Monday, August 19, 2019

True confessions

Last summer, during the final weeks of a high-risk pregnancy, I was on bedrest. It wasn’t your run of the mill work-from-home bedrest, or even the stay-in-bed-at-home-and-go-downstairs-once-a-day bedrest. It was closely monitored bedrest, in the hospital, for an entire month. It was the kind of bedrest where I couldn’t venture out of the antepartum unit without the company of another adult, lest I suddenly decompensate in the elevator. The kind of bedrest where I had to shower and wash my hair one-handed, to protect the IV that was required to stay in my arm at all times, just in case. That kind of bedrest.

It was awful. I worried about the outcome of my pregnancy, of my baby, of my own health. I had to take an unanticipated extra month off from work. I was bored out of my mind. Every time a well-meaning relative or friend would call and ask, “so what did you do today?” I wanted to throw my phone across the room. But worst of all, I painfully, painfully missed my children. Sure, they came to visit. My amazing husband loaded the kids into the minivan and brought them to the hospital a few times a week. But the visits were pressured, and weird, and always shorter than planned.

I missed end-of-the-year celebrations and the first day of camp. I even missed my son’s third birthday party. But it was the in-between time that I missed the most: a funny comment at dinner that caused bursts of laughter, an unexpected helping hand with a bag of groceries, a hug that seemed to come out of nowhere. Helping my daughter pick out her clothes, kissing a boo-boo, sharing a mango.  My husband texted me a picture of my son post-bath and I cried; I had forgotten what he looked like with his hair wet.  It was, hands down, one of the most challenging times of my life.

And yet. Sometimes, deep down, I long for the quiet alone time in the hospital, when I had no responsibilities other than trying to keep myself healthy and sane. Now, when I am being pulled by call schedules and challenging patients and medical students and academic responsibilities, and being tugged by my children who just pooped and forgot their homework and are crawling in the blueberries that they earlier threw on the floor and he took my crayon! and she’s singing the song wrong! and we’re huuuuungry can we have a snaaaaack even though they just.ate.dinner. and they’re fighting and they’re whining and the house is a mess and the resident just texted me … sometimes, deep down, I wish I could find a portal, slip inside, and crawl back into that warm cocoon of the antepartum wing, where people were paid to fluff my pillow and clean my floor and bring me ice water, and to care how I was feeling. Where they would sing to my unborn baby while trying to find her on the monitor and we would chat about the weather and I was bored out of my mind doing crossword puzzles while The Office was on in the background. I am a year out from that experience, and beyond grateful that despite a high-risk pregnancy and complicated preterm delivery, both I and my baby girl are doing well. I am so thankful for my full and beautiful family, for my rewarding career. But sometimes, just sometimes, late at night when my kids are finally sleeping and my husband is softly snoring beside me, when I lie awake thinking of all the things that need to be planned and done at work and at home, I yearn for a bit of calm and quiet. Just for a moment…

4 comments:

  1. A couple years ago I was hospitalized for 3 days with pneumonia. Even though I was pretty miserable it was nice to have a break from being a doctor or a mom. I feel you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just love this. Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing!! Thanks for sharing the article, enjoyed reading it. :-) Buy Etizolam RX

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really nice article. Worth reading. Thank you for sharing.
    Ayurvedic doctor in nashik
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete

Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.