By virtue of the name itself - "bed rest" - you'd think I'd be sleeping a ton and feel all squishy and relaxed here at the hospital. Like a spa, only with crappy food.
Oh hell no. Because of the nature of pre-eclampsia, and having a high risk pregnancy to begin with, I'm under constant supervision. This is a good thing, because the doctors and nurses here absolutely know how to handle any circumstance that crops up, but it's a tough thing sometimes because the "rest" part of this is hard to achieve when the door is opening and people need vitals all day long.
My day begins around 5:45 am, when the resident on call pops in and checks up on my basal rates, blood sugars, and overall puffiness. Her questions are usually the same - "Any bleeding? Spots in your vision? Pain in your upper right side?" I'm happy that I can answer "No," to these questions. And then she leaves.
My nurse comes in at about 7:00 am to review blood sugars, liquid intake, urine output, takes my blood pressure and temperature, and gets the heartbeat on the baby (which is a great way to wake up in the morning, to the sound of my daughter's galloping heartbeat). She leaves, I test my blood sugar, and try to go back to sleep.
But at 8 am, the Joslin team comes in and does a review of my blood sugars, basal rates, and everything else diabetes-related. (Basically, I review the same information about three times before 8:30 in the morning.) We review and/or make adjustments as needed, and their crew leaves in a flurry of labcoats.
(At this point, I order breakfast from the kitchen and hope it doesn't arrive while I'm in the shower, because nothing is more awkward than "Room service!" trilling in from the door while I'm making attempts to wash my hair with these enormously swollen hands.)
10 am brings the nurse back to my room with a dose of Heparin (fun shit) and my Labetalol pill. I've asked to administer the Heparin myself, because there's something about the way that the nurses give the injection that makes my skin bruise ferociously. (Pictures to come soon of those messy bruises.) So instead of using the normal "horse needles," they're letting me use insulin needles and give the shots myself, which helps a lot in managing the bruising and pain.
After the medications, they hook me and BSparl up to a fetal monitor, which keeps track of her heart beat, her movements, and any contractions in my uterus. She's been dubbed "busiest baby on the floor" because she's a very active little biscuit, and even though I'm attached to the monitor for 40 minutes, it's comforting to hear the sound of her heartbeat filling the room.
And then it's like lunch time(ish), and I make futile attempts to catch up on emails, check in with work stuff, and read some blogs. My hands are beyond swollen, so computer work is very limited and after about 30 minutes of typing, the pain is pretty intense. (And from what I've been told, after I deliver the baby, I'll swell up even more for another day or two before it starts to subside. This kid better love the hell out of my Cookie Monster mitts and Fred Flintstone feet. ;) )
The afternoon seems to vary, but always includes input/output tracking for my liquids, at least a few hours laying on my left side to alleviate the stress on my kidneys, and my watching of an episode of Law & Order: SVU. (Best. Show. EVER.) And a vitals check from the nurse staff. (Yesterday had a bonus visit to the radiology department, where I had an ultrasound and saw my daughter's chubby cheeks. I love her.)
Evening includes dinner. And usually a few phone calls. And another round on the fetal monitor. Sometimes I make attempts at the computer again, but it all depends on what my hands are agreeing to follow through on.
10 pm has the nurses visiting again with my prenatal vitamins (Note: They let me keep bottles of insulin in my room but they confiscate my prenatal vitamins? Not sure if they think I'm hooked on DHA or something.) and the second dose of Labetalol. Vitals are taken again.
Midnight brings the second dose of Heparin, and another check of the baby's heartbeat and my blood pressure. After the nurses leave, I try and collapse into bed and fall asleep.
Until 3:30 am, when the nurses return for another heartbeat check, blood pressure check, and blood sugar check. Check, check, check ...
Bored yet? Well-rested, are ya? This is the day in-day out routine for the next two weeks, and I'm snoooooring at the very thought (yet unable to really sleep because I have nurses visiting every few hours). But BSparl and I are being watched so carefully and so closely that if any issues crop up, they won't take anyone by surprise. That helps keep she and I safest, I think.
But for now, it's boooooooring. Thank goodness for my parents, who have come by with flowers, entertaining pictures colored by my nephew, and magazines. Thank goodness for my mother-in-law, who calls daily to check in and reminds me that this is only temporary. Thank goodness for my best friends, who call often and keep me in the loop on what the hell is going on in the "real world." Thank goodness for the Internet, which is letting me connect with you guys and Facebook crap and all the other nerdy connection points that I'm relying on when I'm the only person in my hospital room.
And thank goodness for Chris, who is shuffling back and forth between our house and the hospital, working hard to prepare the nursery (we didn't have much notice on this visit, so things are a little bit in disarray for Ms. BSparl), maintain our home, and oh yeah, work? When he comes here and sleeps over, just having him in the room makes everything easier. (I'm just waiting for one of the nurses to accidentally try and get his blood pressure.)
... it doesn't hurt that as soon as BSparl hears his voice, she gets all bugged out and wants to dance. She loves her daddy. I think she likes me okay, too. I'm hopeful that the next two weeks go by as smoothly as possible, keeping her safe and happy in there, and eventually bringing her out to us.
So we can hold her and dance with her on the outside.