It’s all a matter of perception.
I finally have the time on my hands to catch up on my blog! I am writing this in my 32nd week of pregnancy from strict hospital bedrest in order to prevent premature labor. For those of you who know me, it is a big challenge for me sit so still without anything to do; I’m generally very active, love working, seeing friends, working out, or even attending evening german classes. Laying down most of the day, being dependent on others to bring me books and the oh-so delicious hospital food, and not knowing how long I’ll have to stay in the hospital, is thus not so easy.
The first full day was the hardest. I was trying to talk to the doctors to understand how long I had to stay. I wanted to reschedule sessions with clients and meetings with my friends as soon as possible, and get me life back on track. I was thinking of all the things at home I wanted read, watch, wear, and eat. I was so focused on trying to escape my situation, that I couldn’t appreciate the other side of it.
On Day 2 I was able to shift my perspective and see the situation as a gift of time to myself before having two kids at home! I also realised that I was grateful to have the attention of doctors and nurses during this time; I felt very reassured that the doctors were monitoring everything. If I was worried about anything, I could check out my fears with the doctors at any time. After accepting my situation I saw these positive elements and opportunities. I relaxed into my reality, stopped pestering the doctors about when I could go home, and just allowed myself to be taken care of. Here, I am brought three meals a day, I read, listen to audiobooks, and do crossword puzzles all day. I invite visitors or enjoy my own company and plentiful naps. I worry or wonder about my health.
It takes a mindset of acceptance to stop fighting what already is. Once we stop fighting our reality, it opens up a space and energy to move on and keep living. Only at that point did I really enjoy my bedrest. I experimented with a new food delivery company who came right to my hospital room with Thai food or burrito bowls when I was tired of the german Brotzeit. These typical Bavarian dinners included two pieces of bread, lots of butter, deli meats resembling plastic, and on good nights, some cheese. I took the time to read and listen to books I had long been interested in, with no interruptions of cooking and other to-dos. It was empowering to take some control over my bedrest and chose what I wanted it to be like. I learned to ignore the doctors’ and nurses’ schedule and for example, not wait to shower or eat depending on the hospital schedule. It can make a patient feel very helpless when you are told when to expect a doctor, and the doctor comes either three hours later, or not at all. I had to first accept, that these delays are natural in hospitals and should be expected. Then I removed my expectations and just focused on being in the here-and-now with the crossword or book at hand.