Monday, July 29, 2013

Blind Dates and Cartwheels

I've been fairly fascinated by knowing there are other women in my circumstance--waters broken, waiting-- next door and down the hall, though until yesterday I hadn't met any of them.  This ward is shared by both antepartum and postpartum mothers, and it was also driving me crazy that I hadn't seen a baby yet.  But on our way back from a wheelchair excursion outside on Saturday, we caught a glimpse of a newborn in his bassinet in the hallway with his mom.  A perfect, beautiful, 36-weeks-gestation twin boy.  It was so gratifying to glimpse the gift on the other side of this journey.  With less than two weeks left to wait, Baby Tootsie on The Outside grows more real each day.

Meanwhile, though, I've learned most about what others do in my situation by reading online and finding forums like "pPROM Support Group," where women discuss leaking fluid, risks of infection, contractions, pasttimes, fears, milestones, and cheer one another along.  I began hinting to my nurses that maybe I should organize a happy hour for us Ladies in Waiting.  We could grab our ginger ales and amble on down to the family lounge for a social hour and swapping of stories.

It turns out that my nurse and doctor were already conspiring to set another patient and me up as we seemed to have a lot in common (both educators with two older daughters and a third on the way).  As a blind lunch date was arranged, my doc admitted to me that there was the possibility of needing to combine us in one room, too, if the population continued to grow around here.  I was game for some socializing on any level by now.

We met in the lounge and briefed each other on our backgrounds--she's only 26 weeks and hoping for two months more here--a long journey ahead and good reminder of how fortunate I am.  Like me, she had two normal full-term babies before and was quite shocked to find her easy pregnancy interrupted.  Both accustomed to being active in the Real World, we confessed to envying the runners jogging along the river whom we could see from our rooms.  Her older daughters are both under four years old; her husband and extended family have a big job covering childcare.

We talked about hospital food (I recommended she try the mashed turnips), hospital gowns (she was wearing hospital-issue pants!), reading, and the NICU.  After an hour and a half of easy conversation, we vowed to meet up again soon.

Around dinner time, my daughters returned from Maine like breaths of fresh air.  They filled me in on all their adventures from the week, snuggled me in my bed, and we played a few rounds of Heads Up (great iPhone charades app).  They were excited to confirm that my brother, uncle from the USVI and father of their beloved cousins, was indeed here to fly them down to St. Thomas for the next chapter of what might be their Best Summer Ever, besides the part of only seeing me and their dad intermittently.  We went on another wheelchair adventure (with the girls excited to push me down the halls) outside for some cartwheels and headstands in the soft grass.  It was a delightful time.  They left afterwards to go repack bags, walk my sister's puppy, and catch up on sleep before I see them today preflight to the islands.

They'll be back when Baby Tootsie is here.  I can't wait.

Wait.  Yes, I can.

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