When I was first admitted to the hospital, I quickly realized that a lot of fun plans would be cancelled due to the circumstances. Many of these plans had to do with things I was looking forward to while being pregnant for the first time. I had witnessed several family members and friends have beautiful maternity photo shoots, enjoy baby showers thrown in their honor, and attend child care classes with other young parents-to-be. I wanted all of that so much and had already put plans in motion to get those same experiences for myself until of course, life was put on hold. I called to cancel the child care classes that were already scheduled and all baby shower plans were cancelled as well for the time being. I was also really looking forward to doing a maternity photo shoot in my third trimester but now that would be yet another item added onto the quickly growing list of "not possible." But luckily, I am not one to easily surrender when told "no you can't." Obviously, some of these first-time pregnancy experiences are truly not able to be pulled off while I am stuck in bed so my focus went to the ones that had potential. First order of business was to adjust the baby shower plans and see about having some sort of party at the hospital. There was a social room down the hall which I found out has been used for this purpose before but it was quite small. The solution...have a small guest list for this baby shower and plan a bigger event after the babies are born. Now that the wheels were in motion for this item, the next problem to solve was to find out how to have a maternity photo shoot at the hospital. I discovered that there was a photographer contracted with the hospital who did newborn photo shoots so I emailed them about the possibility of a maternity photo shoot. They said that it could be done and I got a session scheduled right away.
The actual photo shoot was interesting because I could not leave my room and there were not many places to get good shots or lighting. The photographer was very creative and able to manipulate a lot of the pictures to make it look like Brett and I were no where near a hospital. We were not out in a beautiful field like how I had imagined the original photo shoot to be before landing in the hospital, but the mission was accomplished to get pretty pictures of my big belly while I still had the chance.
After a couple months of planning by the "committee," my hospital baby shower finally arrived! I got permission to lay down on the couch in the social room so I didn't have to be on a gurney. The room was nicely decorated and it was so great to see close family and friends all together for the occasion. Unfortunately, one big upset which occurred was that my Dad flaked last minute. He was all set to go to my baby shower and I even arranged a ride for him to ensure he would get there. From the start it was very hard to get him to agree to go since he does not like being at hospitals and he is kind of socially awkward. He would like nothing more than to just stay at home and watch TV since human interaction is not really his thing. My Dad would actually do pretty well on bed rest...maybe he is secretly jealous of my situation? To sum him up, he is not a very normal Dad and has only visited me once since I have been at the hospital and that visit lasted five minutes. I really wanted him at the baby shower but he lived up to all expectations and was a no show once again. It's hard enough not having my Mom around during these special occasions but then my Dad chooses to opt out which just sucks. Regardless of this disappointment, I decided to not let it bother me and to just enjoy the party without him there.
The whole baby shower experience for me was very special not only because I thought it would not be possible for this to occur, but also because I got a little taste of my old life. I put on real clothes, make-up, straightened my hair, and most importantly, got to leave my room for a couple of hours! It did take a lot of energy to get ready and by the time I got to the party, I was very tired. Luckily, everyone was helpful in making sure I was comfortable and deep down, I was just so happy to at least be able to have a baby shower experience in spite of my physical condition. Overall, being on bed rest has forced me make a ton of sacrifices but I have been able to come up with creative alternatives to feel more in control and normal. It is very easy to start feeling sorry for yourself while at the hospital but I am all about coming up with solutions to problems instead of complaining about them.
*The song "You Can't Stop the Beat" is from the 2002 Broadway musical Hairspraythat originated as a John Waters movie in 1988 (another one of my favorite movies when I was growing up). This song is the big energetic closing number that shows when you really want something, nothing can get in your way. It is a very inspiring song that makes you feel unstoppable and it definitely helps me get motivated to make a difference when things are not going according to plan. Now my only goal is to hopefully make it to 36 weeks which is only 6 weeks away! I just have to hope that the twins share that goal and keep the beat going.