Sunday, March 7, 2010

25 Wks, 5 Days: Bedrest and the Eight-Year Anesthetic

Bedrest.

I have dreaded that word, but have anticipated it from the time I saw 2 pink lines on the home pregnancy test. I didn't want this. I used to work for a hospital where I would come home at the end of the day hating my job. That isn't the case anymore. I love my job. I love my coworkers, from the nurses and doctors I work with, to the other RT's, to the nurses, and all the way down to the housekeepers. I don't want to jeopardize that. And I am worried about the financial well-being of my little family. We have had some rough times, and we always bounce back, but after so many of those, you get tired. I mean really tired of having to rebuild. I know somehow we will survive this also. I just don't know how at this point. I'll cut expenses as much as possible, save as much as possible, and get help if I need it. I guess I'll have to wait and see, which is the hardest part for a type-A control freak like myself.

Yesterday, as I was contracting every 3 minutes, I hung my head and asked J if it was this hard with E. "Yes, baby, it was," he says. " But it was different because we were at a different place in our life and our marriage." It seems like a funny question for me to be asking him. I, of all people, should know. I was there.

They tell you that you will forget the pain of bearing a child as soon as you hold your baby. In some ways, I agree with this. I can tell you that E's pregnancy was a nightmare. I remember that much. I can tell you about the time a doctor told us we should just abort him and try again. I can recall other bits and pieces. The viscosity of the mag sulfate, cranked to the highest possible dose, and the throbbing in my arms as it entered the vessels. The purple-black bruises up both arms from both failed IV attempts and having to have labs drawn every 2 days. My white-knuckled fist grasping the bedrail as the contractions ripped through me. But that's it. Little tiny snapshots. Heartbeats, really, in the 34 weeks my body managed to both maintain him and try desperately to rid itself of him. Back then, I could have told you the entire story, in great detail. Somewhere along the line, the edges blurred, as if the 8 wonderful years of my life since he entered it have served as an anesthetic. As if Mother Nature or God, either one, is whispering in my ear, "It's all okay. You survived that, and now look at the reward. Look at this beautiful person who is here as a result of your toughness and grit." I can tell you the story, but the raw emotion is removed from it. It is just another event in my life. I think I needed the 8 years of watching him grow and giggle and learn and laugh in order to recover from the manner in which he entered the world.

So now here we are, fighting the same battle and it feels both the same and completely different. E's pregnancy seems easier now, looking back, and I don't know if this is because of different circumstances, or if it just seems so because I know E, and that has erased the degree of difficulty from my mind. 8 years from now, when Zachary is 8, will I have forgotten? Will knowing him and holding him and watching him grow serve to take all of this from me? One can only hope.

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