One year ago yesterday, I went on bed rest. It’s so strange because it seems like that was ten years ago. I don’t know why the date is so firmly planted in my mind, I’m horrible about anniversaries. But it was easily one of the worst days of my life. I was watching the clock, timing contractions that were only a few minutes apart, but barely painful – because my 20 week old baby wasn’t big enough to cause me much pain. He also would not have been big enough to survive.
Monitors and medicines. Tears and prayers. Fear and uncertainty.
We spent some time in the hospital being monitored, then sent home with bed rest instructions and a prescription to help control the contractions. In all honesty, there was nothing much they could do. I called work, and checked out indefinitely. I settled in to our bed, and stayed there for most of the next seventeen weeks.
When I started my bed rest, I couldn’t yet feel the baby moving. Within a few weeks, I was able to lay back and watch my belly jump from the pressure of tiny kicks. Every day, I played music to the baby. I would chat with him, tell him how much I loved him.
I felt so guilty throughout those months. I hated my body for not adequately protecting my baby, for not effectively performing its primary purpose. But as the weeks went on, and we moved from impossibility to viability and then to safety – I made my peace.
I have a hard time looking back on my pregnancy. The bleeding in the beginning that caused such a scare. The elevated test results that had us hearing words like “option to terminate” and “possibility to abort”. The contractions as my body tried to bring Larkin into this world too soon. The stressful and unpleasant birth ending in an emergency surgery.
So instead, I focus on those days when I would lay in bed and whisper to my unborn baby. When I would tell him of all the fun things we would do, if he would just be patient. When I would pray out loud so that both he and God could hear of my love and pleas for protection. When I would listen to the rain and dream of the day I would watch my son splash in puddles and chase frogs. When I would look out at the sunshine and would miss the world – but know that my work was being done right where I was.
What a year it’s been! 365 days since my last day behind an office computer. 365 of growing - then raising - my little monster. Sometimes I miss the quiet of those days. I don’t get much downtime anymore. But what a blessing that we got those months to get to know each other before he even arrived!