Monday, November 30, 2009

How an angry uterus ruins Thanksgiving

Before we start with the angry uterus, I feel compelled to start the post with cuteness. Perhaps it will emphasize why dealing with an angry uterus is worth all the effort...

I am not supposed to "manage" Miles, but that is an impossible task. Luckily, Miles is obsessed with reading books right now and I can pull him up onto the couch and to read and in part satisfy some of his Mommy fix. This weekend he was just so upset I couldn't get down and play with him, so I pulled him on the couch, and this is what resulted within 5 minutes. I won't lie. I stayed with him like this for the next hour. Anyway, I am not supposed to lift him into the crib!
From November 2009

And Eric is doing a fantastic job at documenting the time the two of them spend outside of the house since I cannot enjoy much outside of the couch and bed. This particular picture means a lot because it looks so much like my Nana it is scary. And it also shows the crooked hat that Daddy put on that just makes me laugh.
From November 2009

And finally, my son does things that just make me laugh and break from the worry and anxiety I hold so close to my heart and consciousness all day. Apparently, if your sippy cup is too cold, empty your crayon holder (i.e. empty tea box), put the cup in the box, and drink. Here is the series:
From November 2009
From November 2009
From November 2009
From November 2009
From November 2009

Now, on to "How An Angry Uterus Ruins Thanksgiving." (The plot line has GOT to be better than the new Twilight movie.)

Scene: 5:30am Thanksgiving Morning. Ali is cuddling with Miles in his nursery chair, trying to keep him asleep for another hour before Eric needs to leave for his marathon.

Wait, what? Marathon? Oh yes. Let's part from the script for a minute. My husband has been secretly training for all of 4+ weeks for the Atlanta full marathon. Why? I have no idea--it certainly wasn't to run under 2:40, and it also wasn't to endorse a mere 4/5 week training plan. Maybe he was trying to replicate some endurance pain to connect to his pregnant wife. God I love that man...

Back to the dark nursery. Enter Ali's angry uterus: it starts seizing and doing its contraction dance. Or is it Kilo's bottom brushing the fundus? It's hard to tell with a 23 lb toddler asleep on your chest. (And by chest, I mean entire frontal of my body).

6:30am, Eric slips in and says we need to go. Ali gets up, realizing it is not Kilo's butt, but some regular contractions, and she heads into the bedroom to change while Miles has a "turbo breakfast" and gets dropped into a 2nd layer of PJs, hat, gloves and coat. Ali mentions to Eric about her ctx, but everyone sort of tries to pretend they aren't happening.

6:50am, Eric is driving to the start while Ali is feeding more breakfast to her toddler when she says, "Eric, I need to call the Dr."

And so it began. My Dr was away, so his partner picked up, clearly still in bed, and told me to go to the hospital immediately. We turned around, Miles on perfect cue starts screaming and our family got to see what happens in the maternity ward on Thanksgiving. Let's make a long story short:

-I got 3 shots of terbutaline over the course of the day for the ctx that I was "banging out" (as the Dr so plainly put it)
-I got a new prescription of a drug called Procardia (used for hypertension), which due to some insurance glitch, somehow cost me $80 to fill.
-I got to eat my first bite of Thanksgiving food close to 2pm, which consisted of a hospital McDonald's burger, undercooked fries, apple dippers and a bite of a snickers bar.
-I witnessed my usually hard to handle toddler manage to function in the tiny urgent care room for over 6 hours in his PJs, without a nap, without a book or any more distraction than an inflated medical glove with a face drawn on it (thanks to the nurses who loved on him and in addition to the make-shift puppet, fed him a steady diet of trans fatty graham crackers and apple juice).
-I witnessed my husband's goal of running the Atlanta marathon be overtaken by my angry uterus and a day of watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade (that is really a series of B-list celebs trying to lip sync to mediocre Broadway numbers) and some national Dog show.

But wait--what is Thanksgiving about? Being THANKFUL! And I am. I left without delivering, and our closest friends transplanted our planned T-day meal to our house later that night. The food was amazing, especially in contrast to my hospital fare. It's amazing how thankful I felt that night--perhaps that is what the day is really about? AND I splurged on my first little glass of wine since becoming pregnant...and it was GOOD red wine (that made a 2 sip appearance for the next 2 nights). And with these two crawling around, how can you not be happy?
From November 2009
From November 2009

And so, I sit here on full bed rest--struggling to keep my emotions in check and accept an incredibly dirty and disorganized house. I am not sure how it is harder to keep up with e-mail and corresponding with people while on bed rest, but there is some strange force that makes one completely unproductive.

Tonight I head into the hospital for 26 hours to receive 2 steroid shots to accelerate Kilo's lung development. They are administered before 34 weeks if there is a concern for delivery. And, well, there is. My cervix has shortened quite a bit and is soft and anterior. (Ew, stop the pornographic talk, Ali!) But I am not yet dilating, which means that I shouldn't have to stay in the hospital and face the dreaded mag sulfate drip.

I'm not going to lie--this is all hard, made harder by having a toddler who does not understand why Mommy cannot get up and play ring-around-the-rosey, or bounce him on a pillow and sing "Ride-a Ride-A Gawly." And it is hard asking for help. And it is hard feeling utterly betrayed by your body...slowly realizing the prospect for every having additional children may be taken away from you. And it is hard watching your husband work his tail off to run a house, raise a toddler and care for a wife without asking for a thing in return. And it is hard not having any family even remotely close. And it is hard staying positive every day. And it is hard not having human contact when you thrive off of company. And it is hard being brought back emotionally to Miles's unexpected birth...fearing for a part II with Kilo. And it is hard feeling like I complain all day and cannot just be 100% grateful every waking moment.

BUT. I remain thankful. I remain thankful for the amazing community that surrounds us who are providing us with 3+ meals a week and taking Miles from time to time to relieve my husband. And I am especially thankful for my best friend CD and family who have been the cornerstone of support for Eric, Miles, Kilo and me. And for JoAnn who like CD et al, is part of our Atlanta family and is as close as a mom/grandmother as one can get. Finally, I am thankful for my husband who is the constant in my life. He has endured all of this insanity with clarity, a sense of calm and optimism that I am positive has kept me from psychiatric evaluation and medication.

I love you, Eric.

And one more for additional humor. In the spirit of Daddy dressing Miles, please notice my son's fly in the following picture. I will say that Eric did a great job with the outfit choice...
From November 2009

Full November 2009 pics: click HERE


  1. Wow... I wish I had grabbed a tissue before this. You are totally welcome. It is just awesome to have you guys here, to feel like we have family here, too! It was so fun to watch Sarah and Miles play over the weekend. I look forward so much to them growing up together, with Kilo, too!

    Thinking of you tonight and hoping this hospital stint goes quickly and smoothly for you.

  2. Goodness! That is one cute baby girlfriend! Thanks be for good friends who move the Thanksgiving feast to the at home Mommy!
    Miles looks like Max in Where the Wild Things Are in his grandmother Morin's fleecy outfit. Very cute.
    I love his askew hat and the grandNana look.
    I love him asleep on mommy.
    They do make it all worth it.

  3. Oh, lady. You are such a trooper. You guys really are such a strong team and I know in my heart you and Kilo will be alright.

    I'll be thinking of you and sending all my most positive energy your way!

  4. To say "hang in there, Ali" seems totally trite right now, but there are no better words to let you know that you are on my mind and I know you can withstand the bed/couch rest just a little while longer. I am so glad to hear that you got to tear another ring off of your paper chain. To have managed everything you've been through and to still be able to find some humor in the world is truly a testament to your strength. And to have a husband that anticipates your every need and is totally unselfish is such a blessing. I can't wait to meet your precious Kilo (I envision him with chubby red cheeks, by the way).

  5. Ali,
    You are such a strong and inspiring woman. I'm traveling for work for 2 weeks without Samir, and I'm struggling with the separation. Reading your post gave me a little more strength and put things in perspective.
    I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts. Best of luck with the treatment for kilo's lungs.

    If you ever want to chat while on bed rest to take your mind to a far away place, I happy to share with you the craziness of living in conflict-ridden central africa!

    peace to you and your beautiful family-