Lack of Sleep Equals Lack of Perspective

Wednesday night, at 25 of the 40 weeks of pregnancy, I was admitted into labor-and-delivery because of pre-term bleeding, then moved to a “permanent” room on the second floor when it was determined that my baby boy would not have to be delivered.  That night, I suffered from insomnia, finally giving up on sleep at 4:20 a.m.

I was so anxious all day Thursday, due to my continued, though minimal, bleeding, that I couldn’t nap.  Thursday night, with the aid of Benedryl®, a sleep aid safe during pregnancy, I slept for about five hours.

When I woke up yesterday, Friday, morning, at 6 a.m., I found I hadn’t bled all night, so I was feeling very positive.  But, when I started bleeding heavily again at 9:15 a.m., my mood plummeted.  I was scared.  I was depressed.  I was lonely.  I cried twice, and I’m not a crier…

Every time my placenta bleeds, I worry about my baby’s health, whether his nutrition and/or oxygen will be reduced, making it imperative that he be delivered soon, when he’s only about 2 pounds—and my due date is April 23, more than three months from now. 

Every time my placenta bleeds, I know that I am stuck here, away from my family, for at least another 48 hours, because my team of high-risk pregnancy doctors is cautious and wants me monitored for at least two days post-bleeding to ensure that both my baby and I are healthy enough to on bed rest at home.

Every time my placenta bleeds, I feel out of control, because I can’t do anything to stop it.  I have placenta previa, and, yesterday Dr. E explained that low-lying placentas are very unstable.  She said bleeding can occur with any uterine contraction, which happens occasionally and spontaneously in every pregnancy; with any movement of the baby, who is a crazy kid who, according to the nurses trying every eight hours to monitor his heart rate, is literally doing flips to get away from the monitor pressing on top of him; and with the continued growth of my baby and my uterus.  Bottom line:  The placenta is attached to his belly, and every time he moves—whether because the uterus contracts, because he’s active, because he’s growing daily, so his body is expanding up into my chest cavity—he yanks it, and its edges are separating from my uterus, creating the bleeding. 

Last night, after the nurse on the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift finished monitoring my baby’s fetal heart tones at midnight, I took my Benadryl and slept for seven hours.  This morning, I felt well-rested, calm and able to cope.  Thankfully, I haven’t had any bleeding today, and that fact alone made me relax enough to take not only a morning, but also an afternoon nap. 

My levels of emotion scared me yesterday, because I’m pretty tough.  But, today I realized that my lack of perspective was tied to my lack of sleep.

And, the bleeding, of course.

And, the worry about having a 2-pound preemie with an 80% chance of survival.

And, being separated from my husband and almost-5-year-old son.

But, with the benefit of sleep, I’ve decided to address each crisis only when and if it comes. 

I haven’t bled since yesterday morning, so I may be released as early as tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning.  So, for now, I will hold on to that, unless circumstances change.  And, if they do, I’ll manage. 

As long as I have sleep.

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