This room isn't SO bad.
As I sit here staring out at a rainy Cumberland Avenue strip on a Friday morning, I can't help but think that it's not my first choice of where to spend the next two to three weeks...
A beach would have been nice. If we're talking first choices. But let's be honest, at this point, a close runner up is "anywhere but here". Specifically, the comfort of my own couch, surrounded by my animals, on a fluffy blanket, with lots of TiVo and On Demand TV to watch, and plenty of snacks and foods that have never been powdered and reconstituted and served to me on a melamine hospital tray.
But, as I must remind myself daily, that's not a choice I have anymore. I'm here. And it's not SO bad.
There's cable, and a fridge, and it's private and clean. There's a bathroom and a shower with good water pressure. I keep saying it's a lot like staying in a hotel, in a town where there's not a lot to do, and you don't really have any money anyway.
I left the house Monday with absolutely no idea that I wouldn't be back shortly. Another of my routine OB visits was all I had on the agenda. But with my blood pressure still measuring high, and with a bonus of increased protein in my urine (fun!), I was shuttled off to Labor and Delivery, for what I thought was just going to be monitoring. Before I could get in a room, my OB called and asked to speak with me, and let me know that, actually, I'd be staying the night. Constant monitoring and another 24 hour urine sample (24 hours of fun!) were the new agenda, and even though I think she tried to prepare me for the fact that, if that testing showed what she thought, we were looking at Pre-Eclampsia, I still don't think it fully registered to me that I might not be going home the next day. So, yeah, I won't lie...Tuesday afternoon, when she called and told me that an ambulance was going to transfer me to the downtown hospital that was going to be where I'd spend every second until I deliver this little girl...I didn't take it so well.
But...here I am, and it's not so bad. The pre-eclampsia is still on the mild side. I'm taking a relatively low dose blood pressure medication, and Baby Girl is still cooking. Lots of monitoring (daily Non-Stress Tests, nearly daily ultrasounds, every other day labs, and multiple checks of blood pressure and blood sugar all day long) shows that we are both doing well, and delivering just yet is not necessary. We've had two steriod shots to mature her lungs, and every ultrasound reveals her little tummy bouncing up and down, exercising those lungs, practicing for the outside world. Saturday is 34 weeks, a milestone we should pass with no problems. My doctors want to get me to between 36 and 37. I want to get there too, but I also don't want to start losing my mind. We all have a fine line to walk. Theirs is a balancing act between deciding how early is too early to deliver the baby when delivering is the only thing that keeps my health from declining. Mine is the crushing guilt I have over not wanting to have a preemie versus wanting to leave this room as soon as possible with my sanity in tact. Yesterday I chatted with the girl down the hall from me, who described having the same feelings. She's been here almost a month, and she's not as far along as I am. She's my new hero. But believe me, every day, she's a little more ready to leave than ever before, regardless of what it means.
I wish I'd know my last night in the house without a baby was my last night. I don't know if I would have done anything differently. But I would have been aware, and that would have been nice. I might have petted the doggies a bit longer, snuggled a kitty more, enjoyed my late night bowl of ice cream more enthusiastically. I would have relished sleeping in the bed next to my snoring husband, and taking a leisurely shower in my own bathroom. I might have tossed in one more load of laundry. I might have breathed in the scent of my home, my things, my life, a bit more deeply as I walked out the front door that morning, taken a last good look at the flowers blooming in the window boxes and the freshly mowed lawn.
I know, it will all still be there when I get back.
But I'll be bringing home a baby girl with me. And everything will have changed.