21 weeks + 1 day, 4 weeks + 3 days post rupture.
Martyr: 1. a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause (often religious). 2. a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering.
I have no religious beliefs. Definitely none that I'd be willing to die over, so I don't really fall into definition 1. But I think I have a lock on definition 2.
I have become a bed rest martyr. I've now spent a month in bed. My only outings have been to the doctors. I have not been outside for any other reason, nor I have I sat at my kitchen table. Almost every meal I've eaten has been in my bed. I have made nothing for myself beyond grabbing a yogurt out of the fridge or peeling the paper back on a muffin. I drink water, I watch TV, I occasionally shuffle from bed to couch to couch, back to bed, and I play Solitaire on this lap top. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ad nauseum.
This is all boring as hell, as you can imagine. One or two days of doing nothing is a vacation, something fun to look forward to especially if done with friends, or if really good movies are on TV, or if the weather is shit. Anymore than that becomes a chore. However, I can take the boredom, the lack of social contact, the financial hardship of being off work and confined to my house. That is all no big deal. It is the physical pain of inactivity that gets me. My back is constantly sore. I often have a dull headache, likely due to neck pain. I can feel the muscles in my legs and back becoming less dense, tense and weaker. If I could test it I'm sure my stamina would be shit right now. I know walking up the stairs in my house has become more difficult, although there are days that I don't even attempt that. Fear of leaking, of compromising the baby keeps me immobile.
And even this, this physical de-conditioning would be okay, would be worth it, if I felt I was working towards something. And I know, I know...everyone's going to comment and say something like "but you are working towards something Emily...don't give up hope" and so on and so forth. But really, I don't feel like it's worth it, until I reach AT LEAST 24 weeks. To get there, I have to pass here first. Can't get to 24 without first passing all the weeks before it. But right now, every day I spend in bed gets me and Acorn literally nowhere. If he were born tomorrow, or the day after that, or hey even next week or the week after that...we'd be in the same place as we were today. Acorn would still die. He might die a little heavier or more obviously 'baby like', but he'd still be dead. My husband and I would still be two time baby lost parents. And there are a lot of days of bed rest, a lot of hours of pain and suffering and waiting between now and "hope". And even then at 24 weeks, hope is small. I will only start to feel more 'hopeful' at 26 weeks +. And that is almost 5 weeks away.
It feels like a very long time.
Sometimes too long.
I remember back a few months ago, when I first got pregnant with Acorn. We were nervous. We were hopeful. We tried to think positively. Most likely, things would be fine, right? They are for so many people, why not us? But I remember thinking to myself "if this baby isn't the baby that gets to come home, healthy and in a car seat, I hope I miscarry early on...I don't want to suffer the way I did last time".
Even that wish didn't come true, and it was a pretty shitty wish to begin with.
A huge part of me just wants to get it over with. Get on with the grieving and the sadness and the loss. I know what that looks like, what that feels like. I know how badly it will hurt, how hard each day will be. How people will try to be kind, but not know what to say. How I'll have to pull up my socks again and continue on. Physically and mentally whip myself back into shape. Maybe it would be easier to have hope if this pregnancy had gone badly in a different way. If I had experienced complications with my heart, or if maybe the baby had some congenital defect that the extent would only be known at delivery, or if I was on bed rest to prevent a shortening cervix, but my membranes were still intact. Hope seems more tangible and accessible in those instances. The situations more of an unknown.
It is hard to imagine exactly the same events that lead to Aidan's death working out any differently this time around. I try to imagine it. I try to picture it on a daily basis. Imagine Acorn being born, able to cry, small but otherwise healthy. Taken to the NICU. Given a diagnosis of "wow, he looks good!". Imagine me leaving the hospital, but returning the next day, the next week (the next month?) to see my baby get bigger, stronger, healthier and closer to coming home in that car seat. Given a clean bill of health. Small, but mighty. I've seen it lots of times as a nurse in the NICU. Lots and lots of babies go home.
But the fear and the sadness and the dread of what happened last time make it really hard to commit my heart to that outcome. The hope I held in my heart got broken last time and I don't think it will ever really be the same.
Addendum: After reading comment #2 on here, I just had to note that my husband and I had joked if this baby is a boy we should totally name him "Harry Potter" a.k.a. "the boy who lived" and if it's a girl her name should be "Buffy" as Buffy the Vampire Slayer came back from the dead...twice.