Bed rest. Kill me now, I thought yesterday morning as I woke up.
Now on transfer day? That was cool. We came home from the clinic and grabbed some pillows and turned on daytime talk shows. I watched Ellen, the evening news (Lester Holt rocks), Jeopardy, and Entertainment Tonight. My husband hustled around the kitchen, and brought in a beautiful plate of butter chicken, rice, roasted sweet potatoes, and a surprise of homemade roti (chapati). I pulled out my Elle coloring book that I got in France (way better than most of the trendy ‘adult coloring books’ that assume as a grownup that suddenly you are better at art than you were at age seven, heh) and these cool eco-pencils I picked up on discount from my husband’s store, and began to color. And as I did that my husband was on the other end of the sectional, pretending to read with his eyes closed (I love watching this man nap on the sofa with a book on his chest and head down…something so sweet about it). He gave me my evening Delestrogen shot and we were in bed by 10pm.
But man, nothing like laying around all day to lay in bed for even longer. I woke up with an aching back to put it mildly. We have a great bed and I am a side sleeper which I’ve read is best for bedrest, but as my husband knows, I’m a flip flopper when I sleep and as those of us going through daily IM injections know, the booty begins to be sore on both sides at this point so by the time he got me up for my 6AM Progesterone shot, I got a li’l bit whiny 🙂
And then? I decided enough of that. My husband left for work and rather than go back to bed, I cuddled up with the dog on the sofa, watched the morning news (Good grief, England, what the living fuck is going on over there?!) and pulled out my laptop and decided I was going to make the most of this quiet time. I was going to ENJOY the forced stillness of not leaving the sofa. I was going to breathe, and accept these moments I have where my only obligation is to do…nothing. I found myself figuring out what I can do from a 45 degree recline. Maybe a nap…maybe watch The Chew…maybe do some business planning? But no matter what, there would be no laundry or errands or any of that ‘stuff’. What a great opportunity for “forced chill out”, right?
Well…by around dinnertime Friday, 28 hours into bed rest, I thought I might scream from utter soreness and stiffness. I managed to get a nap in, and change from my back to one side to the other side, but by the time my husband was home and he made dinner, I was dying and made an executive decision to take a few “laps” walking around the backyard to look at my garden. I emailed my doc (not my RE – he doesn’t believe in any sort of bed rest beyond “hanging out on the couch” for a few hours after coming home) who’d assigned me the bed rest and told her and she gave me the thumbs up to get up and move around and freed me to go for walks and such on Saturday. Woo hoo!
I moseyed out to the garden, reached down to pluck a marionberry from the vine…and instantly tweaked my back, nearly falling to one knee. Did my body just literally give me the middle finger, I thought?
Nothing like the combination of physical and emotional stress to get my back to the shitty old days of a year and a half ago when I tweaked it and was unable to move for a number of days. But with this and my focus on NOT letting anything, even torturous back tweakage, make me all crazy emo, I whimpered a bit, went into the house, and put the heating pad (normally reserved for pre-injection booty warming) on my lower back on high for a good 20 minutes. I took an ibuprofen and focused on other things. Sleeping last night was a wreck…Dan got 3 pillows from the basement for me to put under my knees while on my back but of course any back/side sleeper knows, that makes turning over difficult. UGH!
But we woke up super early as usual for my PIO shot, and rather than go back to bed I put the heating pad on again, curled up on the couch and passed out for a couple hours. Took 2 more Tylenols late morning and then went for a walk with husband and dog, and have felt a lot better. Cautious optimism on my back…kind of like with my uterus, right? 🙂
Mindfulness + Presence
Before the transfer, I had an hour of Reiki with my esthetician to get in the zone, nice and mellow. Boy was it worthwhile…and I ended up there for 90 minutes…lovely.
The first thing she had me do was to write on a piece of paper the things I am anxious and/or fearful about going into the day, whether it be about motherhood itself or the process or other areas of my life. It felt good to stop and think about this. I realized right then that I have no major fears or anxiety about becoming a mother, seriously. My worries were all about who I am if this does not work, if the embryo(s) and my body fail me again. Then we folded it up and put it in the other room, so as not to interfere with the process. At the end of the session she asked me to, just before the transfer, envision it burning into ashes and, literally, letting it go. Love this kind of stuff.
Another thing she did was to pull out a random card from the middle of Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements deck, for me to focus on during our time. It couldn’t have been more perfect for where I am at:
“Stay in the Present Moment. Keep your attention on today and stay in the present moment. This is the beginning of a new understanding, a new dream.”
Lovely, eh? So every time my mind starts to wander, I try to remember this, and give myself this gift of just sitting here in the present. It’s both easy and challenging when you’re in bed rest mode and the wait til your pregnancy test – you have time to meditate while also having time to let your mind wander.
Shonda on the Brain
This past week, I’ve been thinking about Shonda Rhimes and her book, Year of Yes. For those of you who for some reason have never heard of the creator of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, etc., she’s a pretty amazing woman. Her book is all about her own experiences in learning to embrace her fears, saying yes to things that scared her but that she knew would ultimately be good experiences and/or lessons for her. And for me, that has been centered on two big things: the evolution of my work, and the prospect of twins, should we be successful and more than one of the two embryos implant.
When it comes to work, I’m getting better and better at going with the flow. Client gigs ebb and flow for me, with zero predictability. I have some repeat clients, and occasionally new ones come into the mix, but there is no telling when they will need me – even when they themselves think they know what’s next. Until a contract is signed, nothing is real. My other (coaching) work remains steady, and with this week downshifted to accommodate DEIVF, I have revenue coming in, even if it’s not my ideal number. It’s funny, for me if I’m not at top speed, I feel like I’m going too slow…even though I’m doing just fine. It’s been good for me though – I am more astute with my financial planning and more confident that no matter what, we’ll be just fine.
When it comes to the potential for multiples…well as most readers know, we are still hoping just for one, and while we are 95% pro-SR if two end up implanting, learning to say YES to jumping off into that unknown of transferring two was a big, big damn deal for the both of us. We said yes to seeing where the chips fall.
Contemplation of Implantation
That picture above? It is literally an embryo implanting!!! Crazy sci-fi cool, eh? Anyhow, I suppose this would be called visualization at its finest.
Side effects? Next to nothing, to be honest. Perhaps that I’m so used to being in heavy-feeling, nauseated spectrum that has been so all-encompassing for so long, that it just doesn’t shake me up anymore, I don’t know. This whole cycle, even with a few bumps in the road, has been a LOT less traumatic…and my honey has noticed it as well. I can tell that there is activity in the lower abdominal region, but when I do I just focus on breathing, giving lots of oxygen and keeping things chill. I’m walking slower, I’m keeping my feet warm, I’m letting the sun give me some much-needed Vitamin D and basking.
Food-wise, I’ve really tried hard to focus on all that is Warm. Finding out that eggs, pork (for that occasional need for prosciutto) and non-cow’s milk cheese are in the Neutral spectrum was also a huge relief! Oatmeal for brekkie with sauteed peaches and blueberries. Walking over to Tamale Boy for some chicken empanadas, fresh guacamole and dairy-free horchata for lunch with my mother as we spent our first three hours just she and I, catching up on fairly surfacial things – my career, family basics, the evolving nature of the city. Chilling out in the shade in the backyard eating curried corn fritters, and then finishing up the evening mellowing out on the sofa snacking on al vino goat cheese, pancetta and cashews, with a cup of ginger tea before nodding off.
Ultimately, I’m feeling … neutral?
Here’s to neutral.