I admire anybody who is on bedrest for any reason, for any prolonged amount of time and remains sane to tell about it.  I tell you what, your mind becomes your worst enemy.  It constantly bounces around from one thought to the next.  One minute, you feel good and positive.  The next minute, you feel lonely and depressed.  It’s crazy.  I had to break out the giant sudoku book today just to distract my mind.  Maybe I will become a sudoku master.

The hardest part.  Sitting on the couch feeling like a lump and watching everybody living their “normal” life around you.  Also, you are forced to watch someone else run your home.  Basically, it’s like someone layed you off from your career but are requiring you to sit and watch while someone else does your thing but not quite in the same way.  The project that took you 10 years to build.  Yeah, someone else is working on it right in front of you.  It’s torture I tell you! 

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the help we have received.  We wouldn’t be able to survive without our friends and family.  The kids wouldn’t be fed, clothed or at school.  Our refrigerator would be empty and our house would be condemned by the city as a health hazard.  Even though it’s hard for me to let go, at least that stuff is being prevented by others generosity.

So, if you think that bedrest is a piece of cake, think otherwise. be grateful that you can move your legs and can sneeze or pass gas without fear of body organs ripping apart.  The things that are getting me through this are first of all, the thought that this too shall pass and we will be holding a healthy baby in a few months.  Second of all, the channel A&E.  That’s right, the Arts and Entertainment channel on tv. 

If you think your life is difficult, watch the shows on A&E.  There’s the show Intervention (one of my personal faves), 48 Hours, Dog the Bounty Hunter, The Cleaner, Cold Case Files and numerous other cop type/forensic shows.  I think these really appeal to me because at one point in my life, I wanted to be a cop/detective.  But really, there’s nothing like watching some drug addicts and unsolved murders to make you feel blessed.  There’s always something for everybody and it could always be worse.  After watching these shows, I am thankful to be at home safe in bed without suffering from a heroin addiction.  It’s better than therapy or pills and much cheaper. 

Now, as for the baby.  As far as I know, there has been no change since last week.  Except in my butt, I think that has gotten much larger and flatter since last week.  I can’t see inside my womb.  I wish they had sent me home with an ultrasound machine.  How fun would that be??  It would have provided hours of entertainment.  I still think I feel little taps down there if I sit very still for a while, especially at night.  Hopefully, no new news is good news.  I will know for sure in a couple days when I go for my next evaluation.  I’ll let you all know if anything more exciting turns up.  Right now, it’s ground hog day over here and I want to spare you all from the monotony of my life.

Well, this is one of the best secrets I have kept to myself (and a few 25 others :)).  As some of you may have noticed, I was on bedrest for quite a while.  I am still on restricted activity but basically, life is back to normal, minus the running and rigorous exercise.  But who am I kidding, I barely did that anyway. 

Here’s the full story of what REALLY happened.  I am now finally ready to share.  Tomas and I have debated for quite a while as to whether we wanted to add a 4th member to our family.  We decided that we did.  The past 6 months to a year, we have had our fair share of family illness and deaths.  Both of us gained a good understanding of how important a stong supportive family was.   We decided that we would try for a 4th to arrive when Zack was in school full time.

So a few months ago, I had my IUD removed.  It was causing me to have a lot of irregular bleeding and I could take a form of the birth control pill to stop it, but that defeated the whole point of the IUD.  I decided to take it out.  My doctor’s famous last words were “Alright, but remember I’m not responsible for what may happen!”  She knows that I have always been a super fertile Mertle.

I started charting my cycles to determine how my body was cycling.  Our goal was to have a good plan so that we could try for another girl.  2 boys and 2 girls would be great for bedroom accomodations at our house.  A while after that, I began to have very irregular bleeding and I just didn’t feel quite right in my uterus.  I suspected I was pregnant.  But, even though we had “chanced” a few rendezvous, Tomas and I thought there was no way that 4 could be on it’s way already.  I bought a test.  I peed on the 1st stick.  No line showed up.  But I still had a nagging suspicion.  I sat awake at 1am that night and hauled out the free digital test that had been in the same pack.  It took forever!  However, after what seemed like hours, the digital read out said “pregnant”!  I jumped on the bed and woke up Tomas.

His reaction:  “You woke me up for this?”, he said with a smile.  “Good Lord, woman!  I could talk to you on the phone about having more kids and you would get pregnant!”  So much for “trying” for a girl!! 

So there we were.  Pregnant.  No idea for how long at that point.  Then, one day while I was at a park play day with the kids, I started hemorraging.  We are talking a lot.  Not just a little spotting.  It didn’t stop all afternoon.  I was thinking that it was because my body wasn’t ready to be pregnant yet.  It would be okay, I would get pregnant again.  I wound up going into the ER that night at the suggestion of my doctor to see if I was still pregnant.

After that trip to the ER, I found out 2 things.  One, I was still pregnant.  The baby had a heart beat.  Two, I had a major area of bleeding in my uterus that may interfere with the pregnancy.  It’s called a subchorionic bleed.  There is no rhyme or reason to why it develops, it just does.  Most people have smaller ones that heal easily on their own.  Mine was really, really big.  I was told that my pregnancy was extremely high risk.  The baby had a heartbeat at that moment but that’s all they would “guarantee”.  It was alive that day.  I was 6 weeks.  I went home still doubtful that this pregnancy would take and started “restricted” physical activity.

The bleeding stopped after a couple days and I thought I was on the mend.  Until a week later once again, I was at the park with the kids.  I picked up Gret and there my funky uterus went again.  This time with cramping.  This time the hemorhaging was worse than ever.  I had to call Tomas to come home.  I couldn’t take care of the kids because of it all.  He came home and we waited.  I thought for sure the baby was gone and I went in later to check for a heartbeat.  Miraculously, the babies heartbeat was still there.  Again, the doctors were sure to point out that I was “high risk” and that there were no guarantees due to the large size of the bleed.  This time I went on strict bedrest.  It was the only way to stop the bleeding and let that area heal. 

Tomas and I hadn’t told but a couple people yet about what was really going on.  We didn’t want to explain to a million people that we were pregnant today but didn’t know about tomorrow.  It would have been hard to answer questions as to what was going on with the baby when we had no clue.  Even our families didn’t know for a couple more weeks.  There was too much going on with family illness, we just couldn’t deal with any extra questions.  We hardly knew what was happening from day to day. 

But a week later, I had yet another episode and it was decidely worse than the last.  It lasted for 12 hours at that point, and there was no sign of letting up.  My doctor said to go straight to the ER for an ultrasound and blood work.  That was when Tomas was already at a funeral for his grandfather.  It was a very rough day.  Well, I went in and the baby still had a heartbeat.  We were still pregnant.  The hematoma in my uterus however, had not reduced in size.  Every ultrasound was harder and harder to look at.  Yes, the baby was growing and looking more human all the time.  Early on, it would have been easier for me to deal with a miscarriage, but now there was this little being in there.  I had seen it.  I kept thinking, “What if?  How would I deal with it?”

The doctor we had that day was truly amazing.  He went on to explain that in his professional opinion.  We were going to be fine.  The baby was growing and looked as if it would “beat out the bleed” for space.  It would just take time.  Usually the bleeding would stop by the end of the first trimester.  I had to stay on bedrest.  That was the hardest part.  All I could do was sit and wait.

I have had a few more small episodes after that.  However, little by little, I can tell my body is healing.  At my last ultrasound (last week), the baby was growing strong.  Still no guarantees, but a definitely a more positive outlook.  I am still uncertain as to how to approach this mentally, because I am not totally out of the woods.  The hematoma still measures the same size on the ultrasound but is not interfering with the pregnancy.  However, that “high risk” label troubles me.

Why am I sharing this now, finally?  Well, I am now in week 12.  Very close to being through the touch and go first trimester.  I think this pregnancy has a good chance to be fine. I am feeling better.   My belly is busting out and there is no way to hide my poochy self.  I guess the 4th pregnancy is no longer bound in due to lack of abdominal muscles.  Plus, the boys have noticed my expanding body and are very excited to share the news of our new baby bro/sis.  As you may know, no secret is safe with an excited 5 year old!

I know that some may think we are insane for having another so soon, especially since I had PPD after Gret.  That’s okay.  I have been called crazy enough times to be hardened to it.  I can’t wait for the comments when I have to get groceries with 4 children, all 5 years old and under.  All I know for sure, is that we are confident we can handle whatever life throws at us.  Our kids (so far) are wonderful, caring children and we can’t wait to watch another grow into an adorable being.  My gaggle is growing and that’s just fine with us.

My new favorite quote from Steven Colbert:  “Warning:  I may contain more than a trace amount of nut!”  I think it’s very appropriate!