Thursday, April 7, 2011

In Like a Lion, Out Like a Raging Hacking Diseased Animal

It's safe to say that the past three weeks of this pregnancy have been among the most challenging.  Out went March, in came April.

Just before St. Patrick's Day, Thomas got a cold, which he generously shared with both Jonathan and me.  The day after the Blarney Blast was spent with us huddled under blankets, fighting to stay ahead of the raging bug.  Not much in terms of fever, but the coughing was insane.  We picked up an extra humidifier for our bedroom, which was fantastic for helping soak our throats while we were sleeping.

I had been on the 'down low' for several weeks, only leaving the house for vitals and staying down as much as possible. I rescheduled two newborn shoots because I just didn't want to expose anyone to anything. 

Finally, we were all beginning to feel better as Jonathan's birthday approached (my April Fool's husband!!).  A month or so earlier, I had planned a surprise mini-staycation for him.  Originally planning to go to the Tulip Festival, I booked two nights in downtown Seattle at the Westin, and the three of us were having our last vacation with just the three of us.  Excited to be somewhere that we didn't need to drive anywhere. We could just put on our shoes and walk to wherever we wanted to do.  

Celebrating his birthday was so much fun -- lots of sleeping in and 'family naptime' -- exactly what he wanted for his birthday.  The Westin upgraded us to a beautiful view room on the 24th floor (thank you, Wee Ski for being so charming, and Jonathan, for having a birthday).  Thomas painted him two works of art for his office.  We had a fun dinner on his birthday eve at the Cheesecake Factory, since his actual birthday fell on a Friday during Lent, and we both wanted Chicken Madeira.  :)  Thomas and I went swimming in the hotel's pool, and gave Jonathan a little extra nap time.  Just what we all needed.  R&R for everyone. 

On Saturday, we moved a few blocks away to the Hilton, for a 2012 Relay For Life Summit Planning training.  The Seattle Hilton had, by far, the best hotel service I had ever experienced.  When we checked in and Thomas was in his "I'm ready for a nap so let me show you what a stinker I can be" mode, the hotel staff asked if cookies and milk might help.  They sent up an entire tray of cookies, several milks, fruit and water...on the house.  When I passed by the front desk, coughing, I was given a bottle of water and cough drops.  Awesome, attentive service. 

Jonathan and Thomas had some fun papa/son bonding time while I was in the training, and I realized that the more I talked, the more I coughed.  Everyone was so gracious with my hacking.  Seriously.  I sounded like a man and it was BAD. 

Upon arriving home Sunday night, I slept a great deal over the next few days as my cough intensified again.  The final straw?  When the knots in my back from coughing finally **had it**.  Last night, after one awful outburst, my back 'went out' and I found myself in so much pain that I couldn't move. 

I had never experienced anything like it.

And it was one of those moments that I was very grateful to be married to an EMT.  I feel very blessed to have "my own, personal 911". 

The Wee Ski dutifully brought me the phone and I called Jonathan at his office.  When he heard me sobbing, he immediately got in the car and headed home.  35 minutes later, he walked in the door to a very scared Wee Ski and a very in-pain wiffie.  I am very grateful that he is my rock.  He scooped up Thomas, calmed him down, and took him to the bedroom as he changed.  Popped him in his crib and turned on Sesame Street.  Was able to get me into a hot shower (clearly, he is an excellent negotiator with a crazy, hormonal pregnant woman) and helped me into bed.  Hot water with lemon and honey, rotating hot pads, towels for my tears and a Safeway run for extras.  Without complaining and without a negative word.  At least from him.  There may have been complaining and negative words from someone else.  :) 

He helped me get my favorite Physical Therapist (Liz Brownrice) on the phone and she helped me game plan what needed to happen next. 

I could barely use my left arm with the pain in my left, middle back, and was learning how to do everything slowly and deliberately.  Two words that are rarely ever found in my vocabulary. 

I stayed in bed for nearly 20 hours straight. 

Jonathan handed off the 'morning shift' to the Wee Ski, who brought me bananas in bed, and took out my empty Gatorade bottles to the garbage as I finished them.  When I finally got up around noon, he proceeded to run to the bathroom, strip down and said, "Sower?"   Clearly, we both needed hot water and time to be 'normal' again.  He figured out how to get himself into the bathtub since I was unable to pick him up. 

Coughing is now exceptionally painful, so I've gone to great lengths to avoid it.  And when I can't, the phrase "offer it up" keeps coming to mind. 

Pregnant mamas on bedrest have a brand-new appreciation from me.  I can't even imagine.

We headed north to Grandma and Grandpa's, where I got some much needed help with Wee Ski care, and had an incredible massage in the Harbor to begin working out my back.  Being able to use my left arm again was pure heaven.

For someone who thrives on being independent, this has been a very good lesson for me in accepting help graciously.  Learning that being prepared doesn't always mean that everything will happen as planned.

Jonathan is always so good to me.  Liz gave me calm, rational advice as I cried on the phone.  I got to listen to Thomas's screaming giggle as Grandpa gave him a bath tonight.  I watched him chase Grandma around the house as he squealed with joy.  And after a super-strength prescription from my doc tonight, finally, my back is relaxing. 

We're staying up here in the Harbor tonight, giving Jonathan a well-deserved night on his own.  He won't have to awake every hour to me or worry about keeping Thomas off the bed when I'm in it. 

I keep thinking that in a few short weeks, this will all be a faded, distant memory.  Jonathan reminded me over and over of the nights that I spent in tears following a negative pregnancy test, and that there is a greater plan in all of this. 

I would really appreciate your prayers for these last few weeks, for healing and peace as we get ready for the Wee Ski 2.0's arrival.   For a safe birth and delivery. 

Oh, and that my first words to him aren't "cough, hack, hack, hack."  :)


Unknown said...

While we are not taking the most easy emotional path to having a child, your post has more than convinced me I am taking the most easy physical path to having a child. My thoughts are with you and the entire family. I am just getting over the nast cough...its not fun and am sure it is even less fun preggers. Hang in there and rest...even when you start feeling better...take it SLOW! It will come back if you don't.

KCina said...

Continuing to keep ALL of you in our prayers! :) Hugs and happy thoughts my friend! Can't believe the Wee Ski 2.0 is nearly here!

Amelia said...

Oh Shelley - no fun!!! WE will definitely keep you ALL in our prayers!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Shelley! Ick. I hope you get better soon because you will certainly have your hands fuller in a few weeks.

Unknown said...

all our love and prayers - especially over these next few weeks!

Unknown said...

Oh Shelley! I cannot imagine throwing my back out while 9 months pregnant.
I will certainly keep you and your family in my prayers as you prepare to welcome you sweet miracle of life.

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