The Unexpected Blessing
When I first heard the words “bedrest” I felt my body become completely overtaken with anxiety. I was only 23 weeks, I still had so long to go. While some may view this as a relief or a break from every day life, to me it was now a hopeless situation. You see 2018 has come with its challenges. At the same time we found out we were expecting #2, the company my husband worked for decided to fold and lay off most of the employees. For the entirety of the pregnancy thus far, I was working full time supporting our house off my income. I was doing my part, standing by my husband in his journey; to interviewing for other jobs all while trying to stay mentally and physically healthy for our newest addition. In my mind bedrest was NOT an option.
Due to severe pregnancy complications and concerns with my own health, bedrest became the only solution for a viable pregnancy. I felt pulled in two directions: one part of me wanted to establish stability for my family by continuing to work and be the strong mom/wife I wanted to be...the other desperately wanting our next baby girl to have a chance at a normal life. A chance to make it full term. How as a mom could I be a supportive wife and mom if I was on bedrest? How was I going to help out and refrain from becoming a burden? These are all concerns I felt overshadowed everything else in my mind and I had to become fully reliant on God that He had a plan.
Once bedrest started, I found I did not get along with the terms well. I hated laying around all day. I was so sick of Netflix. My days and nights were mixed up. My body began aching constantly due to lack of activity and the worst of it was that my daughter began expressing frustration through tantrums due to Mommy not being able to pick her up. My heart was in two different places and I was filled with guilt for choosing my unborn daughter over my toddler.
Specific instructions from my doctor were to not allow my abdomen to flex or experience stress in any way. To stay relaxed and just let my body carry this child in a calm environment… Basically exactly the opposite of what life had presented us. My anxiety was through the roof. So much was unknown. I found myself having panic attacks where I would cry uncontrollably and curl up into a ball for absolutely no reason. It would hit me with no warning and all I could do was just let my body release the emotion. I had absolutely no control over anything and it felt defeating. The only thing keeping me positive was our weekly sonograms with the doctor checking Kate’s (baby #2) viability and growth. Seeing her face each week reminded meWHYI needed to keep going and let every other aspect of my life be taken care of by either Jon or family.
I am currently 32 weeks along and to say things are progressively better is an understatement. My husband found a new job he loves. My daughter, Claren will come up to Mommy’s belly and say “sister” or “Kate”. Because we have made it to viability and Kate passed all her neuro exams, I am able to be on my feet more each day. When I thought Bedrest was basically a hopeless diagnosis, it became exactly what my husband needed and I needed. We were forced to communicate at our lowest points. Forced to let each other in to ALL our insecurities and allow our friends and family to help us out when we didn’t know how to ask for it. Forced to love each other through the dark moments and celebrate the smallest blessings. We were lead to pray, and some days feel like praying was the only thing giving us some sort of hope. When we felt all our requests were being answered with a “No”, we had to stand together and fight for a “Yes”. When we were arguing and showing the ugliest sides of each other, we had to take a step back and refocus on what was most important: our family. When I felt like I had no patience at all, I was forced to let go completely and trust that God had us. At 32 weeks I can see He did!
We still have 8 weeks to go, but it is already a miracle we made it this far. My family feels complete. I got the help I needed for my anxiety. Kate is passing every scan with flying colors! My daughter sees her parents expressing love to each other every day and even though the days are still rough, we get through them together. For that I am eternally thankful. God knew what He was doing and He knew what we needed. He brought us through some really low moments and now we get to celebrate with welcoming a new baby girl into our lives!
If you are struggling with pregnancy complications, anxiety, self doubt or even just the effects of being on bedrest, know you are not alone. It is ok to accept just how difficult these experiences may be, but you WILL come out stronger. Babies are such a blessing, but the toll pregnancy can take on us is not always the smoothest journey. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and chat with me if you are struggling. Life is real and it is not promised to be all rainbows and butterflies, but with a little love and support you can conquer the difficult times. One things for sure is you are strong. You are loved and your title as a mother should be celebrated.
Thank you for reading my story.
Kinsey Dulaney (@kinseydulaney)