Saturday, September 26, 2009


A year ago today I was sitting at a conference with all the Gastroenterology nurses in Arkansas feeling my 7-month pregnant stomach tighten and untighten. Because Rob and I have difficulty calling anything by its real name, we had lovingly started calling my contractions Toni Braxton's instead of Braxton Hicks. I texted Rob to tell him that my Toni Braxton's seemed to be coming faster and faster. We continued our loving little Toni Braxton type texts "don't drink anymore caffeine, see what happens." "Let me sit completely still for 20 minutes, see if they go away." "Try drinking a gallon water." We were new at this pregnancy thing.

Eventually I confided in my coworkers that something might be wrong. As seems to always be the case with nurses, we just happened to be sitting at a table with a GI nurse that used to be a labor and delivery nurse. I told her I thought I was having Braxton Hicks and they seemed kind of fast. This was one of those really tall, really skinny nurses with the horn rimmed glasses with studs at the ends and the chain around their neck (I know you can totally envision her because we've all had one). She felt of my belly and all but picked me up and threw me in a car herself. "Those aren't Braxton Hicks honey, that is a real contraction!" OH GOODNESS. Um, Rob......... I need you to come get me at the Embassy Suites. And take me to labor and delivery.

We got to the hospital and they were able to give me shots of an awful med to stop the contractions that made me crazier than a meth addict. At one point I was laughing so hard my bed was shaking and hitting the wall. Rob got close to my stomach and told fetus Rylan that if he came out that day, he'd have to wear a Alabama jersey in his newborn pics (we had played the mean Alabama team the week before and Rob was mad at their unsportsmanlike behavior). The doctor came in and warned us that he was really, really worried about the contractions and that I needed to be on bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy. He gave us lots of big words that my meth-head mind couldn't remember the meaning of even though I'm a nurse. All about what could happen to a 31-week newborn. He said all of this with about 9 inches of BVD underwear hanging out his pants. Yep the doctor smart enough to keep Rylan from coming out that day (and for 7 more weeks) wasn't smart enough to know that his pants were drooping so low 9 inches of his underwear was showing. It was an interesting day.

For seven more weeks I stayed on bedrest. It was a hard time for me and my lovely Rob. The meds to stop the contractions made my heart race and my core body temperature about 900 degrees. Rob literally put coats ON when he came home, I kept the air so low. I stayed in the house all day, every day except for OB doctor days when Rob would take me to eat. Sometimes we'd break the rules and sneak a Saturday night trip to IHOP or Babies r Us (in a wheelchair). I'm always a glass half full girl, but during this time, I'm sad to say, I was soooo glass half empty. I was weary from no sleep, weepy from being lonely and in pain, and just plain whiny.

It was all worth every minute of it and I'd do it again in a second. I hope with a better attitude, because now I know the pay-off. Rylan was born at 38.5 weeks and weighed 8lbs. No preterm words were used, no NICU, no IVs, no feeding tubes. NOTHING. He came home with us after 2 days and we've been blessed blessed blessed ever since.

I found myself thinking of bedrest alot this week, because its the year "anniversary" plus I sorta broke my foot and it gave me flashbacks!!!!! I'm eternally grateful for all the love and good wishes I received while on bedrest. We Qualls's are truly blessed people. My mom came and cleaned my house, my dad helped Rob with the lawn and closing our pool, my sister, Tammy, came every Saturday to sit with me and make me laugh, my sister Angie called me every day and she is not a lover of the phone, my in-laws called and emailed me, my friends from my old job (Alicia, Jacki and Heather) came to sit with me most Fridays and threw me a shower where I could open presents in a slouched position, my coworkers brought a shower to my house and made me cakes, and countless, countless other people continuously checked on me via email and phone calls. And I won't even begin to pretend to be able to list all the things my beloved Rob did for me. He was amazing, working a full time job, rushing home, making dinner, keeping the house clean, and taking me to every doctors appointment. One time we went to labor and delivery from 3am to 7am, he took a shower and headed to work all day. He brought me "yummies" all the time and discovered all kinds of heat and serve options out there that we still use today. He put up with my foul mood even though I know he was thinking "I married a happy girl, where did she go?" He was crazy good at being a doting husband.

When I was preggors I never wanted to show pics of my self. I thought I looked like a house. In retrospect, I looked like a lady with a cute little (very tall) baby in my belly. I'm feeling nostalgic of my time roasting my little marshmallow named Rylan. I'll post some pics from a year ago. And yes, in most of them I was supposed to be laying in bed on bedrest and I snuck to the camera and took some standing pics.
Watching the dogs play (adhering to bedrest rules)
Not adhering to bedrest rules, same exact day, 35 weeks
The day my coworkers brought a shower to me, 36 weeks
Nearly done incubating. 37-ish weeks
Loving my babe's new digs. Still totally not complying with bedrest rules. What the heck was wrong with me????
Going to my lay-down shower, 37 weeks
I made a list of all the things that got me through LONG days of October and November 2008. Just in case any of you out there should come into a situation that calls for you to put your booty in a bed and stay there for a little while.

Sudoku puzzles
The TV show "Snapped" on Oxygen
Project Runway
Grey's Anatomy, Seinfield, and Weeds on DVD from Netflix
Razorback games and my sister's commentary on them
The Twilight book series
Radio Satellite Channels: Solid Gold, All Bruce Springsteen, and All 90's
Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Tracey Chapman (calming)
Babycenter: Bedrest Club support group
Good Housekeeping and Women's Day (my mom had about 2 years worth saved up) (the game Stack Em is soooo addictive)
Scrabble online

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