A year ago today I was finally given permission to come home.
It was grand.
I was given strict instructions. No walking up and down stairs (more than once a day). No getting out of bed except to shower or use the bathroom. You have a one-meal-a-day allowance with your family. You can recline on a chair in the back yard, but not on too hot of a day and don't be getting up and down chasing the kids. I should have recognized this as "really serious bedrest" -- but I was confident it was just precautionary, that I'd be carrying this baby for a long time now that the circlage was place. But, I would do what I could for this baby, and if that meant laying down and watching movies for a summer, I could handle it.
My mother-in-law had come into town to take care of my girls about as soon as I'd been hospitalized. She'd also been managing the house and brain-storming my well-being with her sister and mother.
The net effect was this:
1. The house was completely clean - at least the main floor, which was the only floor I could access. (They didn't want me to feel like I needed to tidy things.)
2. We have a three bedroom house. They had turned the third bedroom my dayroom for bed rest. It had been Ella's initially and then had turned into either a dining room or an office after Ella moved into Mimi's room. We had put a lot of planning into how we would convert it into an office for Steve. That was before we got pregnant. Now it was going to become the baby's room, but that wouldn't be for a while, so they'd tried their best to make it into my own entertainment center and bed-rest office. It was amazing.
3. In that room was a luxury bed. They rented me a hospital bed. Seriously, folks, THIS is a great idea. I didn't have to use tummy muscles or ask for help to reposition. Insurance covered the cost of this fully. They even rented (at cost to us) a hospital desk thingy.
4. Steve's extended family all went in and bought me an HD TV. We're not TV people. We still had one of the old fashion kind with bunny ears and a converter box. We had no cable. But we got a free trial of netflix, my friends brought blue ray DVDs, and suddenly I had way more tv possibilities than I could imagine. Plus, the olympics were going to be on soon. And they were taking place in the UK. We'd just been there.
5. Also in my room: a bouquet of flowers (I think from flowers in the yard, but it looked professional - a mother in law who is a florist is a wonderful thing), a basket for me to put projects in, and an armchair for guests.
6. The blackboard hippo. I had foolishly pasted a hippo shaped vinal blackboard cut out to the wall of the room when it was Ella's. The hippo now sat at my feet on the wall day in and day out. We turned it into a counter. Every morning Ella would crawl up on the foot of my bed and change the days to indicate how pregnant I was. 22 weeks, 2 days. Except she couldn't write her letters the right way, and despite my correction she was adamant that she was doing it right, so it really read "SS weeks, S days." The next day I was SS weeks, E days pregnant. Maybe it was code?
Either way, I was set. My bed was next to a window, so I could even look outside and watch my girls play. Up and down, I could adjust myself in bed without using my tummy muscles and without asking for help.
Friends came with food. We were well taken care of.
TODAY, July 9, 2013. This week JAM has discovered how to shake his head. He also realizes that this has some power on conversation. So now he "talks" with us. He seems to take the girls side on everything. "We should go to bed" (shakes head and giggles) "because aren't you tired?" (shakes head and gets REALLY big grin on his face) "Do you want the girls to stay up with you?" (shy look and buries his head in dad's shoulder, then looks up and smiles)...
Mimi (4 years old)at the dinner table playing a game with Ella (now 6)
M: My person's name starts with J-O-N-A-T-H-A-N
E: That's easy! JONATHAN!
M: Ye- Nope. That's close. It's <in a high pitched voice> CUTIE PIE!
I think they like their brother. Who could blame them? He takes their side.