not looking psyched to change rooms
This time of year so many people are knee-deep in their March Madness. Brackets, betting, good-natured ribbing. . .it takes many forms and I've grown to love them all. March Madness makes me incredibly nostalgic, happy, and glad I'm not pregnant any more. You see, I never gave one thought to college basketball until I was stuck in the hospital on doctor-ordered bed rest for three weeks. Without a laptop, and having no cable or VCR, we're talking simply 2001 network TV for additional entertainment. And yes, I read a lot, and even managed a diy pedicure much to the dismay of one nurse.
I happen to be a proud mom of twins. And twins is your tip-off to the hospital bed rest. But as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, expectations had been hight that I'd sail through my pregnancy relatively unscathed. Ha. What I tell all first-time pregnant women is that it's different for everyone. Some moms eat and sleep great and work out until the day before delivery. Some women puke for 11 weeks straight and struggle mightily with heartburn or low-back pain. I did pretty well until I reached full waddle status. But one morning, I woke up at 4:00 to pee and when I noticed something that seemed a little off, I phoned the hospital as I'd been instructed. All I had to do was say "Twin Mom" and how many weeks along I was to get firm instructions to drive on in.
PROM - premature rupture of the membranes, if you will, or when your water breaks and you don't go into labor. After a thorough Doctor's examination (requiring multiple Docs) I learned I'd be checking in (!) and that it was a waiting game. The average mother lasted 2 weeks in my condition, I was told, and the first hurdle was getting two rounds of steroid shots into my rump, which were for infant lung development. I was also put on an IV of antibiotics to prevent infection, although many people feel the chances of this are low. Fighting nerves, unprepared for a sudden stay and wanting my dog, I became the latest hospitalized twin mom with an IV sticking out of her hand and a Dr. approaching with a very large shot bound for my bum. But gosh darn it I beat those odds and didn't go into active labor until 3 weeks of bed rest and countless cheeseburger/fry/vanilla malt (Cable Car Hamburgers on Geary in S.F.) and Caesr Salad/Pepperoni Pizza dinners later (Chow, thank you so much you beautiful cooks). See evidence in the photo below.
So after three weeks of getting to know every Nurse and Doctor on the floor, the staff was rooting for me to tackle labor and delivery as the athletic champ they saw me as. Woop woop, here we go. And then came a reminder that much of life is out our hands. I labored for over 12 hours, I pushed on and off for over two, and then Mr. McGrufferstein was in my face plainly explaining that my uterus had lost its contractile abilities to push like a good muscle should and I needed a C-section. Umm, I'm knife phobic!! I explained it had to go down like a Discovery Channel episode: please give me the blow by blow so I know what's happening. He did, everything went fine, and I even got to hang out at the hospital some more because my baby boys—while well grown and generally fabulous at 34 weeks—were neurologically too young to suck, swallow and breathe at the same time. They had to remain in the continuing care nursery for development and feeding an additional 7 days, and leaving them behind when I was finally checked out was one of the hardest things I've done as a parent to date, still.
I don't look especially happy in the photos above. I'm preparing to leave my encampment, I mean room, and I didn't really want to. I was a bit nervous, I'm sure. "The O.R." sounds a lot better on a medical drama than in real life. Also, my grimace might've been related to my brother's famous comment: we'd just measured my belly and learned I had a new circumference of 46 inches. He wasted no time translating and blurted out: "That's almost four feet!!"
But this was the room where I learned to love my college basketball. My kids' dad and his best friend were happy to take their game viewing on the 8th floor with their attentive and stuck student. They yelled and I learned (Final: Duke over Arizona, 82-72). Fast forward 11 years and my attention has shifted more towards women's college ball—is this because my partner was a Division 1 basketball scholar for the Memphis Lady TIgers? I don't know, but the heart and soul and athleticism displayed by all the collegiate ballers is exciting and fun to watch.
As a fifth generation Californian I loudly root for the Baylor Lady Bears (another story). And 11 years in as a mother I will say and repeat and remind all mothers everywhere that while things might not always go like you thought or planned, you can and will prevail. You are a mom.
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