Part 3: Bittersweet Bedrest
Sunday night I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. One of the symptoms of preeclampsia is a sharp pain/tenderness under your right breast. The tenderness has been there for weeks, but I just recently started getting the sharp pain. It all hit me Sunday night that I had high blood pressure and had all these tests done, but since it was the weekend I hadn’t heard about the results. What if I really had preeclampsia and was on the verge of being eclamptic (seizures)? So I started crying hysterically and asked Brent to take me to the hospital. Being the wonderful husband that he is, he knew that 99.9% of my emotion was hormonal and he made me lay down in the bed on my left side. He took my blood pressure and I counted kicks. All seemed to be fine. I decided I would call my doctor on Monday morning to find out the test results and see if the pain in my chest was reason to come in again. So, I called my doc office Monday morning and had to leave a message. The nurse called me back within an hour and told me the results were normal and the pain in my chest was just heart burn. But I knew it wasn’t. I explained that I’ve been taking Zantac twice a day for indigestion and it has cured all heartburn, I also feel the heartburn in my throat and never in my chest. So she had me come in at 3:30 that afternoon. When I got there, the nurse weighed me and I had lost 3 lbs! Then, she took my BP and had this horrid look on her face. “So, what is it?” I asked her. It was 160/100. Not good. She hooked me up to the fetal monitor, gave me some cold water and had me lay there for 25 minutes, monitoring Lily and hoping to get my BP down. Lily’s heartbeat was good and I wasn’t having any contractions, but my BP remained at 160/100 after laying still for 25 minutes. The doc came in and did a quick exam, told me my cervix was hard as a rock and my pelvis was too small and “not favorable”, gave me orders to go straight to Labor and Delivery, told me that I was on bedrest in the hospital until delivery, and said she would come visit me in the morning. I could have sat there and just cried until the office closed, but I put my big girl panties on, marched myself over to L&D, all the while making numerous phone calls, and got placed in a room. I went through the whole admission process of paper work and a ridiculous amount of questions, and after 30 minutes I was in a HUGE robe that the nurse wouldn’t let me tie in case they had to perform an emergency c-section, had yet another orange urine jug, hooked up to the baby monitor, blood pressure cuff, and had an IV started. Before Brent could get to the hospital he had to go home, turn off the crock pot with a yummy roast in it, take care of Sanibel, and pack our bags. It wasn’t until he arrived that I was able to breathe like a normal person. Ahhhh. So then it just became a waiting game. I was on a sodium diet and was restricted to only hospital food, so my dinner selection was extremely limited. I had chicken, cold mixed veggies, salad with fat free dressing, water, and pepper. Haha…no salt packets for me! I had quite a few visitors that night. Monday night was the faculty Christmas party at school. After the principal, teachers, and secretary went to dinner, they came to visit me. They brought me a book with the lyrics and CD for “A Baby Changes Everything” by Faith Hill. I refused to listen to it that night, I knew the tears would be non-stop. The nurses moved me to another room and shortly after that my mom and aunt came to visit me. After that, they went to the house and got my first “child”, Sanibel, and took her back to the Ham to hang out with Uncle Sparky until further notice.
Monday night was my first time to ever spend the night in the hospital. I was dreading it, knowing I would get NO sleep. I actually slept really well, minus all the bathroom trips. I went through 3 IV bags of fluid while there, and I still drank as much water as I normally do. Bathroom breaks were very frequent! And unfortunately, due to the IV cords that didn’t reach the bathroom, the location of the toilet paper, and that dumb orange jug, going to the bathroom was a two person job. Despite all the times I woke Brent up during the night for bathroom breaks, he also slept pretty well. My doc came in at 7:45 Tuesday morning and told me that if my blood pressure continued to be normal throughout the day, that I could go home after the urine test was over. She also told me that I would most likely have a c-section and that she wanted me to get to 37 or 38 weeks. The nurses there were extremely nice and helpful. I always had a cup of ice! I LOVE hospital ice, that’s the one positive thing about hospitals. By 6 pm Tuesday night, the urine test was over and my blood pressure was stabilized and I got permission to go home for the remainder of my bedrest.
So I’ve been on bedrest for nearly 4 days now and it’s been bittersweet. My days are spent with TV, iTunes, Facebook, thank you notes, reading, phone calls, texting, and meals and help from sweet friends. I had an intuition throughout this entire pregnancy that I would not make it to Jan. 10. I didn’t know it would end with bedrest, but I just knew the end of my pregnancy was not going to end as planned. That’s why I was so stressed about getting things done. People kept telling me, “Oh, you’ve got time,” but I’ve known all along that I didn’t have time. I knew the time would be cut short in some way, and it has, and there is still so much to be done. Thankfully, my loving husband is doing so much for me and, like I’ve mentioned before, he does it all with a willing and cheerful heart. Never complains, never gets impatient, just completely selfless and loving me as Christ does. We also have wonderful friends and family that are bringing meals and coming over to help with whatever, from bringing me DVDs to hanging pictures in the nursery. I am overwhelmed with blessings and grateful beyond words.
Although being on bedrest is not ideal and definitely not full of excitement, I thank God for it. I was getting stressed at work, trying to tie up everything and get ready for a maternity leave, then coming home and staying stressed with my “Before Lily Arrives” to-do list, I was getting little rest–going to bed at 11 or later and getting up at 5:30. Regardless of whether I have preeclampsia or not, God knew I needed to be forced to rest. Despite the boredom, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been a time for me to reflect on what a wonderful marriage/husband I have. I have definitely grown to love Brent more and more each day as I watch him serve and take care of me. I’ve always known what a gentleman he is, that’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him way back in 10th grade. I’m not amazed or shocked by his behavior, because he’s always done a wonderful job of taking care of me. I’m just more and more thankful and humbled by God’s provision for me and care of me displayed through Brent. Bedrest has also been a time for me to really realize that my life is about to be flipped upside down, for the better of course. It has been very bittersweet for me to lie here and think about how soon Lily will be here. I don’t want to miss a beat. I compare it to my wedding day. I looked forward to that day my entire life. It came, I enjoyed it, and it went. I’ll never have that day again, never experience my wedding day again. It’s over. Same with Lily’s birth–I’ll never be pregnant for the first time again, I’ll never see my first child for the first time again, etc. A lot of “firsts” are about to come and go. I don’t want to wish away this time. I want to thoroughly enjoy every second as I look forward to Lily’s arrival. I am absolutely elated. Remember the song “A Baby Changes Everything” that I refused to listen to in the hospital? I listen to it at least once a day and cry every time, as well as all the songs on the “L&D” iTunes playlist I have created. From this point on, I will always think of the Christmas season in a new way because I now have new Christmas memories. For the first time ever, I will spend Christmas in this house and either be on bedrest or recovering from a c-section. When I hear a Christmas song, I will think of my bittersweet bedrest and the very quiet time that Lily and I shared together before she was welcomed into the world. I can’t wait to meet her, but I want to learn to bask in this time so that when she does arrive I don’t just let the moment pass me by. I’m learning just how precious a newborn is, especially my own. I pray that I will soak up every bit of time I have now, during and after her birth. I love my sweet Lily.
P.S. Sanibel, I have NOT forgotten about you. I’m sorry that the next time you see me, there will be a new person in the house stealing attention away from you. But you will be a big sister! I hope Uncle Sparky is teaching you a lot about having siblings. It’s a big task. You have to be gentle with Lily, love her, and set a good example for her. I promise to still love and play with you. That will not change. And, yes, we can teach Lily how to play soccer and racquetball.