Monday, September 17, 2012
At 26 weeks pregnant carrying twin baby girls, I’m afraid I haven’t got a choice.
This week marks my third week of being on doctor prescribed ‘homebound’ status, and to sum it up: I haven't gone completely crazy, as of yet. My days are filled with cooking shows and premium movie channels and surprisingly, I have started to make a to-do list each night for the next day as a reminder for what I could do to fill my time. I’m not on strict bed rest (fingers crossed it will never come down to that.) and so this means that I can be up and about, sit at the computer, make myself a sandwich - just not out running errands, on my feet for long periods of time, or driving myself anywhere.
So here is where the explanation comes in when I made the statement; ‘I’m letting go.’
I’ve taken on the role as being just about helpless. Not something this super-busy Momma-to-be is used to at all. Typically, I work my regular full-time position as registered dietitian, I keep a tidy house, do all the grocery shopping, weekly menu planning, and making sure to have a healthy meal on the table every night. Not so much these days. Since being at home I’ve allowed someone else do all the cleaning (and I am NOT complaining about this), my sweet husband takes care of the grocery shopping- with me readily available via cell phone in case of questions (and there always are), and I’ve taken on recipes that have the ease of preparation for my evening dinner meals because I simply do not have the energy to mess with any of it. You would think that being home seven days a week one would find themselves to be well rested and refreshed, but not me.
I'm more thankful now than ever for my homebound status. Last week I started suffering from serious pregnancy-induced insomnia. On any particular night I wake up around 2:15am and most of the time I fail to go back to sleep. If I’m lucky I’ll doze for a few hours, but there is the occasion that I’m up until about 5:30-6am before getting sleepy-eyed enough to fall back asleep. And then there are some nights I just don’t sleep at all. Over the course of the night/morning I go from my bed, to attempt in the recliner in our bedroom, to the oversized chair in the living room, and back to my bed. I’ll sleep in 30 minute increments (more like rested with my eyes closed) for a total of about 2 hours of sleep. Sometimes my body is just done with laying down, my belly muscles ache and I’m more comfortable sitting up. The other times (like this morning- I’ve been up since 3:30am) I'm not entirely uncomfortable, I am simply not tired.
I find myself looking forward to doctor’s visits - my sole opportunity to get out of the house. We are going every two weeks now, and then when I hit the 30 week mark, I’ll have an appointment every week. This is just about the only time I put on make-up or fix my hair- it feels good to be lazy, but it also feels really good to feel pretty.
Prior to taking an early maternity leave I took advantage of so many things. I took advantage of being able to run out in the car whenever I needed to, the joy I find in grocery shopping on my own, the ease of getting a full-night’s sleep without getting up 6-7 times for a bathroom break or suffering from insomnia, and being able to be on my feet for a consistent 45 minutes to make dinner without my back and feet starting to ache.
I was warned by so many people on practically a daily basis that by the end of week one I would be pulling my hair out and crying (begging) to get off the couch and out of the house. I was almost getting sick of hearing the negativity about my future situation of being at home full-time until the end of my pregnancy, but I am happy to report that I am not crazy, there has been no crying, no begging, and no pulling of these locks at all whatsoever.
There is something wonderful about preparing my breakfast and enjoying my decaf coffee all while still sans makeup and in my PJ's - quite an amazing thing. Before this week, I typically would do all these things while multitasking, i.e. driving into work. I am not taking this little aspect of bed rest for advantage. Soaking in every bit of it.
When not on bed rest Amber Massey is a dietitian with the executive health program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. She is a Soon-to-be-Mom to twin girls due in December.