Life as an Incubator

Sometimes when a woman is pregnant, she feels like a human incubator. As soon as you announce your pregnancy, things cease to be about the woman, and become either about the baby or how she is taking care of the baby. For women like me, this is just fine. I’m not a big fan of the spotlight, so I’m glad to make my world revolve around the baby. I eat what I should, stay away from places I shouldn’t be, and spend hours planning the perfect nursery for my newest production to come home to.

But what do you do when life revolving around the baby not only is high priority, it is the ONLY priority. All other things, including other children, husbands, careers-everything-has to take a back seat and you have to focus solely on the child within in you. This is what happened to me in a way I never expected and now I’m here for one purpose and one alone- to stay pregnant.

My story began back in 2007 when we lost our first daughter to a birth defect when I was 4 months pregnant. In 2008 we were pregnant again and this time the child was perfect so we gained a sense of ‘Hey, this pregnancy thing isn’t so hard.’  We were proven wrong when in late 2009 we lost our third child, a son, due to premature labor and possibly an incompetent cervix.

This filled me with a sense of ‘I can do this, but I’m taking every precaution’ when we got pregnant in 2010. I was watched like a hawk after the first 4 months had passed and given both a cerclage (for the possible Incompetent Cervix) and a weekly hormone shot (to prevent labor) so essentially, every bad was covered.

Or so we thought. At 27 weeks, imagine my surprise when I was in the hospital with complications.  I didn’t dilate, so the cerclage is working, and I didn’t go into labor, so the shot is working, but rare pregnancy complication number 4 came out: PPROM. Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane.

To be honest, I knew women’s waters could break early, but I didn’t realize when that happened that they might not go into labor. However now that there’s nothing keeping my baby safe from evil little bacteria, I am on permanent hospital bed rest until I reach 34 weeks. That is 6 weeks from when I was admitted (last week).

So now here I am, with an interesting view of the Sanford Downtown parking ramp, trying to accept the fact that I have gone from a self-starter who was always on the go, to a woman who felt blessed that I finally got bathroom privileges after 8 days.  This is the ultimate prioritizing of a baby over anything else and while it’s taken me a while, I’m okay with it. I still hate where I am and why, as well as being away from my son, but when it comes down to it this is what needs to be done for a healthy baby.

 I do find it ironic though, that after 4 pregnancies, I’m still learning so much. This is an experience I didn’t know a woman could have. I think I’m still wrapping my mind around that concept more than anything as I sit here. While a normal pregnancy doesn’t have much to do with the Mom in the end, imagine it having NOTHING to do with the mom and everything to do with merely keeping the baby in her.

At least, with the modern computer age, I will have plenty of hours to devote to that perfect nursery.

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