Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This contraction crap is really getting old

Seriously. I just realized that as of Sunday, I will have been having contractions an average of every 20 minutes for TWELVE WEEKS. As in, practically an entire trimester. I'm sorry, but that's just bullshit.

I think this is the longest I've ever gone without a blog update, so I have to apologize not only for being absent from here, but also from your blogs. Things have been OK, I guess. Part of the reason I've been MIA is because I've been focusing so much on work--both to distract myself, and also because I feel this paranoid need to prove myself somehow, that I can still be an ace performer even working from home, even though I need to lie down every couple of hours.

But also, I've been feeling the need to protect myself a little. So much of my emotional energy right now is focused on myself, on trying to keep it together and not lose it and not freak out. I can feel myself withdrawing from the world. I talk to my assistant on the phone most days, and I go to the office once a week (after which I have to lie down for several hours, it's so exhausting), but otherwise I see no one but my husband and speak to almost no one. The last time I left my apartment was last Thursday. In that time I've talked on the phone to my mom once, and emailed with a few friends, and had some work-related calls. But otherwise I've been alone. My husband has worked for most of my waking hours during that time. My friends all said they'd call and visit, but no one calls and no one visits. Or if they do, they do well-meaning but stupid things that just make it harder for me. Like sit there with nothing to say, forcing ME to come up with all the conversation (I haven't been anywhere or done anything in three months, come on, help me out a little)--or asking me question after question about the pregnancy, getting me more and more agitated. Or--one friend, bless her, brought me flowers. Let me tell you something--you know how you're not supposed to bring flowers to a dinner party because then the hostess has to take time out to find a vase and arrange the flowers etc.? Same applies to visiting a friend who's supposed to be staying off her feet, unless you know her well enough to root through her cabinets and take care of it yourself. All my vases are stored on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinets, so I couldn't get one down. I ended up sticking the flowers in a plastic quart container. Then the cat wouldn't stop yowling because she wanted to eat them, so I had to put them on top of a bookshelf. Then they died two days later.

(Basically, if you're visiting someone on bedrest or modified bedrest, plan to be entertaining. If you are not an entertaining person, bring DVDs, Us Weeklys, or other forms of entertainment. Bring food that requires no preparation. Be thoughtful, goddammit.)

I have good days and bad days. Monday was a bad day. I was having lots of contractions, I couldn't concentrate, it was pouring rain (the sun hasn't come out since Saturday, another bad thing mood-wise). I had to lie down between 4 and 7 pm because the contractions were too much for me. At one point I had seven contractions in an hour, and I was in tears, phone in my hand ready to call the doctor--luckily, 30 minutes passed before I had another one.

Tuesday was a pretty good day. I guess my stupid uterus got its ya-yas out on Monday--I had my normal 2-3 contractions an hour most of the day, and I had a lot more energy. I read Beth's post and thought, hey, I have less than 100 days before I'm full-term, surely I can make it that long--I'm already at 26 weeks, I'm doing great! I got lots and lots of work done and felt really good.

Today was not such a good day. I've had more frequent contractions on and off. I can't seem to get anything done. I feel lonely and miserable. I read Julie's post about prematurity, and stupidly, read all the comments too, and was despondent. Today, it just seems impossible to me that I can make it to 28 weeks, let alone 30 weeks, let alone 32 weeks. Even though I know logically that I've been doing great so far, that my cervix has been stable...I also know things can change very quickly. I just feel so helpless and alone and scared.

And now I'm sitting here crying. This is why I've been avoiding posting, avoiding commenting, avoiding everything.

I think I need to sign up for a bedrest support buddy on Sidelines. Obviously I can't go on like this. Also, I'm going to ask my doctor if I can start coming in once a week. I can't handle two weeks of fear between appointments.


Anonymous Lauren said...

Hey, I just got put on bedrest with my pregnancy. I'm just now 30 weeks, so if you want a bedrest buddy, let me know. I spend way too much time on the computer. My email is

9:41 PM  
Blogger May said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I completely agree with you. It's just so isolating. I was only on bedrest for 11 weeks (ha... "only"...) but I felt like the world passed me by in that time. Definitely call Sidelines. I didn't hit it off with the person they matched me up with, but instead with another bedrester down the hall from me (I was in the hospital) and we'd spend hours on the phone together each day talking about nothing. Our kids are now 14 months and we still talk on the phone all the time, even though she moved across the country. Anyway, that was the key for me-- befriending someone who was going through exactly the same thing at exactly the same time so we could pass the time together. And also share fears, reassure one another, etc. So if you don't hit it off with the Slidelines support person, see if you can find another blogger on bedrest in your time zone and take advantage of any free long distance phone plans! And definitely remind yourself of how well that cervix is holding up. Since all these contractions haven't shortened it yet, you're in a really good place. I contracted all over the place with a cervix that was funneling/beaky to the point that at each untrasound they'd be calling nurses and perinatologists in from the hallway to ooh and ahh over how it could be possible that I hadn't delivered yet. Yours is doing great!

10:22 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

I'm so, so sorry you're feeling this way. I cannot possibly imagine what it must be like.

I hope you find support from other women going through the same thing. Good luck.

6:40 AM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

It's good that you let some of that out. It can't be good to hold it in. I swear there needs to be an email a day program for those on bedrest. Then, friends and family send an email to entertain (much easier than visiting for those who don't know how to properly visit!!)

You may not think so, but you are being very brave. Three contractions an hour for that long can easily frazzle the best of them. However, you are still managing to be prodcutive at work. That's impressive, and you should be very proud!

8:20 AM  
Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

At least you know we're here, wishing you all the best...

I hope your doc agrees to see you more frequently, I'm sure it would help you feel more confident that everything's OK.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Alli said...

Oh, your doctor should definitely agree to that. You need the peace of mind. I hope you are able to find a "buddy" to share the bedrest woes with and that you feel better soon!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Mollywogger said...

Oh God. Totally overwhelming and yet boring, all at once.

If I lived nearby, I'd be there with snarky magazines, Jello pudding pops, and an armload of DVDs -- historical epics featuring virile, long-haired men and women in big skirts.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous LisaGray said...

Hang in there. Waiting and not knowing are two of the hardest things we ever do. Very frustrating and in your case, a little scary, as well. Frankly, I think your friends should be visiting and bringing you food, magazines and gossip -- anything to distract you for a little while!

1:22 PM  
Blogger crazycatlady said...

I have no kids, so I can't imagine how tiring that must be. I wish you the best of luck! Everything will work out for the best. Just be patient, and keep up the good work keeping that baby in there for a while longer.

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Watson said...

Oh my God, you poor thing!

This really sounds so frustrating, scary and isolating -- NOT a good combination. It makes total sense that you'd have some good days and some bad days.

Not be critical, but I wish your friends were a little more on the ball...I know everyone is busy with their own lives, but being on bedrest for this long is a serious issue, and it would be great if your friends came on a regular basis and like you said, brought some fun stuff to distract you.

I'm sorry -- I don't mean to vent, I'm sure they're great people. It's just that if it's a life-threatening illness like cancer (God forbid) people seem to know what to do.

With IF and pregnancy-related issues, I don't think it's clear. And that's why so many of us feel isolated.

Not that we can do much from here, but please know we're out here lending our support and sending you good energy.

Hang in there, the best you can.


5:38 PM  
Blogger OHN said...

Hi City Girl--I found you through another blog and I just have to tell you to not worry. I went in contracting at 23 weeks and was on total bedrest till the end. I soooo completely get your desperation. I was alone most of the time, they had me pushing fluids by the gallon yet told me not to get up (so I guess I was supposed to pee wherever I was laying). NOBODY understood,,,I got alot of "wow, I would love to lay around all day" or "enjoy the rest now"..I wanted to slug most of them. Long story short, they told me at 38 weeks that I could get up cause baby was big enough to be born...guess what?-yep, the day I got up, THE CONTRACTIONS STOPPED! That little fu*@er. Well the baby is now 16 and he is still stubborn but wonderful. You will never forget this period in your life but you WILL be able to smile about it down the road :)

9:09 AM  

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