Notes from the Couch

Here are some things that have happened today, in no particular order.

Yummmmm. Buy these now. With sincere apologies my wheat/ dairy-free friends.

Herr Husband baked me chocolate croissants from Trader Joe’s without telling me he was doing so. They require proofing, so this took planning on his part. And man, the croissants are awesome. Get some, like now, and then proof them and bake them tomorrow morning. You’ll thank me. Or Herr Husband.

I finally wrote thank you notes for Das Big Boy’s birthday gifts. And now my right bicep and tricep hurt. This pain suggests that writing by hand is the most fitness I’ve done in a long time. Now we know that I am pathetic and at risk of growing into my couch.

Das Big Boy broke a cat bowl, prompting Herr Husband to shout, “Crap-o!” And then Das Big Boy ran around shouting “Crap-o!” for like twenty minutes. And I laughed. Because I am an awesome mom. It’s hard to parent effectively from the couch, so sometimes I just give up.

Seriously, this book is amazing. Highly recommended if you have toddlers or preschoolers, or maybe just even if you smoke pot.

Das Big Boy and I read Press Here. It was a gift from his very generous Aunt Nini, and it’s a favorite of both Das Big Boy’s and mine. If you have toddlers or preschoolers, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s brilliant and simple (and French–in fact, it might qualify as the first yupster–that’s yuppie hipster–parent thing I’ve blogged about in a while). Essentially, on each page there are dots and instructions, and as the child follows the instructions the dots do something different from page to page: change colors when you tap them, multiply, move when you shake the book, etc. Das Big Boy was instantly hooked and now really gets it. Very cool.

I took two naps. Both times my dudes left the house, I fell asleep. Before you get all “bedrest sounds awesome,” remember that I also am still sore from writing thank you notes six hours ago.

I did not give birth.

Perhaps it would be helpful for me to share the things I’m doing that may or may not be helping me not give birth. I’m fully willing to admit that some may be psychosomatic or ridiculous, but I’m all about things that can’t hurt and might help.

1) I am being really good about my bedrest. I don’t cheat at all. I get up only to go to the bathroom, and occasionally when I am up already I grab something from the kitchen. I shower about twice a week. Those of you who know me well know that this isn’t exactly a hardship. But I do apologize to Herr Husband, Le Gigi, and Nanny Sunshine.

2) I hydrate my face off. Turns out those well-honed chugging skills were years of practice for something important. Thanks, Dartmouth. And thanks, Dad (because genetics played a role, too!).

3) I take lots of vitamins.

A prenatal and a prenatal DHA, which I’ve been taking since before Das Big Boy was conceived (which I suppose you could use as an argument against them, except that Das Big Boy himself was doing great before he was kicked out of the sleezebag motel known as my uterus.

Vitamin C (daily) and vitamin E (2-3 x week) because I read somewhere they help strengthen the membrane.

A probiotic, recommended to me by my doctor when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, America’s sexiest chronic bowel disease (I made that last part up, but if you click on the link, be sure to read up on Toxic Megacolon. It sounds even more terrifying than Thyroid Storm, another disease to which I am slightly predisposed that sounds like something from a superhero movie).

A calcium supplement because bones are good.

And, most recently, a magnesium supplement, because they give you “The Mag,” or magnesium sulfate, when you go in for preterm labor. IV Magnesium sulfate slows contractions and has protective qualities for the preemie brain. So I decided a magnesium pill might ease my braxton hicks and be good for my baby’s brain, or at least it might make me feel like I was doing something. I told my high risk doc that I was sure it technically wouldn’t do anything, but that it would make me feel better and he said to go ahead and take it. Done.

4) I’m doing uterus breath. NS is a yoga teacher, and she and her fabulous acupuncturist mom are all about breathing into body parts. I’ve been breathing into my uterus and sending it healing energy which I imagine keeping my cervix closed. I find this practice very calming.

5) I’m eating tofu. My aunt read a homeopathic healing diet book, and it said to eat food that looks like what you’re trying to heal. She decided that tofu looked like a cervix (one more reason for all you anti-tofu folks to never eat it again, but I am vegetarian and a fan!). So I’ve been eating tofu. If you have other food suggestions that you think look like a cervix, I’ll be happy to try them. As I said, I’m open to everything. Except my cervix. That we want to stay closed!

6) I get weekly 17-P shots (17-hydroxyprogesterone-caproate). These have been shown to prevent recurrent preterm labor in women with a history of PTL. They’re known to be effective in the short/incompetent cervix population (I’m working on a piece about that offensive term as we speak!); less is known about their effectiveness with PPROMers, but everyone thought they were a good idea for me–shouldn’t hurt, might help. They are believed to work in part by calming the irritable uterus (now that diagnosis amuses me!). As the body prepares for delivery, progesterone drops, so keeping progesterone levels higher can prevent preterm labor.

How could he *not* keep your spirits up?

7) I get amazing support from my husband, parents, Nanny Sunshine, family, friends and neighbors, and I spend lots of time with my adorable son. People have helped out so much, which keeps me calm, and have elevated my spirits by hanging out with me, calling, emailing, etc. Alleviating stress and keeping my mood positive are definitely helping. And to all of those who are sending positive energy, prayers, white light, good vibes, or whatever it is you’re sending. Thank you.

There it is! My list of what’s worked for 19 days of bed rest. One day at a time….

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4 Comments on “Notes from the Couch”

  1. Morgan Faust says:

    This non-photo realistic cervix imagery (http://www.anytimehealth.com/fact-sheets/534-Cervical-Dysplasia) seems to dictate donuts, bagels, pineapple slices, funion, Froot Loops, spaghetti O’s and Angel Food Cake!

    • Leda says:

      Agreed, except we’re trying to motivate it to stay closed, so nothing with big holes. Maybe donut holes, to convince it to stay closed? I highly appreciate your research based suggestion!

  2. Tina says:

    I’m going to go historical here. How about some hardtack? It lasted forever in Civil War soldiers’ bags and therefore seems impenetrable. I will begin looking up recipes.

  3. […] down with major health issues instead, then have them seemingly go into remission. Ask me about my thyroid and my colon some other time). But I was fever-chills-unable-to-get-off-the-couch-sick for three days […]


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