Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2 Years Ago

2 Years ago almost to the day I was put on strict bed rest. I was 26 weeks pregnant with the boys and at 24 weeks had started to show signs of pre-term labor. At that time, I was instructed to follow modified bed rest and monitor things carefully. That did not do much so just about this time, 2 years ago, I went on meds and lock down in the bedroom.

2 years ago I had to lay down almost every minute of the day. I had to shower kneeling down. I had to eat whatever meals were prepared for me (which were all really good, but I think we all know how much I like to cook). I had to monitor my contractions. I did the Baby Stay In hypnosis CD religiously every day. And I prayed a lot, used my Oma's rosary ring for hours on end and thought of my Gramma and willed those two women to please hold me babies safe.

I remember being so afraid when it all began. I feared for them at the 26 week mark, absolutely terrified of the thought of micro preemies. And then we passed each week, more meds, more visits to the L&D with the stopping of labor, the instructions to take this per x hours, stay put, etc. But always the babies were fine; strong heart beats, tricksy little boys dodging the fetal monitors strapped to my belly. I remember Mace was buried deep in my pelvic floor, hard to get a hold of and hard to keep on the monitor. Owen always up high on my right rib area, trying to stand on my pelvic crest and escape via boob. I swear his head is flat from my pushing him back down.

I always got to go home, discharged with the instructions to see Dr. T at my next weekly visit. Each week a milestone, each day, when we turned out the lights and I lay sleepless next to Tim, an accomplishment. Man, those were tough days. And I remember that my mind was never very far from the fear.

My connections to the world were a cell phone, a lap top and a TV with local programming. My only excursions out to see Dr. T. My world narrowed to the view out my window with the occasional venture to the reclining lounge in the backyard for air. It seems like such a long time ago, but as I write this I can see the rose bush out my window coming back to life and know the explosion of miniature pink blooms will be here soon, just like they were a few years ago. Last year I guess I was so consumed by the boys and their needs that I had little time to reflect on all this.

But the memory hit me like a punch in the gut this morning. I was showering, and knelt down to let the steam build up and work on my aching cough. And I remembered that sensation of showering every day like that, the relief of being up for a minute and the challenge as I would feel the contractions get all worked up because I was active.

Maybe too because I have been thinking about more children. And these memories dissuade that idea. I do not think I could do that all again; the worry, the meds, the confinement, the loss of control. And the chance of having twins again is there and scary, not for the having of two more kids in my mind, but for the getting them here safely. Now, on the other side, with two healthy almost 2 year old boys, I know so many twin parents. Some had easy uncomplicated pregnancies, some had difficult. Some had no issues, some lost a little one. It makes pregnancy seem scarier than it was the first time around when I had nothing to compare it too.

I do long sometimes to experience a regular pregnancy, the fun of watching your body grow and change while walking around and doing other things. But I am grateful every day for the way we had our boys. They came at 36 weeks, no complications, no NICU, home with Mama by Day 5. Grew and changed and became all so well. I know we are lucky to have these little people charge around the home and take command of themselves and their lives as they grow. And if they are the only ones, well, although my mind bounces around a lot on the subject, I know the blessing I did receive, tough pregnancy and all.


*The last few weeks have been a hearkening back to the infant days, it feels, with the constant demand of the boys to be held and comforted due to their sick status. I brought them into Dr L. today and he said, though on the mend, a course of Abx was in order to clear Owen's ear and Mace's bronchi. Well, we almost made it to 2 without a prescription. It makes me realize how absolutely fortunate we are to have such strong troopers.

**And another little sick note: My cough was starting to trigger some asthmatic symptoms, something I have not battled since my college years. I no longer even have an inhaler and started to feel a little panicky last night as I felt the wheezing building. Then I thought I might try a few yoga inversions to see if it would help. And it did, remarkably so! After a few headstands my breathing eased and the cough did too. I am in no way advocating this as a method of treatment for anyone else. But I am glad I thought of it for me, avoided any need to get to the MD and worry about meds. I spent much of last night musing about why it helped so much, but I will spare you my theories.


Patricia said...

What you posted could have been my words as well. February 26, 2007, almost 2 years ago was when I went on bedrest. For cervical shortening however. I wished I had read blogs at the time, I wish I had blogged. It would have helped me pass the time, it would have helped me to know the stories of those in similar positions to myself.

Thank you for the beautiful post. It made me reflect on my own experience bringing my two smurfs safely into the world.

jillian said...

Great writing. I felt as though I was there with you then!

I have slight, occasional asthma symptoms, so that's interesting to hear about the yoga. I wonder if it's the relaxation coming from yogic breathing that may help - whatever it was, I'm glad it helped you.

I often have tummy troubles, and I find that if I sit on knees with head down, butt in the air, it sometimes helps. No idea why. Not very dignified though :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, A. I wish I knew you then, if I could have at all have been a support to you during your pregnancy and especially the time you were on bed rest, as I've seen how difficult that can be. Thank you, as always, for sharing your reflections with us. You are such an inspiration to me. xo-S.

Dawn Johnson Warren said...

I found myself with tears as I went on this journey into the past with you. Such gratitude that the boys came in so healthy and hearty and that you are as well!

You recently mentioned acupuncture for your postpartum. You inspired me to seek acupuncture for my hormonally charged anger/anxiety issues. After only 2 sessions I can already see the results. Thank you for helping encourage me without even knowing you were.

LauraC said...

It's funny how often I think of my bed rest days. Recently I was reading that prisons are going to be very hard hit during the analog to digital tv conversion because there is very little money in the budget for prisons to convert to digital. And I thought - please give those people some tv! I've been trapped inside my house for 14 weeks before and tv/internet were the only things keeping me sane!

I think living with the fear of losing Nate and Alex every day for those 14 weeks helped make me into the mother I was meant to be.

Sereknitty said...

I think your experience in pregnancy has made you appreciate your boys even more so! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Praying that you all recover soon!

Michele said...

I came across your blog...just had to read it! I was one of those twin mommies that was on bed rest but I ended up having mine at 23 weeks. God blessed you with two beautiful boys! Try not to let your fear of having the same situation again, get the best of you. I went on to have one of my healthiest pregnancies after such a horrible, traumatic one.
Love your blog!

Beth said...

While I was never on bed rest, I do share your fear of more children after a difficult twin pregnancy. I had been on part-time bed rest for two days when I went into labor at 33 1/2 weeks with my girls. Isabel had to stay in the NICU for two weeks, and Cameron for six weeks. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and tears are welling up just thinking about it.

I still have trouble on their birthday, thinking about the things I could have done differently to keep them with me longer. But their health was never in danger, and every year, as I think of their early birth and long NICU stays, I also realize how lucky we were. It took a lot longer than I wanted, but I was able to bring home two healthy babies, and it's impossible to express how grateful I am for that.

I'm not much of a writer, and I don't have a blog, but I love reading yours as well as some of the other twin blogs that I have found. Thank you for sharing with us.

cinnamongirl said...

I know how the changing in the seasons, flowers, and weather can bring back such strong memories. Think of the bed rest as a calm before the storm. We miss you.