Sometimes when you finally get something you really want or desire, it does not turn out to be as great as expected. With so many freedoms and privileges taken away due to being on bed rest, any taste of normal should be celebrated, but I soon discovered that living in this altered life, normal is not worth the trouble in some cases. Let the shower story begin! So I was taken downstairs for another ultrasound which was great because I was able to escape my room yet again. This was a quick scan just to check that the amniotic fluid levels were not getting low since that is a common side effect of the anti-contraction medication that I am on. Everything was looking great so I asked the doctor if I could finally take a shower since it had been a month since I arrived at the hospital and these sponge baths were not the best. I heard from my other friends here on bed rest, that a five minute shower in a chair was an option if the doctor allowed it. My doctor said that he would have to think about it so I was not sure if it would actually happen, but I did inform the nurses about my request to hopefully expedite the approval. One amazing thing did happen on the way back up to my room after the ultrasound...I got to go outside! There was a small patio which I spotted and quickly convinced the nurse with me to have my wheelchair pushed out. It was the first time since December 21st that I got to breathe in fresh air and be out in the open. Even though it was only for two minutes, I took it all in and it was completely glorious.
My elation continued as later in the day I found out that my shower was in fact approved! I decided to take it at night because my hubby would be there to help me with this process since I would have limited access being seated in a chair the entire time. As the shower began, my excitement quickly faded once I realized that my so-called relaxing shower would be anything but. First of all, the water pressure was extremely low and there were no alternative settings on the shower head to fix this making it very difficult to get all of the soap out of my hair. In addition, sitting down while showering is a lot harder than it looks because I am so limited with movement and not everything is getting completely cleaned or rinsed due to my position. Also, the tub itself was so narrow that they had to place the chair in sideways so I wasn't able to sit properly on it. To top that off...I had only five minutes to get everything done so I was working really hard to meet that deadline with all of the obstacles in my way. By the time I was finished, I didn't even feel that clean and was completely exhausted. Because I am lying down 99% of the time, any physical activity is a huge deal. Just walking to the bathroom, my heart starts to race due to my extremely low activity level. Now I just spent the past five minutes feverishly trying to clean every inch of my body and it feels like I just ran a 5K without stopping. What I thought would be such a treat turned out to be such a let down and I realized that I wouldn't be able to take a good shower until I am home and back in my comfort zone.
For now I will have to just stick with the sponge baths and getting my hair washed in a sink once a week. It is not ideal, but far better than attempting to shower with limitations which don't make me feel good. Also, by sitting down in the shower, even just for five minutes and exerting myself the way I did, I realized it was definitely not worth it if it affected the babies in anyway. They probably only felt some extra movement than what they are used to but in the end, why risk it?
*The song "I Know Things Now" is from the 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woodsby Stephen Sondheim which mashes together several fairy tales set to an adult theme. The song itself is sung by Little Red Riding Hood where she talks about her encounter with the Big Bad Wolf and how in a way, she lost her innocence and learned a huge lesson about trust. The lesson I learned about my shower was definitely not as profound, but now I know that taking one is just not good for me or my babies. It is just one more lesson I am learning about making sacrifices for my children and focusing on what is in their best interest and not my own. I will take a really awesome shower when I get home where everything will be comfortable and familiar while the babies are safe with their Daddy. Until then, the shower alternatives at the hospital still get the job done so don't be afraid to visit me...I promise you that I am clean and smell lovely!