34 weeks and throw around the words, “Pressure, contractions,” etc., they will find the time to see you asap.
They got me in that afternoon for a quick checkup. Still feeling a bit high maintenance for being there, I sheepishly explained the changes I had seen in my body over the past 12-24 hours. As a precaution, my doctor wanted to check for dilation. Well, were both surprised to learn that I was dilated 2cm and 50% effaced. Uh oh. As my OB said, “Well, things just got a bit more interesting…”
I tried to digest the flurry of information and potential outcomes of being dilated early but was still a little in shock by it all. I had zero problems with this with my first two pregnancies so was just in unfamiliar territory. After an (ouchy-munga) steroid shot to give the baby’s lungs a boost in case I went into labor soon, I was sent home with orders to be on bed rest (with permission to get up here and there as needed-so not the hardcore only get up to pee bed rest, thank goodness.) I was also told to watch contractions closely and call in the reinforcements for help.
Well that night, things proved to get eventful.
Whether it was from stress or what, the contractions continued to grow in intensity and frequency–as did my stress level.
I just remember laying there on Tuesday night, trying to watch Fixer Upper but not even hearing a word of it. The loudest thing in my life were the reoccurring contractions that just kept creeping closer and closer together. 10 minutes apart… Now 9…. Wait, that was 7…. Another 7… Seriously, 5 minutes? No, stop. 5 minutes is danger zone. Crap, 4!? … 4 Again?? Oh gosh, that one was only 3 minutes… 3 minutes again… 2:38 minutes on that one.
At this point, I get a lump in my throat and realize what is happening. We needed to get to the hospital. Even though the contractions weren’t painful at this point, they were doing something and needed to be stopped or were going to turn into the real deal really fast.
When I hit the point of realizing we need to head into the hospital, I wish I could say that I calmly informed my husband that we needed to head in. Nope. I had my first freakout moment. I mean, is this really happening? Are we going to have our baby right now? My bag isn’t even fully packed! I just started crying. I actually resisted. I didn’t want to go if I didn’t have to nor did I want to have a premie. I just didn’t want to do anything. I felt paralyzed but luckily had a husband who knew when to step in and kindly-yet firmly start calling the shots. My mom, who I had been texting about all of this also simultaneously called and pretty much told me she was currently packing a bag and getting ready to make the 1.5 hour drive to come stay at our house for the night.
Luckily we have some friends who live next door who could monitor kids so we were able to leave pretty quickly.
I managed to collect myself a bit and was doing fine until I had to remind my husband to pack the camera. As I told him this, the tears returned. I didn’t want to bring my camera because I didn’t want to have this baby yet! It was going to be in the NICU and this is just not the beautiful vision most moms have of bringing their child into the world. BUT at the same time, if we had the baby, we of course need our camera! We aren’t going to not document it’s birth because it didn’t go as planned. Again, so many mixed feelings.
Anyway, we get checked in, send loads of texts out to our people asking for prayer and trying to keep them in the loop. I regain some self-control, especially when I find out that the OB on call is a doctor we know pretty well from church. I get all hooked up and start being monitored. Contractions were holding steady around 5 minutes apart at this time. Our doctor explained that sometimes the “magic potion” to stopping preterm contractions was to flood the body with fluid and a nice little sleeping pill. So that’s what we did. Flood me and drug me, doc.
Somehow between the beeps, the two bags of IV fluid, the two straps around my belly, the contractions, the voices outside my door and texts of concerned friends and family coming in, I managed to get a few hours of sleep. When I woke up, the nurse told me that the contractions had pretty much subsided! We spent the whole night there and were happy to pack up and leave early the next morning.
What’s funny is, I’m not sure who was happier–us to leave the hospital with a baby still in the womb or my kids who got to wake up to a surprise visit from Nana at our house.
Regardless, we are home and have been for a few days now. We’ve been told there is a good chance we will be back and we should NOT hesitate to come in–especially in these next two weeks. Despite my minimal activity, I still get lots of contractions throughout the day but thankfully nothing has progressed.
So, that’s the backstory of what has been going on. If you want a more in depth, reflective look at what it’s been like to be on bed rest so far, swing by Bed-Resting (Part 2).