Let’s turn the pages of my story back 11 years. Are you there? It was 2005. I’m sure there were all kinds of world events happening and significant political and pop culture figures, acting heroic or nuts, making headlines. I don’t remember any of it. I was engaged in the battle of my life at the time. The challenge: staying pregnant long enough to have a baby too big for doll clothes.
It had been over 4 months since we figured out I needed to stop walking around. It must have been July when I took to my bed, right at about 4-5 months of pregnancy. If you haven’t followed my story, I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes to this point. My first baby was born at 24 weeks and survived with severe disabilities. (He’s great) My twin sons were born 4 years later, also at 24 weeks gestation and only lived for 2 days. When we took the leap of faith to try for another baby, I knew I was going to give everything I had to keep that baby in utero for as long as possible. The next baby was my Toby. Now you’re caught up.
Sidenote: this blog was started at the start of that bedrest, in attempts to a) tell everyone my updates at once and avoid phone calls and b) amuse myself, because watching Fear Factor was causing contractions.
That Christmas of 2005, I was just wrapping up 17 weeks of strict bedrest and buckets of medicine and various spiritual treatments. Now, if you’ve never done bedrest, you might be thinking, “that must have been nice” or “I wish I could lie down for 4+months…” Trust me, it wasn’t and you don’t. It’s a special kind of hell, bedrest. There’s a myriad of physical aches and pains and complications, especially when you have another child, but the real trick is in your thoughts. Bedrest is almost exclusively a mind game.
You know that feeling when you’re standing on a ledge and you worry that if you think about it too long, your thoughts will make you fall over? (I don’t think I’m the only one who does that). It’s kind of like that. You are lying down and, for me, trying not to go into labor. Imagine trying not to think about what might be but definitely is happening in your body while you are not allowed to move. For months at a time. “Don’t make it happen,” you think, like that’s something you can even control.
If you made it this far, congrats. I’ll cheer it up now that I’ve convinced you it was bleak. 11 years ago tonight, I was wrapping up 17 weeks of bedrest, including a Christmas that I spent on my side, couching it whilst my family members ran snacks to me and tried not to stomp too hard and make me go into labor. I was a glorious 34 weeks pregnant, my personal record (to this day) when I decided it would probably be okay to go to the movies and get some post-Christmas joy. So off we went. I walked from my house to the car and then from the car to the theatre to watch Lion Witch and the Wardrobe and then the next day I had Toby in my arms. Oops.
Tomorrow he will be 11 years old, my gorgeous genius of a rainbow baby that I begged God for and then worked desperately to keep. It’s been the best 11 years of my life.