Bed Rest or Bust – 19+ weeks

A lot has evolved over the past few weeks yet at the same time it’s revolved around my goal to do a whole lot of nothing. In fact that’s my goal for the next few months which is daunting when you think of how many months that really is – how many weeks that involves – and don’t even think about the days. (Goal = mid April)

My first week of bed rest following my dilation was a hard one for me. My head was spinning with plans to care for myself and my daughter – and keeping my husband sane in the midst of that. I was collecting names for nannies, making lists of their info, looking into day care options for the time that I could be hospitalized, talking to family about times they might help, all the while feeling like a massive burden. Feeling like a bad mother b/c I wasn’t able to care for my 2 year old let alone the 3 new lives in my belly or ME at the same time. Clinging to any sense of normalcy in the midst of that. HOW was this going to work and for so long?

After a bit of a hectic day at home, my head went into full overload with all the changes. Not being able to make my own food, help my daughter, or plan my life for the next week just put me over the edge and my days of no contractions since starting bed rest came to an abrupt halt. That evening was filled with contractions. Not painful – but there. I had a panic attack before going to bed and couldn’t sleep. At 2am I woke up with full belly contractions and this time – they hurt. 15 minutes of non-stop contraction/pain. I’ve been in labor before. I know what that feels like. I woke with my body totally out of control and was terrified. My husband jumped into help the minute he realized I was in so much pain and literally just wrapped himself totally around me and helped me relax and slow my breathing down.  I’m not sure what I would do without him. He’s my rock in these situations. We headed to the doctor and were relieved to hear that my cervix had not changed somehow. We could tell that our Dr was concerned before doing the exam and was equally relieved to find I was still only at 1cm – exactly what I was a week prior. She asked me about the stress of the prior day and I explained how my head had been spinning with all of the changes in my home, the stress of finding the right help for my daughter and myself, and balancing all of it. I told her that my mom and mom-in-law had both offered to each take two days a week to help out but that I was hesitant to take the help because I felt as if I was burdening them for such a long time ahead to get through. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me to TAKE the help and to take it from the people that cause me the least amount of stress (that’s what moms are for right?). To figure out the rest as it comes and take some time off of making those stressful choices. Well – there’s the answer to that prayer from the night before (“Dear God, please make this choice obvious. Please give me the answer for the care that my family needs without so much stress on me”). Answered.

The next day my amazing mother showed up and took me to the doctor for an ultrasound to see if there was any additional cervical change and to listen to the babies’ hearts (I have a slight risk of heart block for the babies so they watch the heart tones carefully). Everything looked great with the cervical length/height and more importantly the babies were doing well. Mom and I sat there and stared at the black and white monitor on the wall and watched the babies bounce around. Limbs everywhere. We had an hour with the ultrasound tech (a grandmother of twins herself!) and although she was doing her job measuring each baby as she went, she allowed a few moments to just stop and look at each of them when they were doing something interesting. We were so blessed to see one of them have the hiccups, one looked like they were sucking their thumb (hard to tell), and one amaaazing moment where one of them (in profile view) took a drink of fluid. You could see their little mouth open and the fluid go into their mouth, down their throat and fill their belly! SO amazing. We left that room on a bit of a baby high. (*Note: I ask about baby gender every time that I see an ultrasound and yet again, they’re still making different guesses. Before they were so small that it was too early to tell for sure. Now they’re so big that there are limbs all over in there and it’s very hard to tell which baby you’re looking at and what exactly you’re seeing. So we wait… again).

My “moms” have worked out a schedule to help out over the next month. I’m so blessed to have them here helping me and of course my daughter is having SO much fun with so many special times with her grandparents. Of course there are challenges on both sides of that as grandparents aren’t supposed to have to discipline like mom and dad do but we have to try to keep some sort of boundaries in our home so we’re all doing our best to learn that together. My parents are with my daughter at her ECFE class as I write this and I am OVER the moon happy that she gets to go to her class today. I know she’s missed it. I have to. But that’s just one more thing to accept that I can’t do right now – and is well worth missing to grow these babies as long as I am able.

Bed rest has been a challenge but I’m handling it well for the most part. I have indeed had a break down or two (mostly involving having to go to bed when I’ve been laying there ALL day and it’s the last thing I want to do). I’ve found that my bed is SO much better for me than my couch. I am a lot more withdrawn from the life in the house which is very hard but my body just can’t handle the couch. I wind up with massively sore hips and shoulders. I’m working on getting a foam pad of some sort for my bed to help with that too. (A big thanks to my friend Krista and my cousin Lisa who have both had long term bed rest while pregnant and have given many suggestions for this scary time).

I made an Amazon book order last week which included several books on a multiples pregnancy and bed rest as well as a children’s book for my daughter that explains why mommy can’t get out of bed. I’m not sure she understood it completely but in reality she’s adjusted to me in bed much better than I ever imagined. She doesn’t question why I’m in bed at all. She does have trouble understanding why I can’t go to church or to school with her though which breaks my heart into pieces. She doesn’t fight it when I say that I can’t go along, but it doesn’t stop her from asking me if I’m ready to go or if I’m coming with. I can hide the emotion well but it rips me apart inside. I so WANT to go with you my love!

So that’s my update for the moment. The doctor has given no promises as to where this is all headed. Nobody knows that but God. She said that I could remain at 1cm for months and make it to 30+ weeks just fine, or I could deliver next week – far too early for them to survive. If my body is still changing at 23-24 weeks I’ll be admitted to the hospital until they’re born. Otherwise I can be home on bed rest for as long as I’m stable. So for now – I focus my hope on His plan being perfect regardless of what I think I can endure and try to think back to the ultrasounds when I can see these amazing miracles growing and moving. It’s easier said than done at times but for the most part I’ve really remained quite calm about it all. I look forward to our 20 week anatomy scan next week. They say to expect 2+ hours of time to measure and examine each baby via ultrasound. We’ll see the perinatologist that day as well and we could use the extra prayers that we hear good news in regards to the babies’ health and growth. I expect bumps along this road but every mother’s heart prayers for the health of their children and that is something that is weighing on me a bit at the moment. Please God let these babies be strong and healthy and let my body withstand this time to keep them growing until it’s time that we meet them!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support.

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