Monday, March 24, 2014

Bed Rest Mindset

I've been on bed rest for about a month now. It is definitely hardest psychologically.

First it was the difficultly of the move. Not being able to really help with the packing or the unpacking was definitely not great. I had good friends swoop in and help a bit though, not just with packing but bringing us meals and stuff.

Probably a half a week or so after the move Ryan started getting testy about it. I'd have been on bed rest want to be laying around and I was getting really resentful of him acting that way so we kept getting into tiffs. Honestly, both of us understood the other we were just getting frayed nerves from the bed rest. That's still continuing, where the majority of the time we're totally fine but then he'll imply I could do more or something and we'll start snapping at each other again. Sigh.
nearing three weeks then and he was feeling the pressure of it. Because really there was a ton to do, he still needed to work full time, and I just was laying around. Admittedly I didn't

Hopefully on Tuesday I'll be put on modified bed rest and get more freedom. That's when I see the doctor next.

This week has been especially tough. Last weekend I didn't really see anyone, except one of our friends stopped by for about twenty minutes Sunday night. Of course last Sunday my niece Hannah was born which was extremely exciting, but also emotional as after the initial joy the poignant "I wish I was there" feelings set in. Then through out the week even before I was on bed rest we'd rarely see anyone because most people work. Normally I talk to my mom and younger sister very often and my older sister often. My mom however was busy visiting with her grandchild and daughters, my younger sister was also in the mix, and of course I wasn't going to bother my older sister while she has a newborn! So my communication with America was greatly hampered.

Truth is I don't really have that many friends in India to just talk to, we either see them in person or maybe exchange like two texts.

Then the whole thing with my friend from America maybe going to see me and then not happened and I got really mopey for a few days.

Then this weekend I was kind of hoping to see some of our friends yesterday, but it didn't happen. I knew they were all busy today (Sunday) because the Passion tour, a Christian concert, had come to Delhi and since our friends are pretty much all Christian they were all going. Ryan went as well.

Actually yesterday Ryan went to bed late, at about 1:30pm. He works nights and has to leave by 10:30 pm, so he basically just woke in time to get ready and go. Then when he came home I had to have him run some errands (pick up prescription refills and groceries) and then he went straight to bed because he'd have to wake up early to go to this concert. Our friend came and picked up him around four and they went to the concert together. Then I expected him to go straight to work from the concert.

However he did come home, but only for about ten minutes before his cab to take him to work arrived.  He's going to try to come home a little early today, we'll see.

I think my nesting hormones have arrived because earlier I started crying thinking about how ill prepared we are for this baby. Ryan only gets paid once a month and so every month it's been "next month" that we'll buy stuff for the baby. Personally we have only bought ONE item for the baby, a single shirt that I saw and got hormonal and had to have a few months ago. That's it.

the stuff Lydia brought from America from my family and friends
We do have some things that were gifted to us, the items that Lydia brought from my family and friends. It's about a third of the cloth diapers we need probably, plus items like a few onesies, bibs, and stuffed animals. Additionally a friend here in India gave me a small bag of some used clothes a few weeks ago, which will come in handy. But that's all we got.

We have no furniture yet, none of the big items. There's so much left to get. With Ryan only getting paid once a month there really haven't been that many paychecks since I got pregnant. Oh I should mention that our health insurance doesn't cover anything but hospitalization, so all the doctor's visits and ultrasounds are out of pocket.

We found out we were pregnant in October. October's excess pretty much went to going to the doctor plus a bit saved that got spent during Lydia's visit in November. Lydia's visit also ate a good portion of November's, the rest of which went to Christmas. Then December's went to doctor's bills and other expenses that we just hadn't gotten to in a while with all the craziness of the past couple months. January's pay check went to the copay for the hospitalization and saving up for the move. February's gotten eaten up by the move pretty much entirely. And now we're approaching March's paycheck now. Hopefully we can make some baby purchases with this one, because if the baby comes on it's due date there's only two more paycheck's after this one. And of course the reason I'm on bed rest is they're afraid we won't make it to the due date, so really we don't know how many there are to go... I am told you will get minor gifts post delivery here in India, like clothes, so I'm not worrying about that. But in my area of the US, I really didn't know anyone who didn't have a shower and I heard from my friends that they "have no idea how anyone could afford to have a baby without a shower" and I admit that's how I feel now. Showers are definitely not a part of the Indian culture. And planning definitely is a part of the American culture, so going into having this baby without having everything he or she needs, well, the thought is making me nauseous.

Ryan on the other hand thinks I'm worrying about the wrong thing. He is freaking out about the cost of the delivery. Our insurance covers up to a set limit, period. That price point is about what the bare minimum for an uncomplicated delivery at the mid range better hospitals in this city are... however my bleeding hospitalization last month was put under the same expense line. So basically we have about 3/4 of that money left. Our doctor works with five different hospitals. Two of them are hopelessly out of our price range. One is a birthing center with a great NICU. Our doctor says regardless of where we deliver if the baby is premature she'll have it transferred there. However they don't have a blood bank or other medical stuff that might be needed if something was up with me, so Ryan is feeling a little better about the next option. The next option is a full functioning hospital, the same one I went to for the complications last month. Both of those options are around the same price, with one just a tiny bit more expensive. Both are now outside what our insurance would cover so we'd be looking at minimum a fairly large chunk of money for the uncomplicated vaginal delivery, and possibly a hefty amount if it got complicated.

If we make it to term there's a third choice, a small hospital that's just recently added a deluxe maternity wing. If we have an uncomplicated birth there, it's possible we can get insurance to cover it all (regardless there's a co-pay.) However they have neither blood bank nor NICU on site, so Ryan and I have agreed that we'd only go there if I was term.

We want to go tour facilities but obviously can't with me on bed rest, so hopefully we'll get cleared Tuesday. Even if she doesn't put me on a modified bed rest that would normally allow it I plan on asking her if she thinks it'd be okay for me to go for a tour, because after all if something bad were to happen I'd be at site at a medical facility, right? I really wouldn't want to just send Ryan because truth is he doesn't research the crap out of this kind of stuff as I do and he gets confused. He's always asking questions that don't need to be asked and getting confused and leaving out stuff that does. This is just more my field of expertise... plus he's not the one who is going to be in labor so I need to be comfortable with the facility more so than he, though if he's getting the heeby jeebies or something that'd definitely be taken into account.

One important question I want to ask these different hospitals is will Ryan be allowed in the room with me? I would immediately rule out any hospital that wouldn't allow that. We talked to our doctor and she's fine with him there, but she says we may encounter resistance from the hospitals. As I've said before, modern India is very much like America 60 years ago or so, and so Dads apparently are usually in the waiting room. However I am not comfortable enough with any females here in India to want them in the room with me and I do not want to go through that alone. The thought of being alone is terrifying. Especially alone with medical professionals. Even before India I had a bit of "white coat syndrome" and now that I'm here I'm finding patients aren't respected in the same way here as in America. That is, the attitude is very much just let us do our job and they seem disconcerted when I actually want to know what a medicine is before they jab it in my arm and stuff like that. Sigh. You really have to fight to be respected as a patient here and I'm going to be too busy having a baby to have the energy to do it, so I really need Ryan.

All in all I feel really scared and worried... and I know I shouldn't be! I know I need to be casting my cares on Jesus and that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Sigh. But childbirth and becoming a mom are just seriously scary stuff and that feels like it should be enough to deal with... but dealing with those things in a foreign country whose culture seems at odds with me most of the time is overwhelming. I have been trying to think about how to express my feelings and I feel like the best way to put it is I'm missing my safety net. In America I'd be worrying about having enough for the baby, but I'd have the safety net of a shower. In America I'd be restless and lonely if I was on bed rest, but I would have more people available to come over or talk on the phone. In America I'd be scared about the hospital disregarding me, but at least I'd be able to have a frame of reference for how it's going to be, here I am scared they're assuming I'm okay with something I'm not because it'd never occur to me they'd do it that way, especially since they don't seem to inform patients of much. I am definitely the kind of person that going into medical situations would ten times rather be over informed than under. In America I'd be worried about being a good mom, but I'd have the safety net of my own mom.

I will say though that if we gave birth in America we'd probably go broke from the cost of it. Sheesh, medical care is so freaking expensive there!

Still, it's not that I want to go back to America necessarily. It's just I feel very inadequate and isolated. But I had a very telling dream the other day.

I was on a plane flying to America for a visit. I was pregnant. And as I neared the airport to land I suddenly realized I didn't have a visa to return to India! I wasn't sure I could get back to India! I began panicking and calling Ryan and freaking out.

And the refrain that kept going through my mind was "I don't want to be trapped in a foreign country." I didn't want to give birth in a foreign country. I didn't want to be trapped in a foreign country where Ryan wasn't...

That "foreign country" was America. I thought it over and over.

Earlier I was venting to Tabitha and she said I should "come home." I told her about that dream and ended with "Home is not such a simple concept anymore."

Which reminds me of when I was on the plane flying here to India. I was scared and thrilled and a bit panicked. I'd never left the country before. And God kept telling me over and over again, "This is not your home. America is not your home. India is not your home."

I think as a foreigner it's easy to slip into thinking about how things are at "home" but I also know that in reality, I don't have a home here on earth. I'm a foreigner everywhere. And it feels more true now, as my dream shows, then it did when I moved. Living abroad changes you, as the cliche says and says because it's true. If I did move home I'd probably suffer reverse culture shock. I probably really don't have a home here on earth anymore, if I ever did.

But it really is exhausting.


  1. babies really don't need much in the beginning. I splurged and bought a lovely cradle which my daughter hated, so it was used maybe 5 or six times. And she didn't sleep in her crib until she was 10 months because she slept with us. I started with 24 nb prefolds and gradually added more. It worked out. And sometimes I just used a wash cloth in the cover in the beginning.

  2. You need to count your blessings Pam. You have been blessed with a husband and a pregnancy,. There are millions and millions of people who would do anything for either of those, and millions and millions of people who will never be blessed with a baby of their own. You are lucky and all the complaining just shows how ill prepared you are for everything that is in your future.

    A shower is something that only happens in the states, for only women who are lucky enough to have family and friends prepared to celebrate their babies and spend money on necessities to get started. Pretty much everything purchased at a shower isn't a necessity, and it's only for things that are used in the first year or so anyway. A baby is a lifelong responsibility so you need to figure out a way to afford it forever, not just how you can afford an expensive crip and cute onesies.

    It took me 2.5 years to have my daughter and I thank God every day for this gift. I never had a shower, we saved our money and bought everything used and live in a small apartment and don't have a dog since we can't afford one...babies are actually very inexpensive if you're lucky, children are expensive. A baby needs food, clothing and somewhere safe to sleep. That can be a drawer if need be. The pretty things and the cute things are optional and it is no ones responsibility to provide them for your child.

  3. I don't think Pam is at all unmindful of all she has been blessed with.

    She just wants the best for her baby, and is worried about how she can get things ready while she is on bed rest. That is just normal. I had no problems at all in all the areas she is having to deal with and still felt like there was something I might have left out in the 'getting ready'.

    Yes, babies need very little, but that doesn't mean a mother wouldn't want to give her little one a little more if she could. All Pam is doing is talking about some of the things that are going through her head and heart right now. I'm sure she will be just fine when the time comes. We all are.

  4. I disagree with GH's first paragraph in that I think your pregnancy is unrelated to anyone else's ability to have or not have a child. I do believe that you love this child and do feel blessed for this pregnancy. I can also sympathize with you in being so far away from your family during this time and feeling left and homesick when events such as the birth of your niece occur. There are times when it is very, very hard to live in a foreign country and I doubt that anyone who has done it themselves will tell you differently.

    However, I agree with GH in that you and Ryan seem ill prepared for this baby, not just in terms of things but also in mindset. For the sake of your baby, it is time to grow-up and own your choices. You made the choice to move to India, to get married and to try to get pregnant. Your comment about showers sounded very entitled. You are not entitled to a shower; no one is entitled to a shower. No one other than you and Ryan is financially obligated to provide for this child. If you could not afford to have a child, you probably shouldn't have tried to get pregnant. But you are, so now you should focus on what you can do now to provide for this child.

    I would recommend that you start doing some serious budgeting. Calculate all of your expenses for one month and cut out what isn't needed. From what you've said in your blog, you spend a fair bit that you could have put into savings. My husband and I are low-income while we are both in school but we manage to put money into savings every month because we don't splurge on extras. We very, very rarely eat out, go to the movies maybe twice a year, we cloth diaper our son (though that involves quite a bit of laundry) and we menu plan so as to not buy excess food. We also live in a one bedroom flat and don't plan to move until we are done with school so as to save money. And we have no pets though we would dearly love to have a dog. Instead, we petsit for friends when needed.

    I would also agree with GH when she said that babies aren't necessarily expensive. However, you never know what sort of expenses will crop up and, therefore, you should have an emergency savings account. I also planned to breastfeed my son for both the health and financial benefits. It didn't work out and we had to use formula, something that we hadn't budgeted specifically for but had kept in the back of our mind and we were therefore financially prepared for it.

    I wish you luck. I know how it is to feel isolated and alone when stuck at home by yourself all day and how hard it is to have to totally rely on your husband. I hope that you and Ryan are able to get on the same page and that you two are able to start implementing small changes to prepare for this baby.

  5. You guys really need to start saving and prioritizing. You are spending money on concerts and friends visiting, yet you are worried about paying for the hospital bill? I don't understand this at all. You both sound under prepared for being parents and you guys need to get this figured out soon. Once that baby is here, things are going to get tough. Your baby needs to be your main priority.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but this all should have been considered beforehand. You are bringing another PERSON into this world; I suggest getting your act together.

    A few posts ago you talked about the move. I gave the side eye at the fact that you don't have carriers for your cats, so you put them in a backpack. I wasn't going to say anything then, but this post made me say something. How had you brought the cats to the vet previously?

    I hope you take the responsibility of raising a child a bit more seriously than the responsibility of pet ownership.


Thanks so much for comments, they delight me! Please keep your comments civil and while I read every comment, I reserve the right to delete ones that are especially negative. Thanks!


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