Jane from L.A.: I've been on my back for 36 hours now -- most of that with my head lower than my feet.
Yesterday at 5:30, the fun began. They wheeled me into the OR -- "ER"-style -- and some anesthesiologist made me lie on my left side and curl up in a ball like a slug while she poked and prodded my spine. Finally, the spinal began, which causes complete paralysis below your waist -- not before causing horrific shooting pain in your back and down your legs. Talk about freaky. But it doesn't harm the baby.
Then they strung me up in stirrups for all the world to see. I swear my tush was off the table, just hanging there. And of course they got the brightest lights they could find. Then Dr. S. and his team started. The first thing he said was, "Looks much better!" I guess he meant my cervix, from lying upside down for 24 hours. Then, I felt nothing but pressure and heard whispering. (I was behind a curtain thingy and wasn't wearing glasses and had on an oxygen mask.) He literally said "Voila!" (with a flourish) after making the longest cerclage stitch ever, with the assistance of the lovely Dr. W.
And that was it -- besides the awesome catheter he put in next. I said, "Great! Can you put my legs down on the table?" Um, they were down. Dr. S. said it could not possibly have gone any better. OK then!
I'm leaving out stuff like the embarrassment, anxiety (no sedatives here, people) and the crazy sensations. Oh, and the lack of feeling in my left leg for over an hour. It was dead weight. I could move it with my brain but could feel nothing. It was like a log lying there. Again, beyond freaky. Oh, and I didn't get to eat for a full 24 hours, because they were fitting me in and didn't know when the surgery was happening. After recovery, Joe fed me chicken and mashed potatoes while I remained on my back with my head lower than my feet.
So here I am this morning -- IVs dripping fluids and antibiotics into my arm, pressure wraps on my legs, upside down, a contraction belt on my belly, catheter still in, lying on my side with my tush (again) blowing in the breeze ... and Junior kicking me awake. That's nice. I'll take that. How did I get here?!
My hero, Dr. S., will be by and we'll see what happens next. I'm scared and miss Willa (and Tikks) more than life, but I'm glad I made it through this part.
And my other hero, Super Joe, has been by my side the entire time -- except when Dr. S. came to get me for surgery. He said, "Uh, son, I'd stay here if I were you." I guess it was about seeing his wife's tush and stuff in the air, and the operation. Not pretty. But he is a champ. The ultimate. And my mom flew out yesterday and is currently stepping in as Mommy or "Pop Pop" (as Willa likes to call her, because she loves her Pop Pop and Grandma but likes saying Pop Pop). And then Grandma Dorothy arrives today. Lots of support and love.
Thanks so much for all the love and e-mails and visits -- and keep fingers and toes crossed that I don't develop an infection or rupture the bag of waters. Doc said the stitch could and should hold for the pregnancy as long as I'm not running around or doing silly things like picking up my daughter. Booooo. I can't fly to Philly in two days as planned -- which really blows, but such is life.
No longer incompetent; still upside down.
* "Notes from Bedrest" is a new column that features e-mails from a mom who recently experienced bedrest. We are posting her e-mails chronologically in the order she wrote them.