25 weeks, bed rest week #2

It’s a new week. I’ve been cranking on this bed rest thing and plan to keep going in the same way. It’s also Teacher Appreciation Week.

Not that I need any appreciation, but at my school, our PTO really does this up – last year I was showered with my favorite foods, flowers and school supplies all week. It was over the top and really quite awesome. I believe that today, Monday, is “wear your teacher’s favorite color” day. My students are just finding out this morning, through a letter I wrote to them, that I’m not coming back at all. I surely hope they weren’t all seriously counting on me showing up today and therefore, all wearing purple. I do feel bad about leaving them so suddenly and I hope wearing purple is the most they do. I really don’t want any gifts whatsoever. Today is also the day they got their permanent sub, someone they’ve never met. Hopefully by the end of the week they’ll all have adjusted to the transition.

I’ve heard that the first two weeks of bed rest are the worst, as you mentally transition to life laying down (or reclined), you stop doing anything for yourself, and your muscles turn to jello. I’ve got a few more days of this second week and I have definitely come around, mentally. I have a little “schedule” – once I’m up and settled on the couch for the day, when my husband goes to work, I watch the “Today” show, catch up on email, blogs, etc. Later I will do some reading, and at 1:00 when the soaps come on, I watch one of my own shows. Then I watch “The Talk”, and by the time it’s over, my mother stops over to take out the dogs. I spend ten minutes outside on my deck reclined, and after my mother leaves, the dogs crash again on the couch, I watch “Ellen”, and then my husband is home. There – how’s that for a thrilling routine?

That’s not to say I’m all cheery over here – I’m generally not, actually. For someone who has never been on it, the term “bed rest” is this mysterious condition where you get to put your feet up all day. And while yes, my feet are up, there’s so much more people don’t consider. It’s not a “rest” at all. I have to keep STILL. Is not like I can lift some weights or turn and do anything without getting “tightenings” – still not sure if they are real contractions or not. It’s not like I can plop the laptop on my stomach (I wouldn’t do that anyway) and do anything I would normally do. Like I said, my body needs to be calm, I need to lay back as far as is comfortable for as long as I can, and I need to try to keep contractions at bay. You never realize how often you use your stomach muscles, just to talk to someone, for instance. Every time I’m on the phone I have at least one.

Legs don’t get shaved, hair doesn’t get brushed, and showers are not often. Doing those things causes me to #1 – sit up straight, putting pressure on my cervix which is bad and #2 – use my stomach muscles, causing contractions. I timed my shower the other day from leaving the couch to finding it again. With washing my hair, it was between 15-20 minutes. Too long! And I can really feel it in my stomach and uterus – very heavy and tight. Not good.

So I guess I’m still in this place where I feel vulnerable. Especially physically. As it is, I’m having trouble with family visiting, not to mention anyone else. They come in quiet, I can’t see them enter, and I’m sprawled back. Feels like I’ve been in a horrible tragedy and they are tip-toeing around me as not to disturb. I feel like the guest in my own house and there is a huge elephant in the room. No, I don’t want to make small talk about any good books I’m reading. No, I also don’t want to talk about the rest of life coming up like everything’s normal. Not to mention being seen in the laying down position looking like crap. I haven’t gotten past that part yet, and so I really just would rather do this on my own. No one needs to see the bottom of my socks, or my bra straps hanging out. Who wants to eat dinner on the couch, because I’m not coming to the table. As you can see, I’m still working on this.

I have discovered, though, the wonders of baby center’s bed rest club online. A bunch of other women in a similar position as me, some better off, some worse off, all asking questions and talking. It’s nice.

As long as my short cervix and occasional contractions are my only issue, this is something I can do. It’s manageable.

This commercial happened this morning. I found it quite funny.

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Pissed.

I’m spotting. And not in the good, implantation kind of way.

And yes, I’m also pissed off. I’m going through the stages of grief, rapid-fire.

Up until about 20 minutes ago, I was still in denial. The spotting that started last night was super light, so hey, maybe, just maybe, right? It’s still possible. Then, after taking a pregnancy test, because today, I just really need an answer, I moved straight into the anger stage. Of course it’s negative, and then, not more than 5 minutes after that, the spotting turned red. I expect a full period by tomorrow.

Anger is currently where my mind resides, or at least most of the time. But literally, within seconds of each other, I’m thinking thoughts that could easily fit into the other grief categories of bargaining, depression, and yes, even acceptance. That last one only held one stray thought, but I guess it’s better than none.

But mostly, what I’m currently thinking and feeling is that I HATE this. I hate the process, I hate the disappointment, I hate how behind everyone else I feel, I hate how hurt I feel in situations that I really shouldn’t, I hate the multiple doctors, the appointments, peeing on a stick obsessively, taking my temperature every morning. I hate dreaming about babies, knowing what absolutely wonderful parents N and I would make, not knowing how long this is going to take, not knowing how many more of these cycles I can tolerate without totally losing my shit. I hate how optimism is slowly fading away – not that I don’t think I’ll ever have a child, I still do have hope there, but just the hope that “this cycle might be the one”. No – it’s not the one, so don’t even tell me that. And most likely, neither will the next one be. I’m sick of being bitter, but I can’t turn back time and be naive and innocent – “Oh YAY! We’re officially TTC!!!” Screw it! It’s been almost a year, and I know many of you have been through longer, but even still. I’m just – done. Can we file adoption papers yet?

N had an outstanding sperm count, the IUI timing was perfect. We continued to try in the appropriate window even after that. Why, why, why do these things not work? Why??? I need a scientific reason!

My nurse will be hearing from me very soon, as I have many questions I need answered. Pronto. One of the hardest things is that my cycles are 60 days long. Being that I only ovulate if I stair-step Clomid, one cycle is 2 months long, not one. So when I get my period, I realize that I have to wait another 60 days to find out if that cycle was a success. 28-30 days – now that sounds like a dream. I can wait one month, but I can’t wait two. That and, maybe Clomid isn’t the answer if I always need to double-dose it. I don’t know.

As rant-y as this post is, I am actually way better than last time. Just as I promised, I kept my mind off it during the 1.5 week wait. I didn’t obsess, I didn’t Google, and I told myself it’s not going to happen. So, I’m angry, but not devastated. I’m not in shock, like I was last time. Now I’ve got a bad case of bitterness instead. I’m not sure which one I prefer!

So, I’m going to retreat into the couch tonight and try to stay away from the chips and salsa I stuffed myself with after taking the pregnancy test. Comfort food is called just that for a reason, you know. And it totally works.

The only brightness in my day was this:

These were given to me by my students, 10 and 11 year old’s. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and while I would never expect anything, and don’t need anything, to have my kids shower me with these flowers, a stuffed animal, a basket full of supplies, caring notes and dressing up in my favorite color (purple)…I do feel loved. I have an awesome class. I really will miss them next year.