Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Notes from the housebound

I'm finally getting a sense of what subjects prompt you people to comment. Poop, no. Monkeys and blow jobs, yes. Got it.

What was that? Doctor's appointment yesterday? Oh, you don't want to hear about that, do you? Well, okay I went back to the doctor yesterday. I'd spent Friday to Monday at home, anxiously counting contractions (sometimes I'd go a whole 90 minutes without one, but one exciting evening I had six in one hour) and willing my cervix to lengthen and close up. Doctor's appointment first thing in the morning--I had two good hard contractions on the subway on my way there and one while sitting pantsless on the table waiting for her, so that was fun.

Anyway, to cut to the chase--cervix was long and closed by manual exam, and cootercam measurement was 3.5 cm--back up from last week. TheGoodDoc did a fetal fibronectin swab as well. I knew from Dr. Google that a negative result is good--means I'm unlikely to go into labor in the next two weeks--and a positive result is inconclusive, which is pretty much what TheGoodDoc said when I asked her about it. "Just assume it's negative," she said. "I would never call you up and scare you by telling you it's positive--it's just to help me know how to manage your pregnancy."

Then she said, "I want you to work from home."

"For how long?" I asked, not getting it.

"...For the rest of the pregnancy."

Of course I burst into tears. Being sent home again was what I was most worried about, next to being put in the hospital of course. The several stints I've done at home so far have almost driven me crazy, so the prospect of being housebound for the next 16 weeks (if I'm lucky and go to term)...I live in an out-of-the-way neighborhood, so it's inconvenient for people to come visit. I don't have family in the area. Basically, I'm staring down the barrel of 3-4 months with very little human contact besides my husband and the UPS guy.

It could be worse. I can go to the office once a week to pick things up, as long as I take a cab there and back. I'm not on total bed rest--I can sit up at the computer and move around the apartment when I want, as long as I rest frequently. And as TheGoodDoc pointed out, I'm lucky to have a job that can easily be done long-distance and no other kids at home to run around after. They are being super nice about it at work (not that they have a choice, I suppose), too.

And as upset as I am about this latest development, there is a part of me that is relieved. Walking to the subway to go to the doctor's office was a real effort for me yesterday, and set off all kinds of contractions (that I couldn't keep good track of because it's harder to time them while standing up or moving). Although I know intellectually that bed rest is not proven to prevent preterm labor, emotionally I've been more and more anxious about going to work each day, especially as we enter the edges of viability for Bat Girl. For me personally, the next 6 weeks are really critical in terms of keeping her safe inside. And obviously, judging from last week, I can't be trusted not to overdo it. We don't have a car and I can't afford to take cabs every day (would add up to $250 a week). And just being at the office involves a lot of moving around, even though I have a desk job. So in some ways, this is the best solution. I just wish it didn't suck so much.

I just have to keep reminding myself, it's only a few more months.


Anonymous Melanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your bedrest and hope that you're doing okay. I just sent an email to the account attached to your blog.

11:43 AM  
Blogger gaelen said...

I'm sorry, too, to hear about having to be on bedrest. Maybe it's time to indulge yourself with a lot of online least that way, you can have more visits from the UPS folks! ;)

11:49 AM  
Blogger K77 said...

Well shit. I am glad all is well with the cervix, but sorry you're housebound from here on in.

How does one manage this with existing children? I'll (hopefully) be doing it with a hyperactive 3yr old. I didn't even do the pg thing the 1st time.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Plain Jane Mom said...

That does really suck. I'm sorry you're going to be stuck in the isolation chamber. Is the UPS delivery person eye candy? Place an order on amazon every other day...

12:53 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have to stay home. It's good that your cervix is measuring well. It is lonely at home. I've been working from home since I moved 6 hours north of my office. It can get pretty lonely during the day but I'm starting to get used to it now. I hope that the next 3 to 4 months go well.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I SOOOO relate going on 10 weeks of modified bed rest myself and I feel for you!! It only gets harder, BUT, I set weekly goals (i.e. keep my little girl baking, no contractions, daily meditation to my pregnancy meditation CD)and I've found a great hypnotherapist. My biggest piece of advice, because I too do not have family or friends that come visit (just the UPS man with Old Navy deliveries)is get a daily routine. Get up same time every day, shower, eat, work, eat, work, you get the point. I read a book that mentioned scheduling hourly bathroom breaks and getting up to refill my water, it truly works to keep the days going by. Good luck and feel free to email me if you want a bed rest buddy:

6:37 PM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

I'm sure as time rolls on that you will have more and more to keep you busy. Being "stuck" at home will stink, but I'm sure you will settle into a comfortable rhythm. :-)

8:37 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

It does totally suck. It's worth it, but it sucks.

You should check out Sidelines, for support and the latest research on warding off bedrest/confinement depression. It's clear in retrospect that my bedrest (from 20 to 32 weeks, when I delivered) set me up for a raging case of PPD. You want to take care of yourself so you don't have to deal with PPD after the Bat Girl arrives, if you can help it.

One week at a time. One day at a time. You can do it.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

Ugh. Bedrest is such a drag (I did serious bedrest twice, once before the days of internet). Usually the docs let you off when you get into week 37. By that time they figure if you go into labor it's OK.

We're not human? :-( OK, OK, I understand... :-)

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Watson said...

I am sorry to hear about the possibility of being confined to home for the next 16 weeks. And made even harder by the fact that you live out of the way and don't have family near by.

I know you feel isolated (to put it mildly) but don't forget to call on your friends.

Even if it's hard to ask for and accept help (I know it is for me) your friends will be more than willing to stop by and bring you stuff (junk food, trashy magazines and the like) to help you get through the next couple of months.

And you have US, out here in the blogosphere, although we can't stop by and bring you stuff and watch bad TV with you. Wish we could though :-)

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Thank goodness your cervix is still closed. I have the opposite problem, opening cervix with few contractions, hence orders to keep me horizontal to try to take the pressure off. I've found bedrest not to be too bad. In fact, I'm much busier than I had anticipated. It is hard not to have the human contact, especially when you live further away from friends and family. I will definately check out Sidelines, thanks for the link.

5:05 PM  

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