Less than a year ago, Lucas and I walked with our friends, Chris and Kim, to Cambridge (roughly 5 miles to our destination). While the walk made us hungry and we were tired, we weren't exhausted. It was exhilirating. I'm trying to remember being able to do that once because yesterday I discovered that a few weeks of bedrest cause deconditioning pretty quickly.
I thought that I would be out of bed as much as possible except to sleep. I imagined myself walking the halls constantly. In reality, I discovered that I can only handle about 1 loop of the floor before needing a break (my legs start to feel like jell-o), and that there are definitely moments when the comfort of my bed called to me to rest and recuperate from my sudden increase of activity. It feels pathetic to come back from a walk that would not even be equivalent to a walk around the block and have sore legs, a sore back, and labored breathing. At the same time I know that the last time I walked even close to that length the babies were smaller, I weighed less, and I was conditioned to walk more. It will just take time.
I am more determined to keep up my walking and work on building up my strength (regardless of whether or not true labor begins as a result) because I'm concerned about being able to realistically care for 2 babies at my current endurance level! I'm sure I will feel better when they are no longer in my body, but I want to make sure that I have the energy to keep up with them (not that they will move a lot, but I know newborns take energy).
The good news is that, even with one day of fairly limited mobility I have felt a lot of changes. Already today my legs felt stronger and walking around the room doesn't feel as rigorous. I noticed that some places that swelled due to fluid accumulating there as a result of my bedrest, seemed to have gone down (I will have to remember to keep my feet properly elevated though because I imagine it will all settle there). And best of all, my mood has definitely improved. Just being able to walk out and refill my water pitcher whenever I need (rather than calling a nurse or asking a visitor) has given a boost in my spirits. A little bit of independence feels good!
Tomorrow we enter the 2 week window in which the doctors originally predicted (before the hospital, before the bedrest, before there were any problems) that the twins would be born. The doctors told me 36 weeks would be great, 34 weeks would be a more realistic goal, and to go beyond 36 weeks would really surprise them. Tomorrow that window begins, and it feels good (and a litte strange after the roller coaster of the last 7 weeks) to be in the original predicted window of their arrival. It is also getting more and more exciting every day to know we are getting closer to meeting these babies!