Saturday, April 28, 2012

Caregiver of the Week

I said I would do it, and so here it is. The caregiver of the week award goes to my mother. Here's why.

It was day 23 of bed rest. Dinnertime. I was feeling pretty dang sick and tired of sitting on the couch and watching everyone else fulfill all of my responsibilities for me. My mom made delicious homemade chicken tostadas. I wanted a second one, and stood up to refill my plate.

Mom: SIT DOWN! Do not get up! Now, what do you want?

Me: ARGH. I was just standing up to stretch my legs.

Mom: I know, and you're not supposed to. SIT BACK DOWN. 

I sat back down, irritated. I am really sick of sitting on this couch. Have I said that already? She brought me a second tostada.

Me: AGH! Mom, this is so frustrating. I honestly just want to throw this plate at the TV and watch it burst into a million pieces. 

Mom: Just wait a second so I can make sure William is safe. Okay, DO IT! THROW THAT TOSTADA ACROSS THE ROOM! 

I started laughing.

Mom: Or, honey, you could just go sit in the back yard and say the "F" word as many times as you need to! That, or pray.

I love you, Mom. Now I know what you were doing all those times you used to sit on the back deck and not let us come play outside with you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Brownies & Bed Rest

Today is day 15 of being on bed rest. FIFTEEN. I never thought I would make it this far.

I'm not going to sugar coat anything.  Bed rest is part torture, part healing. The thing I miss the most is holding William, swinging him around before plopping him on the bed for a tickle fest, and being in charge of my own kitchen.

I miss baking.

I bake all the time; brownies are my love language. The first thought I had on the drive home from the hospital two weeks ago was that I wouldn't be able to make William's second birthday cake. I'm not exaggerating when I say I cried over that. I was in such shock about my hot mess of a placenta that it took a few days for me to realize we were probably going to have a very premature baby. The sad cake thought occurred to me first.

But we like to laugh around here. Even in the hard times. I get my slightly dark sense of humor from my mother. She and my father have moved in to take over my house-running duties and caring for William for half of the week; my in-laws have moved in the other half of the week. My mom suggested that I give a Caregiver of the Week Award out each shift change day. Once I have chosen a suitable prize, I'm going to follow her advice. Most likely I will choose a mustache on a stick (see photo above).

William is doing really well. He thinks we're having a big, never-ending party because so many friends and family are here. He is in love with my parents' poodle, Cosette. 

I, on the other hand, am taking it day by day. 

We made it to day fifteen! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Heartfelt Ramblings

It's 5:50 pm. This is the time of day I am normally filling our plates with homemade dinner, wiping down the counters with lavender-scented Method spray, microwaving peas for William, looking forward to the next hour when I can flop down on the couch with a book and my husband or walk across the street to Brandi's wooden swing, hanging from her ancient live oak.

Today is different. I am 23 hours into mandatory bed rest, and my hands and legs are itching to stand up and stretch, to put the kitchen back in order, to clear the dining table, to make something. Rest does not come naturally to me today.

Yesterday was a normal day, with a meeting with new friends in the morning, lunch at home, and while William napped in the afternoon, I boiled half a dozen eggs that my sweet in-laws bought us at the farmer's market by the river. I made homemade bread and homemade pickled cucumbers. William woke from his nap and then, just that quick, a spot of blood. Again. On shaking legs I walked to the kitchen to find my phone and called our fetal specialist. She said to come in. 

I was barefoot, in shorts and a tank top because it's already 90 degrees in Austin. I picked up William, who was also barefoot and groggy from his nap, and opened the door to see if Brandi was home. She was getting the boys out of their car seats, home from school. I walked barefoot across the hot street and handed my barefoot boy to Brandi, who took him in her arms without questions and told me not to worry about him. 

Several weeks ago, when we learned we were having a boy, we chose the most beautiful name we could think of -- Joshua, after Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." His middle name is Aiden, which means fiery one, because at each of the ultrasounds, Joshua has been so active that the sonographers have had a hard time capturing pictures of him.

Yesterday during the ultrasound, I cried and cried. Both Don and the sonographer told me to stop, that Joshua was doing fine and had a great heartbeat and was moving around. But I knew something was wrong.

Because of the blood clotting disorder I have, a large blood clot developed between the uterus and placenta, eventually ripping my placenta open by 25%. Our sweet boy is doing well, measuring large for his age and with a strong heartbeat, but the only treatment available is for me to be on bed rest and sit as still as possible. This will hopefully prevent the tear from widening. Once I am 23 weeks along, I will be admitted to the hospital for constant monitoring, and if we can make it to 28 weeks, we have a good chance of having a strong little baby who will live.

In the meantime, I am sitting still. I am counting blessings, because there are many. I am not dwelling on the hard things, the sad things, the fears and the restless legs. I am resting and waiting, on Joshua and on God. This is my best; this is all I have to offer. A broken heart that hopes, a torn open womb that still nourishes. This is the best I can do.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
-Psalm 51:17