Notes on a hospitalized pregnant woman Pt. 15

August 2nd: Kara, a Labor & Delivery nurse, comes in to give my NST. She’s also 32 weeks.

“Man you look healthy,” I comment. Dakota is kicking the shit out of my belly. I feel like an unskilled boxer getting my body hammered all over the ring.

Yes but Kara says she was actually on bed rest from weeks 12 to 24 for bleeding and was it terrible? Yes. But here she was again, working 12-hour shifts.

I’m half asleep. Medicine every four hours is making me fuzzy. 

“Every pregnancy is different.”

Yes, every woman is different but more importantly, every pregnancy is different. You can breeze through one and suffer through another. You can work every day until delivery for one, and be deemed high risk with one pregnancy and then stuck in a hospital or on bedrest for weeks with the next. 

One thing that is universal about being pregnant is people treat you like an art installation. 

“You look tired.” “Are you pregnant?” “Are you expecting twins?” “Is it a boy or a girl?” “Can I touch your belly?” “Your belly looks like an alien.” My belly looks like a fucking alien?? You look like a fucking alien!!

Another thing that is common with most pregnant women is boogers. Before I got pregnant I never had a bloody nose or needed a tissue.

“How far along are you?” asks Stephanie the RN. She sees the nurses’ board. “32 weeks?”

“No. My pregnancy app says 31.7 weeks.”

“Isn’t that 32 weeks?”

“Oh yeah, I guess so. I mean no. I think tomorrow is 32 weeks. No today is 32 weeks and 0 days.”

I was really good at math in middle school.

Once upon a time there was a little prince who lived on a planet hardly any bigger than he was, and who needed a friend.

Charley calls from work to say he loves me. A couple hours later, Charley and I are arguing again. One minute I’m watching House Hunters and the next I’m crying in the bathroom. He says I’m too “surly”.

“I’m falling out of love with you, you’re too surly.”

“You’re WHAT??? How can you +{@$^€¥$![^\+*]<+¥?!?”

Language is the source of misunderstandings.

I feel like dying. I’ve been in this goddamn room for long enough to get a college degree online.

In those days, I didn’t understand anything. I should have judged her according to her actions, not her words. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean it. I love you very much.”

But after crying, we make up and talk about the dogs and everything is okay again. Everything is okay. My little world.

She perfumed my planet and lit up my life. I should never have run away!

Freyja is howling.

“Duke and Freyja are fighting. Should we breed them?…Freyja’s been following me around like she used to follow you.”

“Does she follow you to the bathroom?”

“Haha yeah.”

I can’t eat dinner. I leave a post-it “Do Not Touch” and go for a walk to the chapel and around the fountain garden. It rains for ten minutes and thunders like bombs over the city. Sprinkles of light over the Wasatch range. Not even Seattle could compete.

An old couple and a nurse are sitting by the fountain. A little dog is buzzing around their feet. 

“Can I pet him…her?”

“Sure,” said the old lady, who is in a wheelchair. She looks like someone who wants to be happy but can’t quite get there…like someone who has been in the hospital for too long.

“I’ve been here 18 days and he acts like he doesn’t know me.”

Oh god, I hope my dogs will still know me. I hope Freyja follows me to the bathroom again.

Back in my room I sit on top of the pink teddy bear and drink iced water and stare at the Wasatch mountains. I watch the old man slowly return to his car with the dog.

It is the time you’ve devoted to her that makes your rose so important.

Stephanie is a top-notch nurse. She checks on me regularly to make sure I’m doing okay and brings by a large snack bowl with fruit, candy, nuts and chips. 

It restores my faith in humanity when I’m being bombarded by aimless hate on the Internet. This time it’s Lena Dunham and whatever she did it has once again garnered the wrath of Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, Lena Dunham is annoying and so is her friend Amy Schumer. Schumer is annoying and she said she’s a size 6 when she’s probably a size 16, but these ladies ARE trying to be the best versions of themselves and WANT to be role model to people who require role models. Trashing them for not being good enough role models seems kind of ridiculous, like trashing nurses for not being doctors. Maybe everyone’s too surly for their own good.

But I’ve gone on a tangent. What really matters right now is snacks and “The Little Prince” on Netflix. 

In the original Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the prince tells the narrator of the story not to worry or follow him, and if it seems as if he has died it is only because his body is too heavy to take with him to his planet. His planet is where he first loved the rose, and he’s eager to return and care for her. The narrator searches for the prince but he’s been bitten by a snake and falls without a sound. The next morning the narrator searches for his body but it’s nowhere to be found. In the original story the rose is called Consuelo, (also Antoine’s wife’s name.)

Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.

And so it ends.


One thought on “Notes on a hospitalized pregnant woman Pt. 15

Comments are closed.