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Brittany: Complications

The fates are conspiring against me. I am just not meant to be writing right now.

First it was the tactical assault by toddler on my computer. So then I get my laptop, all prepared to write up a storm, and I’m diagnosed with polyhydramnios. That’s a long name for a simple problem. My body is making too much amniotic fluid–on the order of about 2 liters when normal amounts are around half a liter. I’ve been to so many doctor’s appointments in the last couple of weeks that I’m fairly certain doctors hear ka-ching when I walk through the door. These appointments have determined that the excess fluid isn’t caused by any health issues on my part or the baby’s. So long as I stay pregnant, there is no risk to either of us. However, the weight on my uterus could result in my going into labor at any moment. And when I do go into labor, the moment my water breaks, I will have to be heavily monitored because I am at higher than normal risk now of placental abruption and umbilical cord prolapse.

Meanwhile, my OBGYN says “try to stick to bedrest as much as possible.” With a 20 month old? Yeah, right.

I don’t think my OBGYN meant to be ironic, but “as much as possible” has been my mantra ever since getting pregnant with my first son. I try to write “as much as possible,” and spend time with my son “as much as possible,” be available as a wife “as much as possible,” go to the gym “as much as possible,” clean the house “as much as possible,” take time for myself “as much as possible,” see my friends “as much as possible.”  

There’s not a lot of “much” going on around here and a whole lot less “possible”.

During the snippets of the day when I do get to rest, I wonder about this. Obviously, I’m missing something–something other mothers have overcome. How do you make the most of “as much as possible”?


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, Brittany–I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all this! Of course you know that your #1 most important job right now is to follow doctor’s orders and keep your unborn baby boy safe and healthy. Not to be a broken record, repeating what I just posted to Kerry, but this is not going to last forever.

    I realize that your doctor said to stay in bed “as much as possible” rather than “get into bed and do not get out for any reason other than to go to the bathroom or to exit the house in the event that it’s on fire” but in some ways the latter instruction would be easier to follow. “As much as possible” is pretty easy to break, isn’t it? Dangerous for someone who is prone to trying to do it all.

    Do you have any extra help you can rely on? I would cash in on any favors ever offered in the past 10 years and get as much help with your toddler as possible. And then I would let him watch way more TV than you ever would have gone for in the past. It won’t kill him, and it will buy you a little extra rest time. I hope you’ve found other solutions for shopping, cooking, laundry, etc.

    Do you think you can steal 30 minutes on your laptop (in bed, of course) after your toddler has gone down for the night? Not out of obligation, but in the event that that time makes all the difference to you?

    April 27, 2008
  2. kabennett #

    Hey, hang in there. I had that too much amniotic fluid thing going on too. Had to go to the doctor every few days, get an ultrasound, and do a non stress test on baby. What fun. We decided on an induced labor (two weeks early) to control for some of the unknowns. It was a good choice. Baby was huge, as my babies tend to be these days, and there were some complications at birth because of his size. The volume of amniotic fluid turned out to be because of the big baby.

    They told me to rest too. And I have the fifteen month old, the horrible old, steep stairs to carry her up and down, the unhelpful teenagers and a husband who was working as much overtime as possible to make extra money.

    I learned (or maybe I just gave up) that some things were less important than others. Certainly I wanted to visit my friends, and still do, but really it’s so hard sometimes. They still love me and come to see me now and then. Housework can wait, some of it. Now that I’m not pregnant, I can see how much scrubbing really needs to be done. I’ll get to it, when I do. I try not to sacrifice any time with my kids, although with two babies crying, sometimes you have to choose which one to comfort first. That’s so hard and makes me sad. When my husband is home, at least there are two of us to hold babies. The teenagers don’t want to be near me, so that’s easy, although I still feel guilty for not trying harder with them.

    I think really you have to take it as easy as you can, and feel no guilt about it. I think I lapsed into some semi-vegetative state that last month of my pregnancy, and was running on auto-pilot most of the time. I tried to cuddle Babygirl a little more, and occasionally take bubble baths when my husband was home to watch the little one, but other than that, the time for me was about sleeping and lounging (it hurt to move about too much anyway). I was happy if I could muster up enough energy to make dinner for my kids without feeling nauseous.

    “As much as possible” is so relative. Sometimes some things are not possible at all. Just do the best you can and be happy with that. It really will be over soon. Keep telling yourself that. And the beautiful baby is so worth it.

    April 29, 2008
  3. Kerry,

    I’m so glad you’ve been through this too. I’ll be 35 weeks on Thurs/Fri and yesterday at my appointment (and weekly date with the NST machine), the baby had a non-reactive test and I was having contractions about every 10 minutes. My doctor was in mid-sentence about how he was going to send me to the hospital immediately to get the contractions stopped, but since my cervix wasn’t doing anything, he sent me instead to the maternal/fetal specialist for an ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay. Meanwhile, I’m still having contractions and won’t be back in the office until Friday for my second NST this week.

    I am so confused about what it going on right now. My guess is he’s planning to induce me soon anyway, but in the meantime, I feel like I’m in this horrible limbo where things can change at any moment.

    Thanks for your pep talk Kerry (and Miranda) and for both of you reminding me to take it easy. I need to hear it often.

    April 30, 2008

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