1. The nurses are your ticket to good living. Always have a basket of candy and snacks in your room and offer treats to every staff person who enters. Also, have your fabulous, generous mom drop-off random deliveries of donuts, pizza, or pastries at the nurses station. Eventually, the awesome nurses will fight over getting you as their patient. This will always work in your favor.
2. A shower can really do a girl good.
3. Hospital food is terrrrrrrrrrible. Like powdered eggs terrible. Do whatever you can to bribe your loved ones to bring you actual food as often as possible. Ain't nobody got time to be pregnant and hospitalized and forced to eat bad food. A girl's got to have limits.
4. If you are diagnosed with something rare and "interesting", expect a lot of company during rounds. Apparently, all the doctors and students want to learn about the crazy condition they may not have the chance to see again for a decade or so. Try your best to be entertaining and ask good questions. And every once in a while throw in a good old emotional breakdown where you're truly terrified and crying. I figure this helps them learn and be better doctors. But who knows.
5. See #4 and then remain acutely aware that some days doctor's rounds happen earlier than all the previous days. You could be surprised by a crowd of people while you're peeing with your bathroom door wide open. Not that it's ever happened to me. I'm just warning you.
6. See #1 and then when you notice a big comfy recliner chair sitting lonely in an unoccupied room down the hall, ask one of those awesome nurses to steal it for you and bring it to your room and claim it as your own. They will do this for you because….. snacks.
7. Bring your own blanket and pillows. This is a trick I used when I was on the road, and you'd be amazed how a little bit of comfort from home can go a long way.
8. See #1 and then imagine a nurse willing to wheel a pregnant patient to find ice cream at 11:00 at night. Promptly re-stock the snack basket. (In case you didn't know this, babies are partly made of ice cream. At least mine are. That's how you get sweet babies.)
9. This will need to be arranged long in advance, but have great friends and family. Because when you do, they will visit and bring strings of lights and signs to cheer up your room and they'll play cards with you. They will also come sit at your bedside and make you laugh. This gift cannot be overrated.
10. When at all possible, never, ever lose your sense of humor. Or hope.
Hollis and I are doing great. I had a "big" ultrasound yesterday and he is growing happy and safe in his Mama-haven. I've had a few emotional meltdowns the past couple of days. I'm told that's to be expected, and I bounced back to hope and peace pretty quickly so I'll call it a win. No real new things to report, we're holding strong and steady. Likely due to all your prayers and love and support. Thank you! Please keep 'em coming!