Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mothers, Part 2 of 2

So my mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) was down here visiting last week and we got into a random conversation about what I'd do if I suddenly had a lot more money. I told her about an idea I'd had ages ago about starting some sort of free/nominal fee service for pregnant women on bed rest in the hospital I spent so many weeks in myself.

Bed rest is horrible. There's no other way to describe it. While everyone around you is making variations on the same joke ("Better get that rest in now before you've got a baby to take care of!!!" "Gee, I sure wish MY doctor would tell me to go lay around in bed for a while!!!"), you are lying in bed, terrified that your baby is going to die, wondering if it was because of something you did, and your body is slowly going to pieces. Your muscles atrophy, various medical staff poke you with a variety of needles as part of your treatment, and everything seems set up to deprive you of any and all chances of actually getting any of that rest you’re supposed to be getting. (Hello! 4 AM! Time for blood draws!)

There was a flier up in one of my hospital rooms about a service where someone would come to your room and give you a massage or a pedicure or something else along those lines. I’ve occasionally thought since then that I’d like to set up some way for women in the perinatal unit to have access to something like that without spending a fortune, especially as the bed rest may be unexpectedly depriving them of a large portion of their income (as indeed it did for me). Mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) and I talked about this for a bit and then moved on with the conversation.

I guess it’s been percolating in my mind since then, because as I was administering an exam to my lecture students this week, I found my mind returning to the idea. Looking back, while a massage for my aching back would have been fabulous, an even better gift would have been to have been aware of, and had access to, the ALI community from that hospital bed.

(Side note: this exam marked a new first for me. One of my students actually FELL ASLEEP during the exam. I glanced around, and there he was, arms crossed, chin resting down on his chest, fast asleep. In much the same position my mom (Hi Mom! How are ya?) assumes when she falls asleep in front of the TV. So, I was at a loss. What’s the protocol? Do I ignore him? Poke him? Stand immediately behind him and clear my throat loudly? Plus, am I really THAT boring? Fortunately for Mr. Sleepy, he woke up on his own after about 5 minutes as I was pondering getting the guy next to him to elbow him in the ribs. Always the professional, I pretended not to have noticed anything amiss as I giggled into my coffee mug.)

Anyway, while he was snoozing and the rest of the class was working on my (fascinating, engrossing, and brilliant) exam, I got to thinking. These days I do the majority of my blog reading from my iPod. It certainly would have been handy, while curled up on my left side, towel rolls, pillows, nurse call button, IV line, fetal monitoring cords, etc. all carefully arranged, to have been able to surf the internet on a tiny handheld device instead of trying to perch a laptop sideways somewhere in this mess. Also, not everyone can afford a laptop. Or an iPod for that matter. The hospital does have free wireless for patients. I'm sure a large number of women who land in the hospital on bed rest were just wandering through what they thought was going to be an uncomplicated pregnancy, and they probably aren't aware that all of you wonderful ladies are out there blogging.

So, here was my thought: scrap the whole personal grooming idea. What women on bed rest need is (1) a loaner iPod, and (2) a handout with a few starter blogs listed on it (I bet Lost and Found and Connections Abound would probably be enough, but say there were five or so to get your feet wet, plus the link to March of Dimes, Sidelines, etc.)

What do you think? Any obvious refinements? Pitfalls? Do you think nonprofit status and a nicely phrased letter to Steve Jobs would get me 25 free iPods? Oh, wait. I guess not.

And seriously, ASLEEP during an EXAM??? This is college, people! Good grief.


sadie607 said...

Thanks again for your comments on my blog. I always find your advice and insights so helpful. I think the ipods and list of blogs is a great idea. There are days I don't know what I would do without access to the internet. Although I would take a massage too :~)

Hehe and falling asleep during an exam? That's hilarious.

Michele said...

He FELL ASLEEP during your exam? I have to ask...what sort of a grade did he achieve on said exam???

I will buy one iPod for your foundation or whatever it is that you call it. It's a fabulous idea and I am so proud I birthed the woman who thought of it!


MrsSpock said...

I think you should have flicked him in the head with a rubber band...

Wait- I can use my iPod to surf and check blogs?

Anonymous said...

Cracking iPod idea, but I'd be all for a bit of shoulder-massage too. Bed rest hurrrrrrts me horribly. I start to break in the rib department, painfully!

nutmeg96 said...

I wish I'd had a Blackberry while on bedrest. It killed my back to use my laptop while I was lying on my side -- now that I have a Blackberry with the data package I keep thinking of how handy it would have been! :) I also could have used someone to come in and give me a pedicure -- not a fancy one, just for hygiene purposes. It's hard to cut the toenails while you're supposed to be lying on your side.

What a dumbass that sleeping kid is.