Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On Bed Rest, Frustration, And Searching For Hope.

Yesterday I woke up feeling a little overwhelmed. I am ashamed to admit it, because in comparison to the other hurdles of these past few years what's a little bed rest right? That being said, it's like all of my frustrations hit me at once.

I am approaching 7 weeks of bed rest. I thought last week marked 7 weeks, and then counted again to find that, no, I had somehow lost a week in there somewhere, and though the actual number of hours/days/weeks on bed rest shouldn't matter all that much, realizing I had miscounted felt like I had been duped.

I know that I have countless (up to 20 more) weeks of bed rest ahead of me, and that's okay, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get these snowflakes here and healthy, but for some reason yesterday, among all that conviction, I felt the sudden urge to get up and run away from all of this.

Well... to be fair I didn't really want to run away. What I really wanted to do was hop out of bed and clean my house. 

Hubs has been working loooong hours this week (read 6:30AM to 11:30PM long with a few breaks in there to make me dinner etc.) and spent all last weekend doing construction on our house, so to say this place is a disaster area is quite the understatement. There are dishes in the sink that I want to go do. Floors I want to mop and vaccuum. A bored silly little black lab that I would love to take to run and romp and play in the leaves. 

There are so many things I feel up to doing, but I can't.

I think if I felt more like crap, bed rest would be somehow easier to swallow, but barring some achey/crampy feelings, and the unrelenting morning sickness that I have somehow grown accustomed to, I don't feel unwell generally (although the last few days have hit me especially hard and I am wondering if I somehow a- picked up a stomach bug even though I don't go out anywhere, and b- am going to eventually get a bed sore because my rear and hips are really, really tender from all this laying around.)

Yesterday we got some really nice news, and though I can't go into it here, I was excited to talk about it with hubs when he got home. A few minutes before I expected him, the phone rang. 

It was Viacord. 

For those who don't know, Viacord is a cord blood banking service. This is how our conversation went.

"If you bank your child's cord blood," the rep was telling me on the phone, "and they need stem cells, they will always have a perfect match available to them." 
"Yes," I said, "unless the child is born with leukemia in which their stem cells don't do them any good."
"Well," he continued, "babies aren't born with leukemia."
"My daughter was."
"Born with it?!"
"I've never heard of such a thing."
"Well I guess I am that lucky."

He proceeded to give me the rest of his spiel, and with every word that he spoke about cord blood and stem cells and leukemia, the reality of our situation sunk in deeper and deeper. We are not a "normal" expecting couple. We are a seemingly healthy couple who had a child born with leukemia and no one seems to be able to tell us why. 

I hung up the phone and it all hit me - an onslaught of worries and fears about leukemia that I have somehow kept at bay these last 19 weeks with the exception of a few restless, mind racing nights. Up until now, I haven't allowed myself to go there. I have lived in this fantasy world of "that could never happen to us again," and then this call came in and I was forced to go "there", to that terrifying place, and I hated it. 

When hubs came home he did not find his happy wife ready to talk about our good news, but instead a a petrified mess blurting out in tears that maybe I was a fool. That maybe God tried to send me a clear message by destroying my tubes and I was too cocky and too proud to listen. That maybe He was also  making this pregnancy so difficult for a reason, and I was just too damn thick to understand.

Hubs listened patiently, in his normal agnostic-married-to-a-guilt-ridden-catholic sort of way of not understanding my relationship with/fear of God, yet totally respecting my right to my feelings, and then he told me he didn't think that was the case, and that it's okay to believe the snowflakes will come here healthy, and happy, and whole. He told me this in a way that felt somehow rehearsed, and showed me that beneath his tough exterior he was scared too, and when he left a few minutes later to start dinner, I felt like crap for having gone "there" with him, because I know he, too, tries so hard to push those fears from his mind.  

So there I was - not feeling very well, sad, overwhelmed, frustrated by the belief that I can't be like the seemingly 99.99% of this world who say to themselves, "let's have babies," and nine happy months later are blessed with crying pooping wonderfully healthy little children, and then the anger rolled in, and the depression and anxiety, and I re-traced every step I have taken on this struggle paved road to motherhood and sunk deeper into my hole. 

Basically I was having a pity party.

An out and out, true blue, feel sorry for myself and nothing and no one are going to get me out of it pity party, and that's when I saw it - a message posted by my amazing friend Lisette to her status. 

It read:
"Don't let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present." 

And as I read those words, something amazing happened - they started to feel true. So I read them again, aloud, over and over. I read them until they pushed away the clouds of self doubt, and fear, and anxiety, and though I had been shaken to my core by my frustrations of the day, and the conversation with Viacord, and these last two years- I allowed them to sink it. 

Yes I lost my child to leukemia and no one knows why.
Yes I am scared.
Yes I don't know what the future brings.

But right here, right now, I am pregnant, and these snowflakes are growing and doing well, and that is a blessing not to be overlooked. 

Yes it is okay for me to allow myself to feel hopeful once again.

**This Friday is our big anatomy scan. If you would be so kind, please send my snowflakes your good thoughts/prayers/positive energy/happy karma etc. etc. 


  1. I have followed your blog for a while now, because you and your daughters' story touched me. That said:

    I love the end of your post. I understand the bedrest frustrations. Our stories are markedly different yet similar in the infant/child loss side. I understand what it is to watch them fight, and lose that fight. The fear never ends. There are no more babies in my future, but I would have the same worries you confess above, as I do even now about my surviving children.

    I spent a significant amount of time on bedrest to give my triplets the best chance, I understand the frustration. I want to commend you for your honesty: Bedrest is tough, no doubt about it, but you are doing such an amazing thing, hang in there. Lots of laptop time, lots of daytime tv and lots of word puzzles, in hopes that your snowflakes don't give you another chance for those daytime activities for the next two years!

    You inspire me, thank you.

  2. It's okay to be scared and happy and hopeful and pist off all at the same time. Thinking about you and snowflakes and pray that the big scan will give you and hubs good news.

  3. ((Hugs)) praying for you!!!!

    I am eager to hear how the scans go!!! ((HUGS))

  4. sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  5. Praying so hard for you and your babies. I'm glad your friend's status gave you the comfort you needed and is letting you experience a little bit of joy.

  6. I am glad that somehow I made you smile! Makes me smile in return.
    I read it over and over too because my fears can be so darn overbearing at times. I have just tell myself to stop and appreciate what I have at this moment, a growing little bean in my belly. Big giant ((HUGS)) to you.

  7. You are right; YES, it isnt fair, YES it changes everything, and YES it sucks major balls (can I say that??? ;) ) that your daughter died and that people dont really **get** that. And, double YES, you have the right to feel happy again. Even though it is hard. And, even more double YES, you have the right to have pity parties now and then. This situation isnt fair- NOT ONE BIT!!!

    But, you are doing GREAT. GREAT. GREAT!!! You are doing what you can to keep your babies safe. You are keeping Peyton's memory alive and helping others. You are a phenomenal woman and mother.

    Hang in there. You can do it.

  8. I can only imagine your frustration and worry, reading this post took me on a rollercoster of emotions. ((HUGS)) So glad that Lisette's words changed your heart, filled it with hope. What a beautiful moment and words to hold on to. Make the most of the bedrest because you will be very busy when your snowflakes arrive safe & sound. Keeping you in my prayers always.

  9. Sending lots of prayers, love and good mojo to your whole family! OOoooXXx

  10. I hear you with the bedrest....My bum has been hurting 2 even though I have a ton of pillows and switch positions often...Just not really that comfortable laying around all day:( Somedays are harder than others but I feel I dont have it as bad as you as Im just modified bedrest at this point but Im sure in a few weeks or more I will be full blown....Im def not looking forward to it

    I love the saying your blogger had on her page...So very true and meaninful:) I will def say a prayer for your little snowflakes and for you to:) Wishing your peace Kristi

  11. I am so praying for Friday's scan to go well!!

    I'm glad that Lisette's status helped you. Bed rest certainly can't be easy on top of the fears and worries. You've got a lot of people behind you and praying for you and your snowflakes!

  12. Wishing I had a little magical monkey to send to help with house chores. It's hard to keep those fears away sometimes, but that quote from your friend is quite beautiful for those times. Will be thinking of you on Friday.

  13. I have been to the dr. 3 times this week to find the heartbeat... after I found it on my own doppler.. becuase of those SAME fears and issues and bed rest plays tricks on the mind and blurs vision... I love your snowflakes and can't wait to get the Great results after you go...

  14. I read those words from Lisette as well. They rung so loudly to me.

    I really cannot imagine being on bed rest. I think of you each day.

    Allowing myself to beleive this baby is coming home has & does take everything I have in me. I have days where I fall apart & think is it even possible?

    I have somehow managed to find some hope on this journey. I try to enjoy as many moments being pregnant as possible. I never thought that would be possible. I'm scared at each turn & each milestone the floor will drop out from beneath me. I can only imagine how much harder this would be if I was on bedrest. I wish for you some peaceful days to come.

    I am axiously awaiting Friday's scan!!!

  15. My husband and I have taken to saying "I love you. Right NOW." because we know that now is all we can ever have. Love your snowflakes right NOW. We can't know the future...but right now...everything is stable. Bed rest SUUUUUCKS...but if it brings them closer to your will be so grateful and the weeks will fade as you bounce those twins on your knee. You know that I'm pulling for your twins. Every single day.and I am sending love to you. Right NOW.

  16. I can relate SO MUCH to what you have written here. It's been a constant struggle for me to keep the fear, and gloom, and depsair at bay - and instead celebrate and be happy for what I have now.

    I'm so happy that you are doing well (albeit bored) and that your snowflakes are doing well too. I have you and your babies in my prayers, and I will be excited to hear about your ultrasound on Friday!

  17. Bedrest sucks, but you can do this. I was on it for 5 months. There were days I thought I would lose my mind. And now 5 years later, with my twins healthy and active (bedrest helped me get to 36 weeks), I barely remember it and never even think about it unless someone else mentions it. This too shall pass. Wishing you good luck on the scan!

  18. I relate to this post in such a strange way! I too suddenly have so much time on my hands. I believe that the universe is forcing a few of us to stop and re-evaluate. And it's way more painful and scary than rushing around... but it's good. We will come out of this phase with clarity. I too am having to learn that rehashing the past is not serving me right now. Fear of the past and the future is also scaring me in the present, and letting go of that always gives me such a release. I don't know the outcome. I can't control it. And I need to learn to just be with it. I will put you on my energy healing list for two weeks ;-)

  19. I relate to this post in such a strange way! I too suddenly have so much time on my hands. I believe that the universe is forcing a few of us to stop and re-evaluate. And it's way more painful and scary than rushing around... but it's good. We will come out of this phase with clarity. I too am having to learn that rehashing the past is not serving me right now. Fear of the past and the future is also scaring me in the present, and letting go of that always gives me such a release. I don't know the outcome. I can't control it. And I need to learn to just be with it. I will put you on my energy healing list for two weeks ;-)

  20. Am sending you tons of good vibes for the anatomy scan.

    And here's to a successful pregnancy! Onwards and Upwards....

  21. So happy that you are feeling hopeful again. Positive energy is what you really need right now. Sorry about the bedrest but you do what you have to to get these snowflakes here and healthy. I will be praying for you and babies tomorrow. Good luck with the scan.
    Keep the Faith. God Is Good. Love and Peace. Leah's Nana

  22. I think the closer you get to the 'reality' of actually bringing a baby home (especially if you've done as you have...given birth...gotten through all the 'hard' things of pregnancy, only to lose the baby STILL), your anxiety grows in exponential ways. Mine is, at least. "Viability" didn't mean much to me, other than now if something happened to this baby, it could be because I or my doctors didn't do something right, or couldn't save it, whereas before, I really, really just felt like it was truly out of my hands and somehow, that was took a lot of pressure off of me. I know that's weird.

    And for the bedrest, I'm sorry--it isn't fun. At first you think it will be nice to rest. Until you realize it's NOT rest and it's a lot of alone/think time and uncomfortable and seemingly unending. And I only had to do it for the last month and a half--and admittedly cheated some (mine were bp issues) because I felt like I was going to go crazy--and right at the holidays! I know now there's NOTHING that would make me 'cheat' in light of things gone on....and bless your heart, I know you know that all too intimately.

    I love what Lisette wrote and believe it. It's hard, but it's true---the choice for joy not to be stolen is one I made (and have tried to live by) months and months ago and has helped sustained me on some really tough days. Praying it continues to do so for you!!!

    Can't wait for the scan info!

  23. I loved that quote from Lisette. They are so very true. We have to force ourselves to live in the moment. I too fear the future. I keep asking myself, "How much time will I get this time?" It will be my goal to live in the moment too.

  24. Love that quote and claiming it for you and me both!! I'm sorry for the down time, but sometimes I believe that we recognize those down times to see just how much God can and WILL do!!! Sending you love and prayers for happy healthy chunky sweet snowflakes born on time and with strong lungs and great suck, swallow, breathe, coordination so they can grow big and strong!!

  25. I can relate to what your feeling. I was on bedrest for 6 weeks, because my water broke too early, but in the end they couldn't save my son anyway. He would have turned 9 in august. I know I would feel a lot of the same things you're feeling if I ever decided to try to have another baby. I'll be sending as much positive energy your way as I posibly can. I love that quote by the way, it's definitely something to keep in mind. I'll return to read your blog for sure, in the hope of finding positive news on here. The best of luck to you!

  26. i don't know you, but wanted you to know that i am praying for you. i check your blog regularly and will look for good news following your scan. all the best.... ~lisa.

  27. Just a stranger, sending you my very best thoughts!

  28. Kristen, try to take it one day at a time....I know it is easier said than done, but you will get there...I promise!

  29. That phonecall just made my stomach sink. I remember getting several phone calls that made me feel awful. One was from someone selling life insurance (three weeks after Jordan died... gotta laugh at the irony) and later a photographer called wanting me to sign up our new baby for some portraits. Having to say your child is dead is very hard. :(

    I'm so sorry bedrest is so painful but exceptionally happy that snowflakes are doing so well. In the future this pain will be a dim memory...

  30. Hey, this is just a practical comment. If you have to be on bed rest for so many months, maybe you should consider getting a special mattress - I've seen foam ones with a wavy, bumpy surface so your skin doesn't lie flat against the mattress and helps prevent bedsores. Take care - glad the babies are doing so well. Hugs, Anna