Yesterday was the second time this week that I was almost discharged and able to continue bed rest from home. The first time that my hopes were destroyed, of course I cried but then quickly realized that the doctor's decision was the most beneficial one for me and Baby J. Yesterday, when my expectations were shattered yet again, the nurse tentatively entered my room, hating to be the bearer of bad news (all of the nurses thought that I had a very high probability of being discharged). After I was initially hit with this shock wave, the faucets were on in full regale and turned into a marathon-meltdown that probably woke up every sleeping baby within the hospital.
Prior to the news, Jon and I had our entire weekend planned from the confines of our house (and happily ending our long distance relationship that didn't even permit conjugal visits). We already selected a movie to watch from our comfy, chaise-lounge couch, decided on a food delivery feast, and were so excited about the prospect of falling asleep next to each other in our bed. He had planned on finally retrieving the lounge chairs I'd been asking him to pick up for months (so I could lay in the sunshine in our backyard), and continuing our happy little hubbie and wifey home-life. I was thrilled at the idea of resuming my daily routine of waking up in my own environment, showering in my bathroom, and selecting what I wanted to eat from my kitchen. I wouldn't have the nurses constantly checking my vitals every few hours, dealing with the hit-or-miss hospital food, and I would have escaped institutionalized life.
So, yesterday morning, as I eagerly anticipated my discharge, I allowed what I thought to be my final series of tests to conclude without a single complaint. At 6am, I gingerly allowed the nurse four needle-poke-attempts to find a non-disrupted vein without one squeal of protest, patiently sat through the hour-long ultra-sound, as the sonographer trained a new tech, distributed magazines and candy to the other inmates, and packed up my hospital room. I have remained in this very space, in bed, for eighteen days and am now thirty-three weeks pregnant. I am so ready to be home!
While I know that home bed rest would have presented its own challenges, I would have diligently followed my doctor's orders to move around as little as possible--I would have even crawled to the bathroom in an effort to stay off my feet. Also, I would have abstained from cleaning, cooking, or even trying to boss my husband around (although he is slowly realizing that our house is not a self-cleaning oven). OK, I know that I am begging to a non-existent panel of jurors-but I was desperate!
After receiving the news that I would not be going home, I turned off the lights, silenced my ringing phones, cancelled my well-wishing visitors, and sobbed to the point of dehydration somewhere close to three hours (it has been about five years since I have cried for that duration). When my mom offered to visit after work I turned her down, but she insisted on showing up anyway and did her best to cheer me up.
Even though I have repeatedly joked about the comparisons to being an inmate in a minimal security prison, I actually began to feel a tad envious of those incarcerated. I disclosed to my mom that at least in jail, inmates are allowed to venture outside for a few hours a day, have opportunities at socialization with other inmates, and are allowed to leave their cells to day-trip to the cafeteria, library, take classes, etc. I don't even have those privileges!
I know that this is the best place to be and they wouldn't keep me here if it was not necessary for the well-being of Baby J. However, if one more person points out this rather-obvious fact and tells me yet again to keep my spirits up, they will be black-listed from my jail cell. Despite my occasional mini, sometimes not-so-mini meltdowns, I think that I have been doing a pretty good job of staying positive and recognizing that this is not a life-threatening condition for me or baby. There will indeed, be a happy, storybook ending in which a perfectly groomed white stork will deliver an adorable blue-blanket-wrapped-bundle-of-joy. However, until that ending, I will be exposed to periods of solitary confinement, institutionalized hospital life, and something akin to purgatory in which I am viewing my life progress from afar minus the main character.