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Monday, September 25, 2006

IF Spice Girls: Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want)

For this hypothetical question (or perhaps not-so-hypothetical for some of you), you need to imagine yourself pregnant and confined to bed rest. The purpose of this bed rest is to either prevent a miscarriage (if it's before 20 weeks) or prevent premature delivery (post 20 weeks). And it's going to last for a while. You are able to do a bit of work on a computer from the bed, but you're not able to walk around the house, much less go food shopping or prepare for the arrival of the baby.

What would you want people to do for you? Have one person become your personal secretary and organize all of your friends to come by the house daily? Have people drop off meals and then leave you alone? Drive your exisiting kids to school if you have any? Take your husband out for decompression time? Would you want friends to stay with you in the house or just give you the money to hire someone to help? Your opinions on what you would want--as specific as possible. With reasons if applicable.

I know what I would want, but I'm not sure if the general public also needs man-servants massaging their feet 2 hours every day...


kathryn said...

Ahhh...bedrest (aka that time in my life when I started wondering if that female part of my body could do anything right). I was on hospital bedrest for 6 weeks prior to the premature delivery of my twins. My #1 complaint about that time was lonliness. I had lots of visitors and phone calls during the first week, but then people just forgot that I was still in there until the babies were born. My mom (my lady in waiting) would call at least twice each day and I lived for those phone calls. It gave me some kind of interaction with the world that was continuing to move forward as I sat in my bed doing nothing but memorizing the tv schedule for every channel. Here's my list of additional helpful things for bedrest moms...

1. phone calls/visits!!!
2. food for me (think milkshakes and fries!) and for family (this is especially important if you have children who otherwise would be fed hotdogs and mac and cheese every night)--frozen meals are perfect!
3. bring up the other children to see me (if in the hospital)
4. clean the house, do laundry, etc. (this is especially important if at home because it can drive someone crazy to be surrounded with filth and not be able to do anything about it)
5. bring me books, magazines, movies, anything to pass the time!
6. take care of pets
7. help finish preparing for baby (shopping, room decorating, washing clothes, etc)
8. find a hairstylist, manicurist, massage therapist (if allowed by the doc) who would be willing to come to my house/hospital room to make me feel pretty -- this was when I got the absolute worst haircut of my life, but it felt so good to be groomed!
9. buy me some clothes that are comfy enough to lay around in all day but don't look like pajamas
10. if in the hospital and allowed by docs, take me on a wheelchair ride...outside is the best destination!
11. let me talk about my fears and anxieties without trying to sweep them under the rug...if in the hospital, let me look in the NICU windows to prepare myself for what may be waiting for me in the future

That's all I can think of now, but I'm sure more will pop into my mind throughout the day and I'll post those later. This is a great question! I hope there are others with more suggestions!

Carey said...

Totally hypothetical for me, but I'd want: (if I was at home)

1. A laptop
2. Netflix
3. A maid
4. Dog walker to come in the mornings
5. Books
6. Lunch

We don't have any other kids to manage and my partner would be on top of everything else.

I don't think I'd like people coming over all the time, but that's just me. Maybe every now and then would be good, but I don't want to feel like I have to entertain someone.

Lisa said...

Not so hypothetical for me...I was on modified bed rest for much of my pregnancy (doctor imposed for part, self-imposed out of fear for the rest!) I second the vote for phone calls and visits. I had so many friends tell me they were going to come visit me but only two or three ever did. The worst part about bed rest is the loneliness and boredom-- time seems to creep by indefinitely.
I also second the vote for magazines, books, DVDs, etc. Again, to help the time pass.
We didn't have other children or pets at home, but I can imagine if we did, I would have needed someone to come over to entertain (and feed) my kid(s) and/or pet(s).
And foot massages every two hours sound GREAT to me :)

Southern Comfortable said...

I haven't been through it, but I imagine that human interacton, cleanliness, and vanity would be three priorities. Lots of phone calls and visitors, keeping the house clean (if I were at home), and trying to make me feel like a relatively attractive human being and not a big bump in the bed. I don't have children yet, and my husband can fend for himself when it comes to food, so that's less a priority for me.

Heather said...

a good girlfriend that will not only bring over great flicks but will curl up in bed and watch them with me...

...and everything Kathryn said too!

Suz said...

Like Kathryn, I was on hospitalized bedrest (five weeks) for pre-ecclampsia and echo what she said about the lonliness. People seemed to believe that it would be presumptuous to visit in the hospital or that they would somehow be intruding. Not the case. I was there all day, every day, and got really lonely, especially at night. The friends who came to visit me - for 10 minutes or as long as they had - still hold a special play in my heart.

Next to that, anything that reeks of the outside world. I had my husband bring a blanket from the couch at home, Chick fil a' from around the corner, and anything else.

A friend also sent me all 5 seasons of the Sopranos on DVD - something looooong and serial in nature was perfect. I doled them out to myself slowly to make them last. Books were also good, but didn't hold my attention for long because I was so uncomfortable - magazines and short story collections were perfect.

As an infertile, I DREAMED of creating the baby room, but was put on bedrest before doing so. My husband finished the room (per my specifications) but it would have been lovely to be able to go through catalogues, shop, and plan with someone.

Like Kathryn, I also went on wheelchair rides and talked to some of the NICU docs after we reached each milestone. It was really helpful to feel like I was doing some preparation.

littleangelkisses said...

I have to agree with Kathryn...

I was hospitalized prior to my son's birth. My friends, not one of them, came to visit. I needed someone besides my DH there. My family came the first weekend, but they live several hours away.

I needed decent food, visits/phone calls/ someone to take care of my house/cats.

I also needed, like she said, someone to listen to me. I was very lucky that my doctor and I were on the same page. He knew my wishes were not to deliver the baby until I had to. The nurses were NOT on board with that plan. They wanted me to deliver ASAP so that I didn't rupture on their watch. I needed moral support in my decision. Kathryn of the good things I did was prepare myself for what was coming. I was able to talk to the lactation consultant, pick a ped., meet the neonatologists, and visit the NICU to prepare myself.

Spanglish said...

Hypothetical for me, and not necessarily in this order:

1. Fashion mags -- the big, fat good ones like Elle and Vogue.
2. A laptop
3. Movies of all different genres, but preferably the kind that would take my mind off of my reality.
4. Food -- the sort that is easy to digest and not the sort that would make me feel sick because I can't move around to help it digest.
5. someone to come take care of my grooming needs. I have pcos and am hyper vigilant of facial hair and acne. If I couldn't get out of bed I would really want someone to help me maintain my face.
6. Pretty pajamas.
7. Scented candles, but on a candle warmer so I wouldn't have to worry about the flame.
8. Art and Architecture books
9. a sketch pad and colored pencils.
10. someone to help my husband exercise my wild dog.
11. most importantly, visitors and phone calls...

Bea said...

I think what I'd want would change daily (possibly hourly) and it would be good to check with me immediately beforehand (even in the case of pre-arranged plans).


Murray said...

I would want friends to come visit and spend some time with me. Bring some juicey gossip and some funny entertaining movies (OH! and Thai food. Definitely). And it would have to be fairly consistent. None of this forgetting about me stuff. Help with the housework would be nice too. Taking my puppy for walks. If one person would coordinate so that people didn't forget about me and so that the support was consistent that would be wonderful!

lunarmagic said...

For me I would really need someone to help look after our dogs... they can be high-maintainance and need to go out mid-day even when DH is at work. Bringing random craving food would make me love them forever.

I would want people to hang online with me and chat in IM so I don't go crazy.

But I wouldn't be too cool with people spending much time at the house. It would make me feel weird.