Friday, December 4, 2009

What Bed Rest for Two Months Is Like, Part I: What Happened to Autumn?

I've been on bed rest for two months now. It's weird not experiencing the entire season of autumn, or weather at all for that matter. I feel like Haley Joel Osment in A.I. (not that I saw it), asking "What is love?'

"What is autumn?"
"Autumn is real, but he is not."

Most people assume that I'm bored. I'm not-- well, not exactly... The hardest part is being isolated and not seeing people, not going outside, and not having the freedom to move at will. I definitely appreciate when friends come over.

When Mark is home he prepares all my meals and snacks and leaves a pitcher of water for me for the day. Sometime he leaves me a squeaky toy filled with treats which I can bat around to release tasty morsels. It's frustrating not being able to do things for myself, not being able to get the twins' room ready, and not being able to organize and clean the house.

I've had two different types of best rest. Thankfully both included bathroom and shower privileges as well as sitting in a chair to eat. When I was discharged from the hospital for the first time in mid-October, I was on "take it easy" bed rest. I was told to lie down 80% of the time, but Female Asian Doogie said I could also do things that made me happy, like go out to dinner or visit friends (as long as I was resting after I arrived). I didn't want to overdo it and only left the house about twice a week. I was concerned enough about overdoing it that we even wrote an offer on a house I never saw. (Female Asian Doogie recommended bed rest but also said it has yet to be proven to be effective. I will not be a happy camper if in ten years bed rest is definitively found not to help.)

After my latest hospital stint, I was given stricter bed rest. My doctor said I could still microwave simple meals like before, but I really should only move minimally. And I was not to leave the apartment except for appointments. Since being on bed rest I really appreciate just being outside in the car and taking the usual streets to go to the doctor. Until two days ago, when I had back-to-back doctor and ultrasound appointments, I hadn't left the apartment in a week and a half. And the next time I leave it'll either be to see the doc or because I'm going into labor.

I have two lying down spots at home - the bed and the sofa - and especially now I try to stay in each for several hours before moving to the next. That means constantly planning out what I need and then transporting my cell phone, home phone, drugs, glass of water, snack, etc. whenever I want to move between spots. Most of the time I'm on the bed where the laptop is. Unfortunately lying down means I only have one hand free for the computer which in turn means I have to hunt and peck to type. It can be exhausting. On the sofa I'm usually watching TV or going through baby clothes to write down who gave me what.

Being immobile for two months takes its toll on the body. Obviously you take in calories and have no way to burn them off (hello, Kathy beached whale). Interestingly enough, I actually lost about five pounds the frst stay in the hospital and a couple more in the second, just from muscle atrophy. Now I get tired and breathe hard just changing rooms (or turning over - again, slowly like a beached whale). Because of all the lying down, my feet and legs don't get swollen like other pregnant women, but now my hands do. For the same reason my eyes are constantly puffy.

The way I'm cooped up I feel like a piece of veal.

Next Time (Don't Worry It Gets Better)... Part II: I Make Fun of My Mother's Videos


  1. It won't be much longer. . .Don't worry. . .I'll pamper you and whip you into shape or should we say the twins will whip you into shape.

    What's this, "I make fun of my Mother's videos". My videos are a piece of art. . ."all in the eyes of the beholder."

  2. You haven't mentioned work at all. Do you miss it while on bedrest or are you too tired? Are you on disability now?

    I have to stop catching up on your blog after my 3am feeding. I had dreams about you after I went back to sleep. I loaned you my (non-existent) Vovlo station wagon and Mark wanted to know if I could give him a ride home if he dropped it off when he was done with it. Since it's like an 8 hour drive, I didn't think I could. But then I was confused about how I got to the Bay area in the first place.

    You are now more pregnant than I was with Audrey - I only got to 35 weeks and 3 days. Good job!