Notes from the bed rest dispatch

Written by: Rachel Reiff Ellis

Thursday was one of those days. The kind of rush-rush-everyone-is-late -and-forgot-their-lunch/needs-a-permission-slip/has-soccer-at-5:30 kind of days. Iwas trying hard to get things done both for work and for home and couldn't quite juggle all the balls at once, and as it turns out, the ball I dropped ended up being my own.

Friday morning Iwoke up to some spotting—something that I have had none of for this whole pregnancy, not even a little bit. I'm not really that much of a freaker-outer, but this concerned me for several reasons. One, because, duh:blood is not good at 33 weeks of pregnancy. Two, because I had been lying down for at least seven hours preceding my discovery, which meant that my body was really trying to tell me something. It wasn't just from lifting something too heavy or walking too fast up that one flight of stairs. (Ha!As if!)

I woke up Luke and told him the sitch, and we agreed that calling the doctor was probably the prudent move (I tend to lean toward the “wait and see” camp, but was headed to work and wanted to make sure that I actually should be headed to work) so Idialed the on-call MD. When Idescribed my symptoms to her—and boy, those doctors don't shy away from any bathroom talk, do they?—she said that since Iwasn't having any cramping or contracting, things might be just fine, but to be on the safe side Ishould probably head over to the L&Dtriage to get checked out. Her saying the word “triage” made things seem serious-er than Ihad previously been thinking, and I could tell that once we had decided that, Igot my game face on.

Luke had to get the kids to school, so I drove myself over to the hospital (which is about a three minute trip, door-to-door)and checked in to the L&D ward, where they told me to get undressed and gave me a gown and a paper bracelet and reclining hospital bed. That's when I started to think maybe I shouldn't have come by myself. Itotally felt like I was about to deliver this baby with all that set up—there was even a chux pad underneath my bum—and I was not really feeling like doing that solo. Nevermind the fact that I wasn't having even the slightest twinge of contractions. I was officially headed down Freak Out Rd.

But after three hours of not being able to find the TV remote to switch it from Spongebob Squarepants, some external fetal monitoring, ultrasounding and finally, once the on-call doctor was able to arrive, manual checking (yee-ouch), the baby was declared hunky dory, and I was declared 1 cm dilated. The doctor guessed that the bleeding might have come from the dilation, but 33 weeks is not really when you want the doors to the party opening up wide, so to speak, and so she prescribed a day of bed rest.

So now, here Isit on my rump, like a bump on a log, a couch (bed) potato. I would like to officially say that I have the best kids in the universe, as they have been most sweetly concerned, bringing me water and books to read (to them) and notes and hugs. We made my day in bed a kind of soiree, with pedicures and treasure hunting through my jewelry boxes and just laying around on each other and telling jokes. Imight even be tempted to say it was really quite nice.

So, message received, body. 10-4, Roger that, over and out. I'll be taking it easier on myself from now on and stop rushing around and stressing out quite so much. We may well be late to soccer every single Thursday and the special school shirt may not get washed before the field trip, but this baby is going to keep cooking for a while, if Ihave anything to do with it. And I think I do.

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