Thursday, 9 August 2012

Week 35

Greetings from Bedrest, Switzerland.

Population: 3

Town mayor: Poppy

Secretary of destructive affairs: Cosmo

New resident: Me.

This week I am on bed rest, though it's nothing alarming. I don't know about you, but whenever I hear about someone having to go on bed rest I assume it's for one of these two serious reasons: (a) the baby is coming too soon, or (b) the mother is carrying a litter of children and her insides will spill out if she stands upright.  Neither of these are reasons why I have been put on bed rest (or couch rest, since I don't want to stay in my room all day because boring).

The actual problem is my damn sciatic nerve. I have been trying to ignore it for over a week and just carry on with my life and To-Do list, but as the days ticked by it was becoming increasingly harder to ignore the fact that every time I stepped forward with my right leg, IT EFFING HURT LIKE A MOFO. My solution to this increasingly severe pain had been to up my yoga, trying walking through the pain, and rising at 3:30 in the morning to try a number of sciatic nerve stretches that didn't work at all but actually pulled my groin muscle.


On Tuesday I went into Bern determined to get the things I need for my hospital bag; I was really excited for this trip because what I needed to hunt and gather were tiny toiletries and nothing gives me more pleasure than buying incredibly small deodorants, toothpastes, and hand creams. I find these purchases exciting because it means you're going somewhere, even if 'somewhere' is a hospital. However, my excitement to browse Coop's selection of travel goods was stamped out by the fact that I found myself quietly weeping in pain as I hobbled around the store.

I'm not even kidding.

It wasn't an intentional "I feel sorry for myself cry", but rather it seemed to be an involuntary tear-duct reflux that I couldn't control. Every time I took a step, my tear ducts leaked water. I had to keep pretending to scratch my face to blot out those freaking tears. It was awful. People were staring but then quickly scattered out of my way as I limped closer, which made me feel like I was a Jehovah's Witness trying to approach them with a magazine and a message. That's when I decided that waiting until my next doctor's appointment (next Friday) was not going to happen.

I got in to see my doctor within the hour where she hooked me up to a CTG machine and eliminated back contractions. And contractions in general. This didn't surprise me as I was really positive I wasn't in labour, but rather just experiencing insane nerve pain and I needed someone to solve it for me! When she found out that my remedies to the pain were to move more, she gave me a little "bless your heart you sodding idiot" sigh and told me to go home immediately, stop putting stress on my body and the baby, and do nothing but lie down until I could get in to the physiotherapist.

Apparently walking around when you are in severe pain is really bad for you. Go figure. LB was also distressed when I first got in, and my blood pressure was high which is the first time for this entire pregnancy that it hasn't been perfect.

(Truth: I always beam with pride when they take my blood pressure because they're always really happy about the numbers. I even get thumbs ups from the nurses! I'm weird.)

So anyhow, I have no idea why but resting NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. My friend was right when she said that moving through the pain is very North American. Because it is, isn't it? If you're sick, you don't call in sick: you show up until everyone takes pity on you and sends you home. When you are so crippled over that you can hardly walk, the last thing you do is lie down and wait to see a physiotherapist: you just keep moving until it becomes almost physically impossible to take another step.


I will not give in to it! If I don't move, it will own me and I'll never get better.

Week 35

The doctor did tell me that the reason for this discomfort, which is common but happens to women in varying degrees of painfulness, is because of the separation of the pelvis when the baby starts to move down. The only thing I can say is wouldn't it be a terrible coincidence if LB is overdue, because right now it really seems to me like all signs are indicating that things are moving along.

Though the doctor did tell me to hang on for two more weeks.


But yeah, other than the fact I spilt water on the CTG machine (oops! It still works though; I'm not sure health insurance would have covered that) I don't have much else to report this week because not a lot happens from the couch.

Although, we did have a hospital tour on Sunday. I found out I will stay there for three to four days after birth if all is normal.  They provide all the clothing and diapers that LB will need, they will teach Dan and I how to diaper and care for the tushie of our Little Baby, and there is a private breastfeeding room that I can retreat to if my room becomes noisy. 

Even though I don't think I need to spell it out, but I feel very lucky to be having this experience in Switzerland. The medical care has been top-notch so far, and once I come home the midwives will continue to visit me for a period of time to make sure we're doing okay.

Lucky indeed.


mom said...

You are looking good Miss Cait. Enjoy the "bed-rest" because once LB arrives you will be busy :-))

T said...

I agree with your mom, you look great Caitie! I wish I was there so I could help you run your last minute errands! I think it is awesome that you guys are getting so much support from the health care system there, Canada needs to take notes.

Wishing you a few great books and pain free couch rest days :)

Caitie said...

Thanks for the offer, T :-) Don't worry, I'd be a very civil task master. You'd only have to sleep in the storage room if you didn't get the exact right brand of blankets I need ;-) Haha! Looking forward to seeing you next Spring!