Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Where Have I Been? Part 1: Hospital Bedrest with Twins
So, I've been gone for a good long while. I know I know, since February ('13!!). Things got pretty weird in 2013, not going to lie. What happened you ask? Well, long story short I guess, I got pregnant with twins and had tons of food aversions, so much so that the very idea of even reading a food blog, let alone cooking, made me queasy. Just a handful of foods have been palatable to me for the last 6 months. I was also a nervous wreck (surprised? haha) and just too jittery and on edge to focus on much. Cut to 22 weeks or so when I started having cervical issues and started home bed rest, then 23 weeks and an emergency cerclage, and finally here I am at 25 weeks, in the hospital where I've been for two weeks and will remain for probably the duration of my pregnancy. It has been a bumpy ride so far, to say the least. Nothing we can't handle, and luckily I have a sweet husband, a helpful mother-in-law, darling little girl, and an incredibly generous and thoughtful mom who will be traveling back and forth from Chicago to KC, to thank for keeping me somewhat sane.
Hospital bedrest is no joke. I have the utmost respect for women that have to do it for their whole pregnancies. Whatever preconceived notions you may have about it, don't. It's not only hard on you, but your whole family, household, your friends, co-workers, everyone. Simple things like getting yourself something to eat, going downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, putting your child to bed, these things are just gone. Everytime you get up to pee you wonder if you're putting yourself in jeopardy. Maybe your little one at home is too young to understand, and has nightmares and develops separation anxiety. Maybe your family can't visit often, and you spend most of your time alone, except for the staff.
If you're lucky, you are strong and can tell yourself this is only temporary, and for what better cause?You remind yourself that you won't even remember it when it's over, and will soon be something you can barely even recall with any clarity. You'll emerge stronger and more resilient and more adaptive and, much, much more empathetic to others. I know I'll be grateful for this someday.
What I won't be grateful for are some of the ridiculous things people think it is actually ok to do. "Some people would kill to be on bedrest!" is a nice little gem I've gotten oh so fond of hearing. Oh really? You'd kill to be confined to a bed your whole pregnancy? You wouldn't rather be enjoying it, preparing yourself and your family and household for what's ahead? Enjoying what it's like to have a small, insular three-person familial unit. You'd kill to miss months of work, family vacations, holidays, and your five year wedding anniversary because you were recovering from a terrifying surgery and then mandatory bedrest?
How are you feeling everyone says. Get better soon! I'm not sick. I'm pregnant. I feel pregnant. I feel pregnant and sad that I can't enjoy it. My daughter will be three in September and I am missing three whole months of her little life. She flits in and out of my hospital room, chattering on and on about things I have no concept of, because I haven't been around enough to know what she's talking about. How do you respond when someone says how are you feeling? I can't say what I want to say, which is, I feel lonely. I feel sad. I feel hopeless. I feel like no one understands. Maybe these things aren't true, but I can still feel them, even if I know deep down these feelings are just me having a pity party. Instead I have to fake it, and say, good, great, fine, because I don't want to upset anyone, make anyone feel bad or pity me, and I don't want people to think I'm ungrateful. I appreciate the sentiment, it's better than nothing. Get better soon! they say. What does that mean?
People don't know how to act, I get it. Especially people that have never faced any kind of adversity in their life. They just plain don't know how to react. They are dumbfounded. So in their dumbfoundedness they say whatever comes to mind. A good friend leaves messages saying, "Hope you're feeling great! Hope you're doing well and having a good day! Hope you had a great July 4th!" I appreciate the effort, I truly do. But did you really think I had a great July 4th? I was alone, in a hospital, knowing everyone I loved was somewhere else, without me. I could hear fireworks going off in the distance but couldn't even sit up to try and spot them out my window. And yes, it's one holiday. Just one. I'll get over it. But in this moment, I am just trying to claw my way out of this little hole I've found myself in. I'll get out. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. If I can make it 9 more weeks, I'll be great. I can do it, what's 9 weeks right?