Category Archives: Bed-rest

The Spa Maternitee

When I was on bedrest lockdown, I received an email from my Momm2 (my college roommate’s mother) reminding me to really own my situation.

As a follow up to this week’s tips to navigate the NICU, here are some tips to relax should you find yourself on bedrest in baby jail – or on an unexpected stay in a medically-staffed sterile resort.

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Mommy Unplugged

Normal is a state of mind. On Tuesday, I went to speak on a panel about the NICU and hospital stays. The meeting was actually on Wednesday, so mommy-brain spent the remainder of the week following me around laughing.

As the muppets’ first birthday races toward us, our days in the NICU seem to fade further into the past. But the roller coaster of emotions is something that isn’t going to ever fully leave me.

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When it became clear that the muppets were not going to make their August due date, I decided a July birthday would be great. Upon my final admittance to the hospital, I had modified my expectations and was just desperate to get through May.

“June babies!” I insisted. They have to wait for June, I prayed. They are June babies.

The night of May 28, I called the NICU to see how the muppets were doing. (Since I was still recovering from the c-section I couldn’t go visit them just yet.) “This is June, I’ll be Search’s primary nurse so I’m sure we’ll get to know each other well. The boys are doing great.”

June. One of their nurses. I had prayed hard for June babies; apparently I was not specific enough.

Thanks to our team of amazing nurses – June, Anne, Margaret and Susan among them – our boys are now home. The muppets will grow up; they’re already getting bigger. But to most of our nurses, Search and Destroy will forever be tiny babies.

Once the boys grew big enough to move out of the closed isolettes, they started wearing clothes. I have always said that I will never dress my twins alike. They are not identical. They are very much two individual people. This saddened Nurse June. She was determined to see them dressed alike. For weeks she and Nurse Susan have been threatening to get little identical outfits for them and surprise me when I arrive to visit.

Well, the boys are home now – her efforts thwarted. But since fate dealt us such an ironic blow as to have June be the nurse for my May babies, the photo below is the one and only time you will see such a sight.

June, Anne, Susan, Margaret, Jennifer and the rest of the NICU team: Thank you for helping us bring our boys home.

One time only.


Postpartum Pounds

Every morning I get up and get ready for the day. These days each morning is spent preparing to visit the muppets. And it’s getting harder and harder to decide what to wear.

I’m certainly not trying to get dressed up for them. Just trying to find clothes that fit. I have reached that very awkward size stage where maternity clothes are too large but I can’t yet squeeze back into my pre-partum pants. Sad really – because the boys haven’t even reached the developmental stage of spit-up yet.

Even though I gave birth to twins, I only gained 20 pounds (ignoring the hormonal weight gained prior to pregnancy). This is largely attributed to my distinct lack of a third trimester, which I’ve heard is where mom and babies spend three months accumulating fat.

In the two weeks since Search and Destroy’s arrival, I’ve lost my little pregnancy tummy. The weight appears to have migrated elsewhere on my body. All for the betterment of my boys… As we wait for them to grow up big and strong, I am allowed to walk.

Being mobile again is wonderful! After six weeks on bedrest, getting going again was more difficult than I anticipated. I have now accepted that the 2010 Nike Women’s Marathon is not in my future. Given their isolette attitudes, I’m sure I’ll be running the equivalent of ultra-marathons once the boys are home and mobile. Initially, I got lightheaded walking from the hospital entrance to the NICU. But that’s where my boys are – so to the NICU go I.

Today I thought I’d attempt a walk around the block. But then I decided that a walk in 90 degree weather might not be the best decision. I had a nectarine instead. (Oh, McDonald’s, how I’ll miss thee – but my allegiance now lies with Old MacDonald and his farm.)

Many people ask how I’m doing. My standard answer is “worried about the boys.” My attitude generally correlates with the twins’ daily prognosis. It’s a good thing they’re doing well. How am I doing physically? Fine, I suppose. To be honest, I never really paid attention to the whole physical aspect of the surgery. I had over four pounds of other concern.

So aside from looking a little funny in my pants these days, I’m doing great. As I’ve mentioned before, the boys are little fighters. And with that – I’m off to pump and visit the NICU. Someday I’ll be back to the size you all remember. Until then, two little men are awaiting my appearance…

My Little Man Search

My Little Man Destroy


Who’s On First?

"Game Called Because of Rain" by Norman Rockwell

Winding down week two of captivity. There are 36 ceiling tiles above me. Seven of them have accoutrements such as lights, sprinklers or fans installed. Sleep deprivation continues, with the hospital staff not allowing more than two and a half hours of sleep at a time. I am convinced the-powers-that-be secretly turn the heat up at night to assist in the baby cooking process. Why yes, in answer to your question, I am indeed going stir crazy. Continue reading

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PITA – acronym: “Pain in the [tushy]” (Insert appropriate synonym for tushy as appropriate.)

I have always been a cool, calm, rational and logical individual. I have never had a freak out over a simple matter or let a situation get to me. (Okay, friends and family reading this – once you have picked yourself up off the floor and recovered from hysterical laughter and finished rolling your eyes, please know the above statements are meant to be tougue-in-cheek.)

But last night, I panicked (although, I actually did behave calmly and rationally – who knew, pregnancy hormones really do change your demeanor…) Continue reading


Parental Practice

Consciousness – also known as that annoying time between naps. I’ve received a lot of advice on arriving babies. One of the big tips – get some rest now, because you’ll never sleep once the kiddos arrive. So apologies for the lengthy duration between posts, I’m constantly trying to nap.

Sadly, I’m beginning to suspect that the hospital has a policy against letting patients sleep. I know I’ve previously posted a bit about this via the beeping machines. But now I’m here for the long haul; I’m confined to baby jail until the boys make their grand debut. Continue reading


Don’t Rain on My Parade

This post takes the place of two that I previously planned to write. Originally, I wanted to share pictures of my baby showers – sitting on couches among friends and family, oohing and ahhhing over adorable baby boy wear. Then I was admitted to the hospital. There went those plans.

As I mentioned in the last post, several out-of-towners decided to come visit me anyway. The thought was to visit with family and have a Baby Cloudy with a Chance of Some Drizzles on Sunday with my mom, Aunt J, college roomie Becca and her beyond adorable seven-month-old daughter. But the contractions came back. (I thought they were a gonner, but the contractions came back the very next day. They just couldn’t stay away.) Sorry, I digress. Continue reading


Strega Nona

Strega Nona is an elderly lady who helps her fellow villagers out with their troubles. (I can see why perhaps Mom is opposed to this particular name for her grandmotherly moniker.) On a side note, my mother is here to help out for the weekend, as I am still very much bed-ridden. Lest anyone think this post compares my mother to a witch, note that the plot of Strega Nona revolves around a magic pasta pot; the women in my family do not cook. Continue reading


Missing: My Sense of Humor

Back in the hospital for observation,
Sigh. It seems they’ve revoked my probation.
Expecting two boys that are twin,
Each extra week is a win.
Oh the things a mom will do for the next generation.

Sadly, there is a high likelihood you deciphered my ingenious limerick correctly. I’m back in the hospital. I returned to the clinic for a checkup yesterday. The doctor noted he was not terribly “concerned” but more “anxious” and would feel better if I checked back into the Spa Materniteé (also known as Baby Jail).

My jovial attitude vanished. One could potentially make the argument I try to cover awkward or nervous situations with witticisms or pithy statements (often amusing only to me, but that is not the point). No, as I was wheeled through doors of Labor and Delivery, it was only me – Bitter, Party of One.

I should take a step back in time here to note that I have never been the ideal hospital patient. And patience has never been one of my many virtues. So it’s no wonder I tend to do poorly in situations that require patience in the hospital.

At 18-months-old, I finished my plate of spaghetti (which I’m sure was just delicious Mom). I decided I was done with dinner and hopped up to leave the kitchen. Problem was, I was still strapped into my highchair, but nothing a little baby James-Bonding maneuver couldn’t handle. The escape attempt resulted with both the highchair and me flat on the ground complete with my chin split wide-open. Apparently, a straight jacket and Nurse Ratchet-type RN were required to hold me still enough to receive stitches. So, that went well . . .

A scant nine months later, my two-year-old self was watching my mom get ready for work and thought it would be a fabulous idea to ascend a wicker basket. That way Mom could get a break every 3-5 minutes so she could remove me from my perch and say “No, Tricia. We don’t climb on that.” As you can imagine, that wasn’t a terribly effective deterrent. I scaled my peak again; my mom turned to reproach me again. Gravity decided to lend a helping hand. If I hadn’t bitten off the tip of my tongue, the soft carpeting would likely have made this a non-issue. But alas, it was off to the hospital.

Family legend has it that I ripped out/off all the wires/IVs (see I’ve NEVER liked those) and went stomping down the hallway. (The two-year-old off to demand her own release, against medical advice I assume.) I can only imagine the intercom announcements blaring through the hospital corridors: “Code  . . . um . . . Would somebody please coral the naked wailing toddler marching through Ward 200?” I’ve been told that trip also required a straight jacket.

Back to the present day, I am certain I was not their favorite patient. Now, I know better than to be rude to the nurses since we all know they run these places. But I wasn’t particularly averse to changing the rules of the game either.

First, the medical assistant at intake informed me that I would have to fill out all the pre-registration/sign-in paperwork again. Why? Because they throw it out anytime you come in before 34 weeks. This information about the hospital’s non-efficiency policy did nothing to brighten my spirits. She then handed me an electronic signature pad and asked me to sign. I inquired as to what I was signing and learned it was the “consent form.” When I asked to see said form she said they’d give me a copy after I signed. She actually seemed surprised when I shared I wasn’t signing anything until I saw an actual document.

Approximately 72 pages later I was wheeled over to Observation Room B. (This room is not very different from Observation Room A where I was observed last week.) “You know the drill. Undress everything and put on the [drafty, worthless, covers nothing hospital] gown.” (Ok, I may have paraphrased that quote a bit.) She looked shocked and quickly left the nurses to deal with me when I sweetly replied “No thank you. I’ll wait in my sweats.”

A new doctor came in to begin the observation and monitoring process. I was, just as I’m sure you are as well, also shocked that there was any personnel remaining that we hadn’t met during the previous week’s institutionalization. They wanted to get me hooked up to the TOCO Machine (short for tocodynamometer – I did not make that up), which tracks contractions. I was fine with this, albeit NOT shocked by the results concluding that I was indeed having contractions since that was the reason I was being readmitted in the first (second since I already played this game once?) place.

Then the doc noted they’d probably want to get an IV saline lock started. This is not an actual IV with medicinal purposes. This is a giant stabby tube thing inserted into ones wrist “in case of emergency.” I declined. I can only assume that this caused much consternation among staff since they appear to be extremely fond of their stabby tube things.

I have since gone on to request a new bed, a non-beepy machine, and that they stop coming in to check vitals every hour in the dead of night. I have repeatedly assured them that my heart is still pumping and the blood is still flowing through my veins. And five hours of sleep will truly benefit everybody involved in this drama. And, I think Jon has only tried to explain his sad state of a wife to one nurse throughout this process.

Luckily, I have discovered that Dave Barry (my hero) released a new book yesterday. Jon has been sent to Barnes and Noble to get a copy. “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead” – how can that not be helpful?