Notes on a hospitalized pregnant woman Pt. 38

How do you stay busy when you’re in a hospital room for a long time?

Take trips to the gift shop and buy stretchy ghost toys and stationery. Play with the gift shop toys while watching horror movies; write letters on the stationery to everyone you know who you would answer the phone for on a good day. Take little walks to the nondenominational chapel and the hall of old photos of nurses in funny hats from the original building constructed 140 years ago. Nibble on snacks like Oreos and raspberries. Draw pictures of pregnant women looking at the floor. Read books about white-lipped forest snails and beheaded British queens.  Listen to Miles Davis and “Ave Maria”. Take preposterously long showers. Tweet about the presidential debates.

How do you stay healthy when you have pregnancy induced hypertension? 

Take medicine for blood pressure and medicine for the headache the blood pressure medicine gives you, and medicine to sleep, and medicine that’s blue and medicine that’s pink and medicine that’s red and medicine that’s a faded yellow like Nana’s wallpaper.

How do you feel attractive when you’re in a hospital room longterm? 

Spend most of your time being sweaty, dirty and tired, then every couple days  take a very long, hot shower. Wash your hair with apple shampoo and your body with too much soap. Shave your legs and armpits. Scrub your face and feet. Brush your teeth and clean your nose pores. Drink a cup of coffee and blow your nose. Put on mascara and eyeliner and BB cream and blush. Rub your body with cocoa butter and spray your wrists with eau de vanille. Put on a long, coral sundress and polka-dot underwear. Paint your nails. Take your gummy vitamins. Drink all your water and brush your hair and pinch your cheeks.

How do you stay mentally resilient when you’re isolated in a hospital room for a long time?

Read: books not internet articles. Watch French movies. Watch British shows. Practice French from an iPhone app. Drink water. Write. Stretch. Call Nana. Tell her you love her a bushel.

When you’re bored of everything, even reading about snails, what do you do then?

Remember little things you never remember. Remember running into your old photography professor and telling her about your soulmate. Your soulmate was not the person you married. He also wasn’t your soulmate, but you didn’t know that. Remember sex in the bushes. Remember getting grape soda and a pumpkin with this faux soulmate at the grocery store. Remember sex in the sand dunes and talking too much. Remember the boy you dumped when he flew out to see you. Remember laughing at him. Remember how sweaty he was. Remember the boy who broke your heart while you were sitting on his lap, and his receding hairline. Remember Van Gogh in Houston. Remember too much.

What do you do when you’re sick of remembering?

Think about the baby. Is she going to be good at math? Is she going to be an artist? A musician? A dancer? A runner? A boxer? Is she going to be pretty? Is she going to have blue eyes? Will she be sweet? Will she be wise? 

Time exists differently in a hospital room. 

Thoughts settle in the back of your head. Sounds come with silence. Hours pass, everything slows down and days disappear.

Is there anything else? 

No.

Is that all there is?

No.

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