It's a total cliche but I have learned what is most important to me. That being this baby being safe, and time spent with my husband. When you see each other every day it becomes easy to take that time for granted. The tv goes on, attention turns to social media, whatever it may be. When you have a couple of hours every couple of days? You look forward to that time. You spend it chatting, even though you don't have much to say because you've been in the same room all day. You want to hear about what he's been up to. You treasure the moments where he's getting kicked in the face by your bump. That family time becomes so precious, especially when you don't know how much more of it you'll get. Each time he left for home without me, my heart broke a little bit. It was like being 18 again and going back to uni after a weekend together- there have been tears! I have appreciated more than ever all the little ways he loves me, and Grub. I can see what an amazing father he is going to be.
I have developed a new appreciation for the loneliness of people who live alone, and/or can't get out much. I understand now why elderly relatives want to know what day you are coming, what time, how long for? It is because they are living for that visit. I have realised just how many great friends I have, near and far, who have visited several times and continued to support and pray for us daily. I really appreciate all of them.
I've lived with a limited wardrobe, every other day showers and rarely worn any makeup. I have spent nothing on myself for six weeks, other than a birthing ball, maternity nightie for labour and a birth education DVD (can you tell my mind has turned to having to actually deliver this baby!). I have asked Mr T to bring my bank card in twice- once so I could give a charity donation, and once so I could take advantage of a sale to buy the few things we still need for the baby. It's been great! Not least because I have saved so much money this month! I wonder if that'll continue once I'm home....
Of course I have still had creature comforts. People have generously brought me girly bits like hand creams as well as books, fruit, sweet treats and tea! I haven't been on digital detox - in fact I have relied more than ever on social media to keep connected. I have spoken on the phone and texted people more than ever, simply because I have the time. It probably took me the best part of the first week to switch off the internal monologue of "stuff I need to organise" to stop writing lists for Mr T to do, to stop worrying about work and how they were coping without me. In short to realise I am not indispensable and there's nothing I could do about it if I were!
As much as I miss my home, I don't miss the "stuff". Life has been for the most part, happily simple in here. Of course having your meals brought to you, sheets changed for you and cleaning done for you all helps! But what I mean is, I haven't missed all my possessions. I have my iPad, and I won't lie I would have struggled without it, but all I have used it for is Internet, to keep up with friends and news, and reading a book. I've streamed a couple of shows to pass the time. I don't miss the tv. There's no show I regret not seeing.
What I do miss about home, despite feeling lonely at times in here, is a sense of privacy and space. Alone time. I know that sounds really silly but what I mean is, in here, people start coming in to my room on their own schedules throughout the day, starting at 8am. Whether I am up or not. It grates a little bit. But I know it is not a hotel and they have jobs to do. So I make sure I am up as often as I can. Being able to lay in bed beyond 8am without fear of intrusion by anyone but The Cat will be a real luxury for the last few (hopefully) weeks before Grub arrives! I am an introvert- space and privacy are important to me. I am also missing The Cat and the quiet (and not so quiet) companionship she offers. Resting my hand on a fuzzy head and hearing a contented purr is a treat I took for granted until now.
I have learned, if I didn't already know, that I would and will do anything for this child. God has proven to me once again that He can and will provide beyond what I could ask and expect. I never allowed myself to really believe I would be discharged still pregnant. I have no doubt that I wouldn't be if it weren't for the enormous amount of prayer and grace being extended to us.
It's been interesting, and enlightening. I wouldn't want to do it again, but I hope I remember the lessons for life. Now that I am down to my last couple of days, I am finding it really tough. Because I know it is almost over, it's been such a long day today. I feel quite tearful and I just want to go already. I've done my best, I've been compliant and mostly uncomplaining. But I'm so ready for it to be over! Officially I'm in until 32 weeks, which is Wednesday morning. But I am going to see if they won't let me go tomorrow evening instead, just a night early, at 31+6. No big deal right? But to me it would be a huge deal. My own bed. A night early!! Wish me luck....!