I opened my eyelids the following morning. The ceiling tiles hadn’t moved. I blinked several times and focused on the sensations in my nether parts. Nothing unusual. No pain. No discharge. Had the cerclage done the job?
Dr. Landry made an early visit to check his handiwork then waved goodbye. Soon after, a nurse bounced into the room to tell me Dr. Landry was allowing me to get out of bed to take a shower, and go home.
“Stand up…and walk around?” I wondered if she’d received the correct orders for the right patient.
“Yes, he’s going to allow you to walk around—only when you need to—and stand for a shower. And sit up in bed!” She sounded almost giddy.
My mouth gaped. After all we’d been through the last forty-eight hours? First, I’d entered the hospital in premature labor, and then Dr. Landry abruptly gathers my cervix together with some measly surgical thread, and, voila, suddenly I get permission to return to near-normal activity?
He’d even suggested that I might be allowed to perform light house cleaning and drive Parker to school, if everything looked good by the week’s end.
His hopeful prescription didn’t stop me from tippy-toeing gingerly to the shower and enjoying only a brief cascade of warm water down my very stiff back. In spite of what he said, I wasn’t going to take any chances. Following my shower, Chris and my mother helped me gather my belongings, and we awaited the mandatory, chauffeured wheelchair ride to the car.
“Get some rest,” the nurses waved to me, happy smiles decorating their faces. “Good luck! We’ll see you back when you’re ready to deliver in four months!”
Four months of rest and feet-up posture. I assumed that particular prescription would put me right back on state disability for four additional weeks. Certainly my health insurance will cover limited home health care.
It would be a matter of days before we’d know just how well my body responded to the cerclage, though. To know if it was really going to work.
I arrived home with mixed feelings, my head in turmoil. How was I going to care for Parker? How was he going to get to school? What if I went into labor while I was alone in the house and unable to reach anyone? We lived in the country, on four acres, pre-cell phone era.
After several minutes of exhausting my brain with questions, I lay down. Sitting and thinking made me physically uncomfortable and stressed and sapped my energy.
Chris had made a decision to purchase a beeper, so I wouldn’t have difficulty contacting him, at least, although he was forty-five minutes to an hour away—on a good traffic day. My mother decided to stay a week longer than planned, having said good-bye to my father who had driven to the Los Angeles airport that morning to take his scheduled flight home. She’d rejoin him five days later, when they would immediately prepare for their special Christmas trip to Germany.
My mother shuttled Parker to and from school, cleaned the house and did the laundry. Chris returned to his long work routine hours, and Parker continued his pre-school schedule. I set up “house” on the sofa sleeper in our guest bedroom and awaited the arrival of meals from my mother, three or four times a day. Chris prepared one side of the bed with the egg-crate padding brought from the hospital, and I located a comfortable position on the bed, hips tilted as high as I could manage to position them with pillows. Videos played non-stop on the small television set for entertainment, and I gathered several paperback books in a tower next to my new bed. No reason to get too settled in down here, though, I thought. Dr. Landry will probably give me the thumbs up in a few days anyway, to get up and walk around, and return to relative normal. Maybe I will actually enjoy the rest of my pregnancy.
I even rather confidently explained to my pastor and other church members who called—graciously offering to help with picking up Parker from school and delivering hot meals—that by the end of the week, I would almost certainly be allowed quite a bit of freedom, and probably wouldn’t need assistance. With great anticipation, I awaited the Big Day—when I’d return to Dr. Landry’s office to receive the positive prognosis.
This had all been so much easier than I’d expected. Things were really looking up! God was answering my prayers.
What could possibly go wrong now?
NEXT WEEK: The prognosis…
Until next week,
Thanks for joining me!