Sunday, August 31, 2014

On Hospital Bed Rest

Following 24-hours that Wally and I would be okay not re-living, I'm now on full-time hospital bed rest, indefinitely suspended halfway through labor. The gestating of babies and cocktail of drugs hasn't left much mental capacity, so I'll just describe my current home:

The Bedside Cache

Meds: I brought my own CVS-brand saline spray, but the hospital pharmacy replaced several of the drugs I brought with their own versions. (I guess they missed the self-pay disclaimer on my admissions form!*) Anyway, now I have fancy sea salt nasal spray. I wish I could tell you it's made all the difference. But I can only conclude salt water is salt water.

Phone: Our boys are spending a good amount of time at Mommom and Poppop's house now, a marvelous place of more toys, fewer rules, and the great outdoors, pretty much utopia for preschool boys. Mommom taught Joseph, our 4-year-old, how to auto-dial me at the hospital, so I've enjoyed several stream of conscience phone calls, interrupted by the 3-year-old's one-sentence updates ("I found a rock today!") as the phone gets passed back and forth. 

Laptop: I have found the end of the internet. 

The Stage Lights

Yes, stage lights. Because if you haven't lost all sense of privacy through the birthing process to this point, let's gather an audience of nurses, residents, doula and doctor to the foot of the bed and flip on those spotlights. I felt like I should break into song and dance. 

The Video Camera

I'm pretty sure that's a video camera -- the little black circle between the stage lights. So no matter how closed the partition is, no matter how few people are in the room, I can't get over the thought that a crowd is gathered at the nursing station monitors watching me live out life in a hospital bed.

The Leg Cuffs

Since I can't get regular exercise or blood circulation, the hospital has air-filled cloth balloons that alternate inflation on my calves. It's supposed to prevent blood clots. They don't work well with bed pan use.

The Baby & Contraction Monitors

There is nothing sweeter than the background noise of babies' heartbeats overlaid by kicks and hiccups.  But the little ultrasound discs that are gelled and tied all over my belly can only work as long as the babies aren't moving, which is just not Jonathan and David's style. So the nurses are constantly having to come in and get them back on the monitor. Thankfully, I don't worry about heartbeats when I've got babies rolling around like crazy. 

The New Hobbies

Everyone's biggest concern seems to be boredom. Even the nurse tried to help me come up with a new hobby while I'm here. Honestly, doing nothing is great. The last couple years haven't budgeted enough time for staring out the window. And reality, bottom line: all the reading and crocheting in the world can't replace the only thing I want to be doing, which is living life at home with Wally and our boys. All the other options seem pretty lame.

Things I'm Missing At Home

The Challenge

As mentioned earlier, I don't have the mental capacity to do much more than describe my surroundings, but there is a very serious need in hospitals everywhere that maybe you could help with. I'd like to extend a challenge and a plea to everyone who reads this: design a better bed pan. 

At this point, a coffee cup from Goodwill could be considered an improvement. 

*Don't panic about our self-pay status. We're part of a healthcare co-op that's pretty awesome. They've got us covered.


  1. Oh dear friend...praying you have peace and joy while you are there. I'm sorry this is so crazy. Love you lots. What an amazing mommy you are! Your four boys are so blessed. You can do this!!!!!
    ps love the video camera....ahhh

  2. Thank you, thank you, Carla! Watching you and your beautiful family is such an inspiration to me!

  3. Prayers for you, Jonathan, and David. Moms are are an inspiration.