Monday, March 7, 2011

A day in the life at the prenatal correctional facility

A few people have asked what I do all day here- so I thought I'd share my basic daily schedule. Get ready, it's pretty exciting!!

I get awaken at 6 a.m. by the nursing staff for monitoring. Monitoring consists of taking my temperature, blood pressure and the ultra fun task of checking the babies heartbeats. They have to first find the heartbeats and then monitor them all simultaneously for a minute. This may not sound challenging but if the babies are really moving a lot it can take forever! I'm not at all a morning person, nor do I have anywhere I have to be, so after the 6 a.m. monitoring I usually try and fall back asleep.

Shift change for the nurses happens at around 7:30 and protocol here is for them come into my room to discuss me and switch the nurses name on the white board. I sort of get why they prefer to talk in the room rather than somewhere else- perhaps it's so that I, the patient can correct them if they get anything wrong. However, usually by the time they come in, I've fallen back asleep so it can be annoying.

Then often a resident pops in just to wake me and ask if I'm having any significant contractions, bleeding or if my water broke. I always want to sarcastically say, "Don't you think I would call you if any of those things were happening?!"

I usually give up trying to sleep around 8:30 and get up and move to my chair to order breakfast. That's my big power move of the day- switching from the bed to the rocking chair. Very exciting!

Colin usually arrives as soon as visiting hours start at 9:00 a.m. and he stays until his nap time, around 12:30. My Dad has been living at our house and caring for Colin since Chris is still working, so he's the one that brings him. It's the highlight of my day as I hear little c running down the hall yelling, "mama!"

Lately my Dad has been basically dropping him off and then hanging out in the lounge area so that Colin and I can have time alone. This morning we had a particularly good time playing together and sitting at the window watching the cars, trucks, ambulances and firetrucks go by.

When Colin goes home for his nap, I wait for monitoring again which happens around 2:00. Usually the high risk doctor along with his trail of eager residents and students comes in around this time too, just to check in on me. When these two things are done, I get to take a nap, often uninterrupted, which is wonderful.

Around dinner time, someone comes up to visit. I've been blessed to have friends bring magazines and goodies, a brother who cooks me homemade meals, and of course, Chris and colin usually come up again and we eat together. Basically whatever family is in town comes up to keep me company around dinner time which I so appreciate!

After dinner, when everyone goes home, I settle in to watch my reality t.v. shows. I'm marking the weeks this way :). Only one more episode of the Bachelor and I'm at 32 weeks! And I'm thankful that if I have to be on bed rest that it's during American Idol season. That takes up tuesday, wednesday AND thursday. Then, before you know it, it's friday which is always pizza night and then it's the weekend and once Sunday hits, what do you know but another week has passed!

At around 10 p.m. the nurse comes in again for monitoring and afterwards I settle in to bed. If Chris is here he always gives me a massage which helps me relax and fall asleep.

It's such an odd experience to be stuck here. I haven't felt the air outside in 14 days. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the Truman Show, because there's really no privacy and the staff is always taking notes on you, discussing you, and watching your behavior. Sometimes I feel like I'm in prenatal jail because I can't leave, and I have to ask permission to do things (recently I got the okay to have a small cup of coffee in the morning- woo hoo!!). Actually the nursing staff is very kind and I've gotten to know and like many of the nurses. Still, it's not home.

Gettin' my coffee! What a treat!

I have contractions every single day which causes some up and down moments because I just never know when the time will come. Just yesterday I started having contractions in the late afternoon and by evening they were about 7 minutes apart, consistently. Although they never got stronger, they were consistently strong enough to cause me to have to take deep breaths and focus. I totally thought the boys were coming but I was not about to tell the staff until I was very sure (I'm determined not to have to go back to labor and delivery until it's absolutely positively time!). Hanging out in labor and delivery if you're not absolutely, positively having a baby (or babies) is tiring and not fun. By 10 p.m. thankfully, the contractions had stopped and then I only had two contractions in the night.

My new normal!

So, I'm 31 weeks and 1 day today...... I just gotta get through the bachelor, three american idols, friday pizza night and one saturday and then I hit the goal of 32 weeks!!!!! I hope we can make it.

Oh, and I should share a few pics that show the view from this room. I have to say, it's pretty incredible as far as hospital rooms go. I have a corner room with a view of the city AND the lake.

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