Couch Rest, week one: A Recap

Baby Updates first: Given we only had laser fetoscopic surgery last week the babies are recovering as good as they could. Fetus 1 is alive, has a normal amount of amniotic water for the first time. By no means does this mean they are out of the woods, but it does give us cause to relax a little and stay positive.

My decision to be more open about this has been rewarded with lots of friends from all over reaching out and to me it makes all the difference. As many of you know I am clearly an extrovert getting energy out of human interaction and I have not been able to have so much because I have been put on couch rest, or conditional bedrest. I am allowed to wash myself, go to the bathroom and lay on the couch. In the case of imminent danger of cabin fever I was told that I can be driven to a park to sit outside for a little while.

Since April my movements had been restrained, but I was able to walk through the city, go to the gym to do something resembling sports, go swim at least once a week and be slightly active. Couch rest is a new thing, though. As always it is life’s conundrum: When you’re overworked, in full training, overcommitted to social activities the only thing you want is a day on the couch. When you have an unlimited number of days on the couch ahead of you, it can be daunting. Here is my week one recap:

  • Letting things happen – hard lesson for the control freak

I always thought I am excellent at handing over tasks, but – really – I understood this week I am not. We have lots of decisions for our new apartment to make, like kitchen, lamps, colors, organizing the move and so on. While my first reaction used to be “why don’t I come with you?”, but this is a good opportunity to either make a decision from the couch or give it entirely out of my hands.

  • Disengaging from the German angst

It’s been almost two years in Germany and I cannot say that a week has passed without me wishing I had not moved here. Once these emotional moments pass the realization kicks in that I needed this experience to understand what is important to me, what’s bearable and what makes me drive. One thing that continuously rubs me the wrong way is what I am now calling the German angst: the obsessive-compulsive need for things to be in order, clean, in line, taken care of, not risky, insured, safe, planned, organized. For most people here these words create comfort, to me they create a feeling of constantly being pressured into being how I am not, into feeling bad about taking risks, into feeling like I don’t have my life under control because I choose to live without a closet and more bikes than household knives. This week my mom and stepfather were here and I cannot count the amount of times they said something like “You cannot live like this” ; “the kids will need this…” ; “But in the new apartment this situation cannot continue” (referring to us having light bulbs as lamps). What would have rubbed me the wrong way and annoyed me for the first time simply amused me. I do not want to discourage anyone from honoring any of the German norms, but I am padding myself on the back now for every moment that I am able to see how unimportant most of these norms are to me and that I will not abide by any of them unless I feel they make sense to me or us as a family.

  • I am a total real crime podcast addict

After the third season of Serial I fell into a hole thinking there is no other podcast like this. As it turns out, there are many and I am listening to all of them. My personal recommendations are Over my dead body as well as Up and Vanished. While still well done, I stopped listening to Atlanta Monster and To live and die in L.A. due to serious nightmares.

  • Sports subscriptions are awesome

Eurosport is showing every leg of the Giro d’Italia in full every day, and TVNow shows all free trainings of the Formula 1. I am not talking about Netflix and Amazon Prime because everybody knows the concept of binging…

  • IKEA rents out wheelchairs

…🤣

Thank You for all the book recommendations, I will get to them hopefully soon! Let’s see what next week of couch slouch brings.

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