One of my best friends said that she knew of a friend of a friend who was also tied to her hospital bed after experiencing PROM (premature rupture of the membranes--AKA water breaking--I swear the longer that I am here the more labor and delivery lingo I learn). Supposedly, this young woman described her hospital stay as hibernating in a cave "with a wolf pack of two", whereas the mommy wolf does everything in her capacity to embrace her little wolf pup, defenseless to the big, bag world. Each morning, as I wake up in the hospital and feel Baby J's kicks, I congratulate him on making it through another night in utero--the best protection until he is ready to emerge from hibernation.
I have started picking up a daily routine of activities so the time progresses quickly. Firstly, the nurses here are amazing. Even in the middle of the night, when I have trouble sleeping, I can page the nurse and if she is not too busy, will offer a few minutes of companionship. In this regard, I like to pretend that I am back in college, in a sorority house. It never gets so lonely that there is not a sorority sister lurking the halls, ready and willing to provide a sense of empathy and support. At times, I feel even too inundated by the supportive nature of the staff, as they are constantly coming into my room, just to check in on me. Between their constant attentions, both my cell phone and hospital phone and text message constantly beeping, I feel like I am once again the social butterfly I was once in college. I am even losing my voice from too much talking!
I have also come to think of my hospital room as a dorm room in many ways. Minus the cinder block walls, the hospital depicts the same institutional vibe that my dorm room proudly adorned. Paneled ceilings, easy-to-clean, yet outdated tile, and industrial furniture are just a few of the same amenities that I was provided with back in college. I am even free to decorate my hospital room as I once decorated my dorm room. I hung pictures and cards on the walls, was granted the privilege of a mini-fridge, and was allowed to bring in my own blanket for the motorized bed (one extra point for the hospital versus the lumpy mattress of my college days).
Also, in college I was often paired with roommates whom I could have easily lived without. <OMG--I have to momentarily interrupt this blog to report that I just received a pizza delivery from my colleagues--it goes without saying the irony of receiving a pizza delivery while comparing my stay here to college--who didn't order pizza 24/7 from their college dorm room??!!> Anyway, as I was blogging, the roommate situation here really isn't too different from college. You know that it is only a matter of time before you are assigned a roommate and only hope that your roommate isn't too mentally deranged/dysfunctional. Especially with all of the pregnancy hormones coursing through our bodies just to add another layer of fear...Hopefully she will be decent, clean up after using the bathroom,and won't steal your belongings or your man. So far, I have had only one roommate and spent the entire night anxious that the crazies would escape from the other side of the room, infringing on my territory. Luckily, for both of us, she was induced, akin to a roommate transfer back in the college days.
Also, I am astonished to report that the food here is even better than my college meal plan (score another point for hospital life vs. college!) I have been eating exceedingly well, enjoying food such as lobster, salmon, and jalapeno-crusted tilapia. I can call the dining room any time day or night requesting a snack or a sandwich. Also, there is a lounge on the maternity floor that is always stocked with munchies if a late night snack-attack hits. I have already gained thirty pregnancy pounds, but am in the process of racking up another freshman fifteen.
While sharing the hospital bed with the opposite sex is strictly prohibited (especially for bed-rest preggers) I did manage to have two blonde beauties in my bed earlier today, named Charlie and Storme. In college, therapy was extremely helpful but this was the first time I was visited by therapy dogs! If you guessed correctly, Charlie and Storme are two certified, golden retrievers who proudly cheer up the patients. And if you thought that I really had men in my hospital bed, let it be known that I am too nervous to even kiss my husband, for fear of going into labor again.
Lastly, let's not forget that the dizzying whirlwind of pregnancy hormones can also be compared to post teen, hormonal mood fluctuations. Instead of agonizing over the correct job path to take after graduation, I find myself worrying about how well of a job I will do as I graduate into motherhood. Will I be a calm, organic mom, who exudes peacefulness and love or, will I be a frazzled, anxious, fly-by-the-seat-of her- pants mom who doesn't know what to do with a colicky baby? In college, my biggest fear was would I be able to support myself after graduation and now, its will my family be able to financially sustain itself with an additional member?
So, during the duration of my confinement, I will just pretend that I am back in college....accepting that the mood swings will ebb and flow, living the resident life, eating the student food, dealing with unwanted roommates, trying to keep men out of my bed, and most importantly, protecting my little, lone wolf pup.