Twenty-five weeks along, the beginning of the third trimester, a move into the first home Seth and I own and the first home our daughters will know, and then the unexpected: the initiation into the “bed rest” stage of pregnancy. I’m getting a thorough orientation through a three to five stay (total length yet TBD, going on day 3 now) in the ante-partum hall of the maternity ward (a.k.a. a hall of pregnant women trying to stay that way for awhile longer for their babies’ safety).
How to survive hospitalized bed rest? I’m compiling a list:
- Entertainment through reading [lots of it and a variety (magazines, books, newspapers)] and movies/DVD/tv shows – but be careful not to become a total tv junkie as being on bed rest certainly predisposes you to becoming a couch potato anyway
- Visitors – not too many to be exhausting, not too few to leave you with long stretches of alone time in which you begin inventing ways to pull a stint (and maybe make local headlines?) by becoming an escape artist from the hospital
- A laptop – they have free internet here, but be aware that most of the sites you’ll want to visit (at least here at Norfolk General Hospital) will be blocked – and I’m not talking about the obviously obscene ones, but Facebook, all blogspot.com and wordpress.com and other obvious blog sites of your friends – the places you desperately want to visit to be reminded that there is an outside world, and to feel as if you are somehow connected to it (even virtually)
- Frequent stretches – your only hope for exercising any now-latent muscles
- Constant pleas to be allowed bathroom privileges (mine were finally reinstated this morning – hallelujah – no more bed pans!)
- The expectation that even though you are here to rest, you won’t be allowed to sleep more than 4-5 hours without the interruption of medications/monitoring
- Food from the “outside.” Hospital food and airline food are very similar – the only difference being that the former is “free” (included in the price of admission) and the latter is virtually now non-existent unless you’re willing to pay restaurant prices in-flight
- Your own hygiene/pampering products – nothing like your favorite scented lotion and putting on make-up to make you feel just a bit like yourself and not so “institutionalized”
- Jesus. For real. He is the only Person who will be constantly attentive to you (thus freeing you from the already “natural” self-pitying feelings of pregnancy, which are only amplified by bed rest) and He is the only resting place for your soul (which tends to get quite restless in proportion to the amount of bed rest you’re forced to get, ironically enough).
UPDATE: They actually discharged me the afternoon I wrote this, so I am now resting at home. Much better. Yet still a bit different because it’s a home that we’re still settling into – “we” meaning Seth and my parents and brother Bryan who came up to help. Our internet was finally connected tonight, so I’m sure I will be posting MUCH more frequently now!