It's the "same-same, but different", this pregnancy.
Beginning at 18 weeks pregnant I started seeing a maternal fetal medicine specialist who has been monitoring myself and the baby very closely. Looking at many different factors, their main objective has been to determine my risk for pre-mature birth once again.
Things were looking fine and manageable up until 27 weeks when my scheduled ultrasound showed a concerning short cervix. This was interesting due to the fact that last year my water broke with Harley Bell at 29 weeks along . . .
Without much time to absorb this info I was told that I pretty much needed to cancel my life for the next 13 weeks. I was immediately admitted under a "Antepartum Home Care" team of nurses who would call me everyday and visit my home twice a week to check on me and baby. Essentially I was considered "SAFE" to be in the community but only under strict supervision - supervision to ensure that if the baby started coming I could get to the hospital in time and avoid having a pre-mature home birth.
I was told that I could no longer hold or pick up my daughter, as any type of lifting would shorten my cervix even more.
No more cooking, cleaning or standing in general for more than 10 min at a time.
I cried and cried.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Once I had a moment to digest that this was going to be our new "normal", my husband and I were very fortunate to be able to hire help with Harley. We are also so thankful and grateful to have so much close family living nearby who help look after her too.
A week and a half later, at 29 weeks, I went into early labour. I was admitted to the hospital and deja vu. Thankfully the doctors were able to stop my labour with medication at 1cm dilated. I was monitored over the next 3 days and found myself completely free of contractions - praise the Lord! I was discharged to go back home.
Being on bed rest for this long with a toddler here at home has been one of the hardest things I've ever experienced - mentally and emotionally. Not being able to play with my darling girl like I used to breaks my heart everyday. Not being able to pick her up when she's crying and reaching for me, or to put her in her crib each night at bed time is excruciating.
I've had many moments of feeling "robbed". Robbed of that special time with my first child before the new baby comes. The special time moms talk about so often, soaking up all the moments they can, "just the two of us". I know that Harley won't remember any of this, but I will.
I have many good days too, of course! Each little moment I do get with my girl is extra special. I've noticed the shift in my mind-set. Harley's bedtime was something I used to look forward to (tired parents, am I right?) and now I wish we could read books together forever and never go to bed.
This too shall pass and overall I'm just grateful that no matter what it looks like, I have a beautiful family. I am now 34 weeks pregnant, hallelujah! The baby is healthy and doing well.
I see the light at the end of this tunnel.
*NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT*
I have been grateful and thankful for each and every day that has passed during this pregnancy. One day longer in the womb makes such a huge difference. When I was discharged from the hospital at 29 wks + 4 days after going into early labour I found myself just wishing to make it one more day, one more day. My doctor's goal has always been for me to get to 34 weeks. It's been concreted in my head that "this is the goal". And yes, it is an amazing goal. However, we saw some family a few days later and they really spoke some truth to me about our mighty God. They encouraged me to keep BELIEVING AND PRAYING FOR 40 WEEKS, not just one more day. They reminded me that when I pray in my own faith and understanding my prayers will be small, but if I pray in God's faith and understanding they are big. He can do anything. Why would we not at least pray in that understanding? And if the baby comes before 40 weeks, that is God's will and I will be so grateful no matter what! If 40 weeks isn't in His plan that doesn't make Him any less great, faithful or good. I know that it's only by God's power that we've made it this far already.