“How the Other Half Lives” – Thoroughly Modern Millie

4 Jan

I have been told that inquiring minds would like to know what a typical day looks like in my new life at the hospital. It is a pretty fascinating subculture that I am experiencing by living here and I am actually surprised at how much I can get done in a day…or not if my body is screaming for a nap. Being here two weeks now, I have begun to follow a routine which helps pass the time and ensure that I am as productive as possible.

At 5:30am my day starts with the first of my medications being given to me. At this point I am barely conscious but once I am up, I cannot fall back asleep since my next medication has to be distributed at 6:00am. Both of these medications are given to help stop the contractions that I continue to have. The first medication is solely used to coat my stomach and the second one is the actual anti-contraction medication that apparently can be harsh on your insides which is why I get the first pill 30 minutes prior. After that second pill, I get out of bed for the first time of the day and quickly use the bathroom. The nurse has to take off these leg compressions which I wear at night to help prevent blood clots in my legs. In addition, I am constantly hooked up to a contraction monitor but only unplug it when I have to use the bathroom. The nurses watch the results of this monitor non-stop and if I am unplugged for longer than a normal bathroom break, I get someone checking in to make sure I am not doing anything else…big brother is always watching! I have to wait until 7:00am to order my breakfast so usually this is the only point where I turn on the TV so I can pass the time. The TV is annoying to use because I don’t have the modern conveniences of a normal remote control or a DVR so all commercials must be watched or I have to flip through every channel since I only have two buttons which control going up or down. It’s kind of like having dial-up internet again or using a rotary phone…thank God for Hulu and Netflix at least!

Once I have finished eating, my day nurse comes to greet me and checks all of my vital signs…always asking the ever important question “when was your last bowel movement?” Ahhhh…I will not miss that. After checking on me, the best part of my morning happens when they check the babies’ heartbeats with the doppler devices. Most of the time, the twins are busy with their morning swim so a majority of the nurses take about 15-20 minutes just trying to find them and get them to stay still to hear steady heartbeats on the monitor. That sound is such music to my ears! After the assessment is complete, I am given more pills to round out my morning (baby aspirin, stool softener, iron supplement, Pepcid AC, and Tums)…yummy. Then my nurse hands me all of my toothbrushing supplies in bed and my carefully orchestrated teeth cleaning begins using multiple cups for rinsing and spitting in lieu of a sink. I am then set up to give myself a sponge bath in bed which makes me really miss hot showers. My hair only gets washed in the sink about once a week so that day is very sacred. Once finished, all of my bed sheets and linens are changed and I am now ready to start being productive and get very important things done…like this blog.

The rest of my day goes pretty smoothly as I tackle my new “job” of writing the blog. This is my main focus while I am here because not only is it therapeutic, but I love being able to document everything that is happening to me during this unique experience. Plus, I have been researching and signing up to various support groups online and sharing my blog with other women in the same situation. My blog is not here to just help me, but offer support to others since this bed rest thing can get pretty difficult and sticking together is important. In between writing my blog, I am logging on to Facebook to chat with my local bed rest moms next door to me to find out what is the latest and greatest. In between all of this time on the computer, my next round of stomach coating and anti-contraction meds are given at 11:30am and 12:00pm which reminds me that lunch needs to be ordered. Around this time as well, my room gets fully cleaned and the song “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from Annie starts playing in my head. I relish the hotel-like room service with food I don’t have to cook and cleaning that I don’t have take care of. Plus, if I am really lucky, one of the hospital therapy dogs pays me a visit! I am sure that there will come a time after I have been home with the twins that I will wish I was back here!

The rest of my day consists of phone calls to loved ones, hanging out with visitors, answering emails, and reading which gets me through to dinner time where I eat and then have another assessment done by the night nurse. Yay for baby heartbeats to listen to! I get my prenatal vitamins and more Pepcid AC and Tums (lying down all day with your feet higher than your head doesn’t make your tummy happy). I once again perform my lying down toothbrushing act and then settle down by either putting the finishing touches on my blog entry or watching TV or movies on my computer. I do not know how moms on bed rest handled it before laptop computers and the internet! I make myself stay up until midnight because I get my last round of stomach coating and anti-contraction meds at 11:30pm and 12:00am. At that point, I get strapped into my leg compressions and I fall asleep to the hum of my humidifier.

*The song “How the Other Half Lives” is from the 2002 Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie which is set in the early 1920’s. In the song, two new friends Millie and Miss Dorothy, talk about how they want to try an opposite way of living and experience either a poorer or richer existence. Living in a hospital, the grass is pretty much always greener elsewhere because this is not a chosen destination for most. I am getting more used to living here and I do look forward to my daily tasks and new routine. However, it is hard to leave behind your life and sacrifice a huge amount of independence but thankfully, this is only temporary. My goal everyday is to make the best of it and constantly count my blessings. Poor…not me!

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My contraction monitor

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Hard working therapy dog

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Love at first sight

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3 Responses to ““How the Other Half Lives” – Thoroughly Modern Millie”

  1. Elizabeth January 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Hi, Just a note of support for you. I am 19 weeks with 2 Mono/Di twins…I was in L&D last year with my son for a week ill with menigitis and I always wondered what and where the other mothers were on the floor. I know the days drag by, but stay positive. Seriously, what did we do before the internet. I love Hulu, I watch old Magnum P.I. episodes to cheer myself up when I’m exhausted. Keep writing, I’ll keep reading!! Love the pic with the therapy dog, he’s so freakin cute. –Elizabeth in WI

  2. Paul January 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Jessica, I love the uplifting and inspiring conclusion to your posts. Powerful!!

    Elizabeth, what is 2 Mono/Di twins? Four babies?

    TOD

  3. Jennifer Brown January 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Jessica I love the picture of you with the dog! That is very nice!! Before you know it, the bed rest will be over and you will get to hold your precious beautiful babies in your arms!! Luckily you can do your gift registry online and you can plan a shower in the hospital I hope. Wish I could plan one for you and make a cake 😦 so bummed I am having a hard time being away from family and friends!

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