Two years ago around this time, I was put on bed rest when I was pregnant with our first child. NBD. The staff at Walter Reed were awesome, hubs was deployed, and I was staying with my mom. Can you say most epic Gilmore Girls marathon lots of time to really focus on my work from home?
Fast forward two moves, one child, and one more pregnancy later. Yesterday, I was put on bed rest again. This time? Complete bed rest. At 36 weeks. Until whenever this little one arrives. I snorted coffee out my nose when the doctor gave me his instructions. (I am so ladylike.) (AND YES I AM STILL DRINKING COFFEE.)
Judging by my reaction, I guess, he realized that he needed to make sure I understood he was serious.
"I am not kidding at all," he said, very sternly, in the same tone I reserve for the phrase "we do not flush Hot Wheels down the potty."
"I know you are," I replied. In my defense, I did try to sound like I was paying attention and taking him seriously. But there was that whole coffee-out-the-nose thing.
"I am serious," he said. "This isn't a joke."
"It's still pretty hilarious," I said. He stared at me. I took a guilty sip of coffee. "Exactly HOW do you see this working?"
"Your husband is going to need to take some time off work and stay home with you and provide the childcare for your child," he said. HA. Hahahahahhahaha. So ... Is the doctor going to tell the CO or is hubs? Because I guarantee you you're going to hear the same response either way. And it won't sound like the family-friendly talk we heard from Fort Carson last week. Even the nicest, most understanding CO ever still has some basic expectations. Like showing up.
"There has to be a family member who can come help out," he added. Oh, of course. Does he mean my dad, who lives 1,110 miles away? Or maybe hubs' family? His sister is 1,060 miles away. His mom is a mere 600. How about my bestie? If Google isn't lying to me -- and I hope it is, because I had no idea she was this far -- she is 1,460 miles away. What's 1,460 miles between friends? Oh also CLEARLY NONE OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE JOBS. They can totally come for an extended period of time at the drop of a dime!
"How about sitters?" Dude, I meant to tell you. We have this awesome thing called a bank account and it is totally OVERFLOWING with extra dough. We can TOTALLY find someone today to come to the house every single day until this baby comes who does not expect to make a living wage and we can then pay that person without even beginning to worry about our utility bills. I can just hear Oprah calling out, "A sitter for you! A sitter for you! Look under your seats... A sitter for everyone!" I presume these free, available sitters are also in the gift bag that includes a new car, a diamond necklace, a paid-off mortgage, and the ability to close the bathroom door without having a toddler insist on being in there with me.
"Surely you have close friends who can do the job." Shout-out here: my friends are awesome. They are meal-bringing, child-watching, super sparkling awesomeness. They just also have spouses, children, jobs, and responsibilities of their own. Some have deployed husbands. Some have orders and are busy trying to figure out where they're going to live in two months. Some are pregnant and sick like I am. Others are just plain busy and exhausted from the regular mess that is going to work, taking children to school, running errands, keeping house, and cooking seven dinners a week. We all pitch in the best we can when one of us needs help, but none of them - absolutely none of them - can compensate for the must-have parent being on complete bed rest. The U.S. government has labor laws against that.
And like it or not, our house has one Must Have Parent. And because of the way Uncle Sam works, that person is me. I am not kidding that the house cannot function without me. I HATE that, but it's true. At our childbirth class at Walter Reed, the dads were all instructed that if mama is nursing, it is their job to get up when baby gets up, to change baby, and to bring baby to mama. If you aren't feeding, they said, you have to carry your weight in another way. I couldn't agree more. But the Marine Corps instead plans to send hubs to some training three weeks after this baby is due, and whatever help I am capable of corralling I need to save for then - when the must-do parent is doing and the must-have parent is home wiping bottoms. It won't be this way forever, but it is this way right now.
So... now here we are. Day two of bed rest. So far I've done three loads of wash, countless rounds of dishes, changed sheets, made beds, and done a horizontally modified version of my usual day. The floor is littered with duplos and the dog has had to count running around the yard as his walk. But I'm down here playing vroom-vrooms on the floor with my kid, and if one would consider this duplo-covered floor a possible bed substitute (my son and dog do), then I'm on bed rest indeed.
But it'll only last until noon. After all, someone still needs to make lunch.