Go on Bed Rest Like It’s Your Birthday

(BTW, I haven’t responded to many of your lovely comments from a few posts ago. Sorry. I will get to them. As you’re about to see, I’ve been busy. And not in a fun, “I won a free trip to Cabo” kind of way.)

You know… there are times where I start worrying if the world has some massive beef with me that no one is telling me about.

If it keeps up like this, I’m going to become incredibly paranoid.

Oh, you think I’m already incredibly paranoid? Would you like proof the Universe is unusually interested in busting my balls? I submit for your consideration the following evidence:

Exhibit A: The Car Calamity

Last Monday, Mr. O got into a car accident. No one was hurt- whew! But the car wasn’t driveable, so we had to deal with the insurance company. You know how much I love insurance companies. On this Monday, we learned that they were totaling our car rather than fixing it. Oooookay…. The good-ish news is that we had already planned to buy a new-ish car to replace the 18-year-old rust bucket that I drive. We’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to replace it, that’s all. (Allow me to brag for a minute: 18 years old, rust holes the size of kittens, 273K miles, and it still has the best pick up of any car I’ve driven. And I haven’t had a car payment since 2007. #bragover)

Exhibit B: The Card Calamity

Last Thursday, Mr. O got a call from our bank to ask if we were currently at a Wal-Mart in Florida. (No.) Did we think some one was making unauthorized charges using our card at said Wal-Mart in Florida? (Yes.) Cue the canceling of cards and lots of paper work.

Sadly, I’m sort of used to this. With all the breaches at stores like Target and TJ Maxx over the years, we’ve had to replace our cards a few times. This is, however, the first time we’ve caught actual charges on one of our cards. It sucks, but this is what happens when we no longer use chickens to barter for goods. (I mean, it’d be pretty hard to pass off a fraudulent chicken…)

Exhibit C: The Head Cold Calamity

This Saturday was a busy day. We had a ton of morning errands to run, then an hour drive out to celebrate a friend’s birthday which was in the country. (This will be relevant. Sorta.) We got there, and about an hour later I started sniffling. Nothing crazy, just the sniffles. It gets worse. I think it is just allergies.

Sunday morning rolls around and I have full-on congestion. As you all know, pregnant ladies can’t take any decongestants. So I just get to sit there drowning in my own face for days. This isn’t fun for anyone, but I have particularly shit sinuses so I get lots of sinus pain and rolicking headaches. This also usually leads to me hating everyone for a few days for no other reason than they don’t have to breathe out of their mouths.

Exhibit D: The Cervix Calamity (which isn’t technically alliterative, but still works)

As if Sunday were delightful enough, I woke up with some light brown spotting. This didn’t send me into an immediate panic, but I still thought of calling my offices. They don’t have a 24 hour help line for nothing. The nurse says it is probably nothing but to call my doctor on Monday if it hasn’t stopped or has increased.

Monday, I stay home from work because of my exploding sinuses, and notice that the spotting hasn’t stopped. I call the office, and they recommend coming in for a check up… “just in case.” Fine. I can do “just in case.” I’m a HUGE FAN of “just in case.” I get an appointment for 3:00 pm.

Yesterday morning, I pee. Brown spotting is still there, but now accompanied by something a little more sinister- about half a teaspoon of brown goo. Like what you get at the end of your period. Soooo, I call the doctor and explain what’s happening, and can get squeezed in at 10:30 am.

At 10:30, I meet with my midwife (who I have vaguely mixed feelings about, but that’s another story.) She checks my vitals, asks me tons of questions, checks Chick’s heartbeat (which is stellar) then performs a manual inspection of my lady bits. Something doesn’t feel right. In the 7 weeks since my last ultrasound, my cervix has shortened quite a bit and has also softened a whole lot. Hence, the extra colorful discharge.

What a Stress Test on your birthday looks like.

What a Stress Test on your birthday looks like.

To make sure I’m not going into labor without knowing it, I am put on a stress test while I wait for the ultrasound doctor to see me (who very sweetly offers to give up her lunch break to fit me in.)

Least you have yet to experience the joys of a stress test, it is remarkably unremarkable. They strap you in with two monitors attached to your belly: one for the baby and one for your uterus. They want to get a baseline for the baby’s heart rate and measure your contractions. It also helps to determine if the baby is under any duress if you are having contractions. Mostly, I sat there reading People magazine…

After about 45 minutes hooked up to the machine, we determine that Chick is completely unbothered by this cervix business as is my uterus. We have a health heartbeat and no contractions. Thanks to People, I also determine that backless dresses are all the rage this season, and celebrities sometimes do their own grocery shopping.

At around 12:00, I’m taken to the ultrasound room. Mr. O joins me from work about 10 minutes in. The doctor is the same person who did our anatomy scan at 20 weeks, and I really like her. She’s calm, not too cute about the whole thing, and patiently answers my “What’s that thing over there?” questions.

Again, we determine that Chick is awesome. All the organs are growing nicely, very active (don’t I know it!) and weighing about 3.5 lbs. The placenta looks fine, there is plenty of amniotic fluid. In short, I have a healthy albeit shy baby who still doesn’t want anyone looking at his/her face.

What I don’t have is a lot of cervix. For unknown reasons, my cervix has shortened to 1.5 cm. This can lead to preterm labor, which isn’t not what any of us are rooting for.

At 30w6d, most of Chick’s organs are in good condition. The exception would be the lungs, which are the last to develop in any tiny human. In case I do go early, my midwife suggested I get a steroid shot that helps Chick with lung development. If he/she doesn’t make it to full term, this could shorten our time in the NICU.

I topped of this awesome day with a shot of steroids in my butt.

Oh, did I mention that it was MY BIRTHDAY? Say it with me… “FML.”

The important bits are this:

  • I am not in labor now, nor does it look like this is imminent.
  • I am on bed rest so as not to put more pressure on my tiny real estate of cervix. This will be re-evalutated on Saturday. If there hasn’t been any more leakage, contractions, and my cervix is playing nice, I can resume normal activities.
  • Chick is just not interested in any of this, and so keeps smacking my insides which I’m starting to actually find endearing.
Guess how I'll be spending my time?

Guess how I’ll be spending my time?

There is an echo here from my mom, strangely enough. You see, she was on bed rest for all three of her kids. (And this was before the Internet!) When I told my father, he sort of chuckled and said “Well, you are your mother’s daughter.” It’s worth noting, she had three healthy (though far from normal) children. This makes me feel better.

Also in the eerie connection department, I just so happen to have my mother’s copy of Anna Karenina. It is the exact copy she read while on bed rest with me. The cover is so 1970’s, I can hardly stand it.

So… got any ideas to keep an anxious pregnant lady entertained and not Googling while she is immobile?



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · June 10, 2015

    Oh man, you’ve had a rough few days!! And now to be on bed rest, that’s just so not fun! I hope everything checks out good on Saturday, and I hope you find lots of good ways to pass the time between now and then – maybe reading a few good books, or knitting and watching lots of tv/movies. Sending you love!

    • thecommonostrich · June 11, 2015

      It’s funny- one or two of those things would be fine, but all at once just seems a bit unnecessary. In the meantime, I’m hanging out at home. I try to switch it up from the couch… to my bed… back to my couch…

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · June 10, 2015

    Oh goodness. Lots of not fun in this post. Did you ask your doctor about decongestants? I thought I couldn’t take anything, but my doctor was fine with sudafed in the second and especially third trimester. It basically saved my life I was SO. MISERABLE.

    • thecommonostrich · June 11, 2015

      You know… bed rest sounds so delightful. Like you’d be surrounded by pillows and bon bons. It turns out that is fun for about an hour.

      My doc said I could take Benadryl, which was helping a little bit. But with the steroid shot, I was cut off from all drugs. Lame.

      • thebarrenlibrarian · June 11, 2015

        Totes lame. I took benadryl one night while I was suffering and woke up so hung over the next day I couldn’t function. Yuck. Hope it ALL gets better soon! I’m basically putting myself on bedrest every day after work at this point because at 38w2d (but who’s counting?) I have NO energy to do ANYTHING after working four to five hours a day. It’s frustrating.

  3. labmonkeyftw · June 10, 2015

    I have a friend who is pregnant right now with a sinus infection, and her coughing shortened her cervix – bed rest for her too. Maybe now that your coughing has lessened (I am hoping this is true!), your cervix will strengthen up again, or at very least continue to hold the line without apparent effort. In the meantime, I have been binge-watching the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – it is hilarious, and hilariously awkward, which I appreciate and think you might as well!

    • thecommonostrich · June 11, 2015

      I wonder if there are work outs for your cervix. I have this image of going to tiny cervical gyms where you could send yours to Boot Camp or CrossFit…

      Will totally check out Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I need a laugh!

  4. Jenny F. Scientist, PhD · June 11, 2015

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Oh, geez, next year’s has to be better. May you rest peacefully and catch up on all your TV. Do you have Netflix? I recommend Phryne Fisher if you haven’t seen it. Fun but not upsetting. Or lots and lots of Good Eats.

    • thecommonostrich · June 11, 2015

      PHRYNE IS THE BOMB. She is what I want to be when I grow up… and if I magically become independently wealthy.

  5. Pingback: Bed Rest, Day One Recap | the ostrich
  6. JC · June 11, 2015

    In the “work outs for your cervix” vein: this sounds pretty woo, but when my cervix went short at 25 weeks (4 solid weeks of coughing + twins) my OB told me to keep visualing my cervix as a closed fist, with a string tied around it and knotted shut. I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes at her, but she was serious. And she has a lot of multiples & high-risk experience. I was desperate, so even though I typically pooh-pooh this type of thing, I tried doing the visualizations, frequently. Who knows if it’s effective (I made it to 36w6d when my OB induced me, but realistically that’s mostly pure luck), but if nothing else it doesn’t hurt & gives you a little something more to fill your hours with.

    Hoping your cervical length stays steady. (Btw, if it goes up, do *not* trust it & go back to your usual scheduled programming. Variations in CL are mostly due to inconsistencies in the way each tech does the measurement. Also, if you have a dynamic cervix (a lot of docs don’t believe in the idea, though), then any single measurement isn’t particularly useful.)

    • thecommonostrich · June 12, 2015

      Thanks for the advice. It sounds silly, but I’ve been trying to find ways to channel my anxious brain– I usually do meditations, but it’s been hard when I keep thinking my baby is going to fall out at any minute. I tried visualizing my cervix this morning (which sounds soooo weird, but I know you get this) and it gave me a positive thing to focus on.

      Regardless of what the doc says tomorrow, I’m going to talk to my boss about working from home a few days a week so I can take it easy. It’s a luxury, sure– but might as well take advantage of it.

  7. Pingback: CD1 | the ostrich

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