There are certain aspects of pregnancy bed rest that are just so ironic when I think about what my new life will be like once I deliver. I will be going from such an isolated, quiet environment to raising two newborns all at once. Trust me, I am taking full advantage of this alone time to catch up on reading, watch all the movies in my Netflix queue, and of course write this blog. But even with these activities to take up my time day after day, bed rest can still be a depressing experience due to the lack of human contact and solitary confinement. Thankfully, I have created alternatives for myself by starting the Facebook group with the other moms on bed rest and also encouraging friends and family to visit. Regardless, this experience is definitely in no way a vacation, and having this much time to myself mixed with my lack of freedom sometimes makes me feel like a prisoner. Just think about it...there are 24 hours in each day. If I sleep about 8 hours a night, for the remaining 16 hours I am pretty much by myself. Yes, there will be the occasional visitor and my nurse checks in on me as well, but in general I am alone way more than the average person is on a daily basis. Definitely a huge change from my old life where I interacted with dozens of people per day. Being here three months now, I have gotten into a routine and this lifestyle change is not as challenging as it was before. With a little more than a month to go I have started focusing on what life will be like outside of room 2524.
Is bed rest a nice break before the craziness of being a new parent takes over? Or does bed rest cause more of a shock to the system going from one extreme to the next? These four months in the hospital will soon become a blur as I spend the next 18+ years caring for these twins wishing that I could get some of that alone time back. The bottom line is that no matter how unpleasant this solitude is sometimes, there will probably be many times in the near future when I will realize that I took it for granted. That is the nature of the bed rest beast.
But as I think back to the many hours of time with me, myself, and I (approximately 2,088 hours at this point), the big picture looks better and better. When I am in the thick of being alone, it is hard to get out of that funk and look on the bright side since so many thoughts and feelings take over my brain. Although looking back, I have been very productive and many things that I was able to accomplish here, would not have been possible if I was just home living my life as a normal and busy pregnant woman. For instance, I was able to spend good, quality time putting my baby registry together online by researching which products had the highest reviews and ruling out what were absolute necessities. Also, I have been able to read a bunch of books on baby care which I would not have had the time for once the babies were home. Most importantly, being alone has given me the chance to really focus on the new lives growing inside of me. Since I am constantly laying down, I have the advantage to feel all fetal movement without any distractions. I can just stop whatever I am doing to watch a foot protrude against my skin and feel the interactions between both babies as they fight for space and kick my ribs. They constantly remind me that in actuality, I have never been alone since being confined to bed rest! The twins have been with me through this entire journey and continue to remind me to focus on why I am here and not what I am missing out on in the real world. It is way too easy to take the "woe is me" stance when put in this situation but early on I realized that was not my style nor was it productive in any way. I have so many things to be thankful for in my life and when I finally leave this hospital, I will have two more blessings to add to the ever growing list.
*The song "A Quiet Night at Home" is from the 2004 Off-Broadway musical bare: A Pop Opera, which is a powerful musical that deals with how sexuality and religion can sometimes be at war with each other. The main story revolves around two gay high school students in a secret relationship at Catholic boarding school and the issues that arise in their world. The song itself is sung by the character Nadia who is the overweight sister of Jason (one of the main characters in the secret relationship with his roommate Peter). She is often the outcast because of her looks and this song sums up her feelings about being isolated from her peers. Like Nadia, I have been in that sad place of feeling like I was missing out on life by being stuck at the hospital. My feelings have definitely changed as time has gone on because I put the focus on what I could control as opposed to all of the things I couldn't. So as I get closer to the end of my bed rest journey, I have accepted the quiet for now but fully look forward to the lack thereof once I get home with my two little rib kickers. :)