Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Light at the end of the Hallway

(My faithful bed rest partener and her "gibit")
We’re on to week “I’ve-lost-count” of bed rest. I’ve been in my bedroom, on my bed for two full weeks now. I was on the couch before that for at least 3 weeks. Before that, everything is a little fuzzy in my brain. Of course when you are horizontal for that length of time I think it makes everything in life a little fuzzy, not to mention sideways.

Remarkably, I think things have gone fairly well. I’ve had plenty of support from wonderful friends, my fabulous husband has kept me fed and my needs met, the children have been supportive and understanding, and I’ve had many phone calls, visits, and cards from friends. Overall, I couldn’t ask for a better situation considering the needs.

Some of the things that have made bed rest tolerable have been the unexpected items: doing some sort of school each day with the children, preparing and leading a Women’s Bible Study on Wednesday nights in my bedroom, and taking time to write thank-you notes. These things have kept me thinking of all the love people have poured out and help me avoid selfishly complaining. I have very few moments to think about myself and feel pitiful. I did not expect encouragement to come this way, but it has been my lifeline.

Brandon has faithfully awakened me each morning at 8am with breakfast in bed. He doesn’t have high expectations of what I will do after that, but he expects me to start my day. That’s been surprisingly helpful as well. It’s hard enough to keep my days and nights straight when I’m in the bed every day, but if I have a set time to be up and start- even if I nap later- it keeps me from getting completely switched around and greatly helps with emotional stability.

Then there is the wonderful change that has taken place over the last week. If I can be bold, I will say that I’m confident the change happened this past Sunday. You see, last Monday I went into the hospital with regular contractions, three minutes apart. Hospital experiences are always a story in themselves, but I’ll cut it short and say that they managed to drug me enough to cause the contractions and sent me home with the minor wounds of four attempts at starting an IV. Wednesday night I had regular contractions again and took my medicine with successful results. We repeated the scenario Thursday night and then again Saturday night, only each time it took longer to work. By Sunday morning I was tired of being up in the night wondering if I was going to have to head to the hospital and as things seemed to keep progressing in a less than desirable way, I call my family for prayer. I know that MANY people were praying for me on Sunday- for things to change, for the baby to stay put, for a miracle to happen! And I am confident that God heard and answered that prayer!

Monday morning, I felt like things were different. I can’t really explain it. It was a gradual feeling and not really something I can put my finger on, except that the more I thought about it this week, the more I was sure that God had done something to settle things down that Sunday. Just to really test things out, I started sitting up in bed more to see if things would be ok. Tuesday I sat on the bed for most of the day instead of lying down. I actually decorated Joseph’s birthday cake that day- on the bed, but enjoyed sitting up to do a number of other things as well. I had no negative repercussions.

Wednesday, I continued with the same thing. While I didn’t decorate a cake that day, I did sit up most of the day and also did a couple of things that required puttering around my room for a few minutes. Thursday I had my hair cut by a wonderful friend and even walked to the top of the stairs and sat there during lunch. Again I had a little more activity and no contractions or spotting. Friday has been similar. I moved to the couch in my room for a while today while someone changed the sheets on the bed and enjoyed having my lunch in a completely upright position. I also rearranged some flowers, watered a couple of plants, and put away a few things that belonged other places upstairs. Then when I felt like I was pushing the limits too much I would come back and recline on the bed for a while. I’d say I’m at about 1/8 capacity for full activity right now. That may not seem like much, but it was virtually at zero! And things continue to stay stable.
I also had a good conversation with my midwife earlier this week, giving me much more information, and clearing up some questions we had about the seriousness of my condition. For one, she is 99% sure I don’t have a placental abruption! Thanks to some other things being clarified, both Brandon and I are fairly confident that this baby is going to hang on at least until 37 weeks and we can also deliver at home. The risks are fewer every day for premature labor and we are encouraged that we can perhaps go back to our original plan, which for our family is much more sensible for a number of reasons.
All in all, I see God’s hand in it- thoroughly. He’s kept me upbeat for most of the time, he’s answer prayer for my physical needs to be met, He’s sent people and the perfect time and met practical needs in perfect ways. We’ve been blessed so much by the generosity of others! He has proved himself faithful. I am encouraged that He is on the job in our home and with our family.

In a less spiritual, more everyday amusement sort of way, here are some things going on:
- Jonathon and Jeff are learning to style their hair- with actual hair products. Jeff has been in the bathroom to fix his hair at least 6 times today. They are perfecting the looks of “messy” and “spike” respectively. I never thought I would have a seven year old that WANTED to style his hair! Look out teenage years!

- Jeff came in with an amusing comment today. He declared that his thumb wasn’t working because every time he pushed it down on the table it went like this:

A very terrible problem, as you can see.

-The popular tune heard around our house lately, thanks to our decision to name the baby, “Justin Alexander” is “Just-in Obey. For there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to Just-in obey.” I’m sure he’s going to hate that song his whole life at this rate! Joseph is the one that sings the tune most faithfully.

- I finally finished a project I began last April. I made Rachel some coat hangers for her doll clothes. A certain expensive company sells doll clothes hangers for a whopping 3 for $10. Since I can’t choke up enough nerve to even think about spending $50 for hangers, I had Brandon pick up some heavy duty wire at the hardware store last year and with a good set of needle nose pliers, I’ve just bent some into shape. They are nearly as cute or uniform, but they do the trick and Rachel was quick to put them to good use!

All this brings me to today- Tuesday. I’m officially 36 weeks along today and I can begin getting up. It will have to be gradual as the earliest the baby can come here at home is Sunday. So, we don’t want to get things going too quickly. Today’s extra event will be sitting on the couch this afternoon to supervise the children while Jeff goes to the orthodontist. That will be enough activity I think- mostly due to the fact that I have to go up and down the stairs to get there.

Jeff’s appointment at the orthodontist is to discuss widening his upper jaw to eliminate his massive cross bite problem. This is a symptom that comes with the ear problem he’s had since birth, but we are hoping to correct the mouth issue while we can- which is apparently sometime between now and the time he turns 10-12. We took him in last year, but he didn’t have his six-year molars, which are apparently necessary anchor points for the contraptions he will have to wear in his mouth. I’m pretty sure they are present now, so we’ll see.

Ok…I suppose I have to stop talking here or this will never get published to my blog. And the longer I type the less likely people are to sit down and read it… Happy Tuesday.

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