Bed Rest, Day 8
Baby’s Gestational Age: 28 weeks, 3 days
Reading: Steve Jobs biography
Watching: Arrested Development, Season 1; The Big C, Season 1
This qualifies as sunshine.
Somewhere between 7:30 and 8am: Knock, knock. A nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scanning my bracelet like a bag of sugar at the grocery store. She gets me a new pitcher of water and reminds me to drink a lot of fluids.
“Ride” bed back to sitting position, get up and go to the bathroom (remind self to never take standing up and walking for granted again). Get back in bed.
Knock, knock. Nurse’s aid enters and asks me how I’m doing today. Offers to bring me things. Tells me to let her know when I wanna shower so she can change the bed linens while I do. Calls me honey or darling or sweetie.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of colorful pills — antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, stool softeners. Where are the happy pills? I deserve some happy pills. Scans me like box of Twinkies and leaves.
Knock, knock. Breakfast arrives. TGICoffee. Turn on Today Show to find out what’s going on in the world outside my little box.
Scan me like a bag of donut holes
Knock. Knock. Someone comes in to sanitize the room.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Lullaby plays over the intercom while new father wheels his newborn from delivery to the nursery for the first time.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in and squeezes goop on my belly. Cold goop. Attaches fetal heart monitor. Must stay put for the next hour while they get a reading. Nurse leaves. Immediately need to pee.
Knock, knock. A doctor enters and asks me a few quick questions, listens to my heartbeat, is either grumpy and short, or smiles a bit and is short. Says something like, “Keep on doing what you’re doing,” and leaves. Total time in room: anywhere from 2 minutes to 3 minutes. Mental note: start asking unnecessary questions just to get money’s worth.
Ohhh. I have to pee.
TV off. Open Steve Jobs biography. Read one sentence.
Knock, knock. Someone comes in to take my breakfast tray.
Try to focus on Steve Jobs again.
Need to pee. Need to pee.
Phone rings and someone from the cafeteria asks me what I want for lunch. Sigh. Something not from the cafeteria. That’s what I want.
Steve Jobs. Pee. Steve Jobs. Pee pee. Steve Jobs. Pee pee. Pee pee.
My decorated hospital room door. Not really familiar with what's outside of it.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take fetal heart monitor off.
Run to bathroom before she can even wipe goop off belly. Pee with abandon.
Back to bed. Back to reclining. Unnnnggggnnnnggggggnnnnggggg, groans the bed.
Knock, knock. Nurse’s aid brings towels, starts shower for me. Standing up for a few minutes under hot running water is like a gift from heaven. It’s like a chocolate lava cupcake still warm from the oven. With a glass of cold milk. There will be a day when I take showers for granted again. It won’t be today.
11:00am: The View comes on. The only daytime show I like.
Knock, knock. Someone enters whose main two purposes seem to be collecting my garbage and talking to me about The View while I try to watch The View. I am too nice to ask said person to be quiet. Wonder why the person who sanitized the room didn’t just take the garbage with her. Seems like that would solve a lot of problems.
Between 12:00 and 1:00: A cheerful person brings my lunch tray in, places it on my tray table, and says, “Have a nice day.” Leaves. I look at the food and sigh. Try not to think about the fact that there are more than 6 entrees out there, in the world.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Another baby hits the halls.
Put ipad away. Try magazine instead. Learn that Blake Lively looks better in red Dolce and Gabbana dress than Demi Moore. Who is Blake Lively? Eh, who cares? What really matters is who does Demi Moore’s work? It’s good work. Very good. I want it.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scans me like a gallon of milk.
Turn page of magazine, eager to find out how celebs are “just like us.”
Knock, knock. Person enters to take my lunch tray away.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of nonfun pills. Where are the happy pills? I want some happy pills. Scans me like a zucchini and leaves.
Bed up. Walk to bathroom. Wash hands. Take 22 steps total. Back in bed.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Man, people are shooting out the babies up in here.
Things get quiet. Pull out laptop and try to connect with the world. Not metaphysically. Mostly facebook-ly. And email-ly. Write. Read. Maybe watch an ep of The C Word. It’s good for the perspective.
Sigh. Shift. Push buttons to move bed up and down. Shift some more. Think about ass spreading. Sigh noisily. Think beyond today. Start to panic a little. Use mental toughness to push it aside. Say to self, “No matter how bad you have it, someone always has it worse.” Would say to self, “At least the baby is okay” but no need. Someone else says it to me at least twenty times per day.
Ride bed back up from reclining to sitting position. Slip on flops and go to the bathroom again. Wonder how standing and walking to the bathroom can start to seem like a chore — what was that I said about not taking standing and walking for granted? 22 steps. Back in bed.
Sun starts to set. Look out at multi-dimensional roof view. Feel lonely. And sad. Think about the next day, the next week, the next month. Panic. Push it aside. Remember hubs and son are coming to visit soon. And I’ve almost made it through another day. Small goals.
Putting the bed in bed rest.
Between 6:00 and 7:00: Knock, knock. Dinner tray comes in. I look at food and sigh. Or rather, do a combination sigh/raspberry thing with my lips, kinda like “Pbpbttpbbpbbthhhhh.”
Wonder why hospital tray tables are not standard items people have by their beds at home. They really should be. Handy things, these. Put everything right at your fingertips so you don’t have to get up off your lazy ass at all. Hmmm. Maybe not such a good idea outside of hospitals.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to give me a little cup of o’ pills. Couldn’t we mix this up a little? Get me some happy pills. Pleeeaase? Scans me like a Lean Cuisine and leaves.
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. Overpopulation might be a real issue.
Gabe and Asher arrive. Asher opens hospital room door, beams and says, “MOMMY! We here!” Best part of my day.
Knock, knock. Nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature, scans me like a deli chicken. Hooks me back up to the fetal heart monitor for the next hour. Leaves. Oops. Need to pee.
Asher hands me a drawing of a turtle for my room, puts his hand on my tummy and yells, “Hello, baby brother!” through my belly button, goes potty and pushes up a chair to the sink to wash his hands. Uses way too much soap. Splashes water all over the floor. Asks for the ipad. Says he needs to potty again within 5 minutes just so he can wash his hands again. Too much soap. Splashes water. Puts paper plates all over the room and serves “pancakes” made with pretend eggs, orange juice, strawberries and bananas. Yells over Gabe and I whenever we try to talk to each other.
I need to pee.
Gabe gets in the bed with me, avoiding the cords. Tells me about his day. I tell him I need to pee. Asher gets too wound up, gets loud. We say, “Shhhh, babies are trying to sleep.”
Time for them to go.
Asher climbs aboard my “space ship” to ride it to the moon. Unnngggghhhhhggggnnn. Unnggghhhnnnnnnggggnnnn. He bends me like a pipe cleaner. Maybe not so good for the baby. But it’s only once a day. Unnggghhhnnnnnnnhhgggnnnnnn. Together we count, “5-4-3-2-1, BLASTOFF.”
They leave, blowing kisses in the doorway and saying, “I love you. See you tomorrow.”
I smile. The door closes. I sigh. I feel sad for a minute. Then I realize I’ve more or less made it through another day. And The Bachelor is waiting for me, rose in hand. Or American Idol with a golden ticket. Or Glee with a slushy in the face. Because whether I wanted to last week or not — this week, I’m sure as hell gonna watch it all.
I watch TV.
I turn my white noise machine as loud as it’ll go. I hug my big-ass body pillow. I turn the lights out. Which you can also do from your bed. Eventually I go to sleep.
At least twice in the middle of the night, a nurse opens my door about a foot, letting the light from the hallway flood in, and just kind of looks at me from the doorway, presumably to see if I’m still alive. I shield my eyes, thereby proving said aliveness. She closes the door and leaves.
And, I’m awake.
Couldn’t I just buzz the desk a couple of times when I get up to pee instead? “Uh, yeah. I’m alive. Just so you know.”
La la la, la la la, la la la la la la la. An unpredictable number of times during the night. Hear it while half asleep. Dream I had twins, triples, quadruplets. Dream I am a baby again. Dream I am not in the hospital.
Between 7:30 and 8am: Knock, knock. A nurse comes in to take my blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Scans me like a bag of Cheetos.
I am in the hospital.
For at least one more day.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
You get it. Groundhog Day.