New year. New adventure. New life (in more ways than one). So, I assumed that New Year's Eve would not be too fun being chained to a hospital bed, but I quickly realized that I had the power to help change that fate. For the past several days, I have been trying to figure out a way for all of my other moms on bed rest to be able to get to finally meet, while counting down to the new year. This is a little difficult when everyone is bed ridden and lack of space is an issue. In addition, we would need the help of several nurses to orchestrate such an event so that everyone can be moved to one centralized location. I was told by many nurses that this plan could be thwarted if they were too busy with deliveries or our doctor did not approve of us being off of our monitors. Plus, the one social room they had for this potential party was pretty small with no TV to watch. I quickly volunteered my own room to start to eliminate anymore answers resembling the word "no." The other moms also began sweet talking their nurses and a positive buzz was beginning to form around the hospital.
In addition to wanting to meet these other women, it was very important for me to not be alone or sad this New Year's Eve. Because my husband and I thought we were invincible, we opted to not get the travel insurance for our cruise which meant that we would not be getting our money back or any kind of credit towards a future cruise, regardless of my medical condition. I had gotten over the fact that I would not be going but was frustrated that we stupidly didn't pay extra for the insurance. After several emails and phone calls to the cruise line, the one compromise that was offered was that my husband could attend with a different passenger instead of me. Brett was a little hesitant because he did not want to leave me in my condition and knew that if he went, his mind would not be in vacation mode while he missed me not being there as originally planned. I quickly reassured him that I would be fine and encouraged him to go on the cruise. He was in desperate need of a vacation after dealing with so much stress and it would have been a pity to pay fully for a trip that we were not even going on. Luckily, his Mom was available to join him on the cruise in my place and the packing began. Saying goodbye was hard but I told him that he needs to focus on having fun and to not be worried about me. This is the first New Year's Eve in twelve years that we were not going to be together so it was very sad to think that I would not get to kiss my husband at the stroke of midnight, especially at a time when I needed that kiss more than ever.
Before Brett left on the cruise, he anticipated that my New Year's Eve party plan would happen so he got a bunch of decorations and New Year's paraphernalia for my room. We shared an early New Year's kiss before he left and I started back into my party planning mode to distract myself from Brett being gone for a week, and to hopefully solidify plans for a very fun night. The day shift nurses were able to talk to the doctor and got his blessing to allow this party, as long as we were all safe and the other patients in the ward were taken care of. Once the nurses for the night shift came on, it was clear that they had barely any deliveries and it would be in fact a slow night. My night nurse helped get my room prepped for the party and cleared the way for several beds to fit. At 11:30pm, the moms started to be wheeled in with their husbands, family, and friends and we finally met in person after chatting on Facebook for over a week. We watched the ball drop, drank sparkling cider, and ultimately shared a special connection and experience that none of us ever anticipated for this New Year's celebration. We all had other plans that quickly went by the wayside once our lives were interrupted, but the alternative made spending New Year's at the hospital a completely memorable time. All of us shared the same happy thought that 2012 would be the year that we will finally get to meet our babies for the first time.
*The song "The New World" from the 1995 Off-Broadway musical Songs for a New Worldis the powerful opening number in the show which talks about how one moment can change your life forever, hence creating a "new world." For myself, I thought this new world would begin once the babies were born which I was fully aware of and expecting. Instead, I was given an additional new world to deal with in between that completely took me by surprise. I was "suddenly a stranger" but quickly adapted and made new friends to help cope with the less than ideal situation. We not only celebrated the new year ahead but also celebrated our strength and the positive opportunities that were coming out of this world we discovered. I have really learned to let go of expectations and welcome the challenges that may come my way. Like the famous quote says, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it," and I needed to ensure that my response would be nothing but positive for the health of my babies and my own well-being.