Everything was going swimmingly with my second pregnancy and I was approaching anything that came our way with a been there done that attitude. Until 29 weeks when I unexpectedly went into labor. Suddenly I was in the hospital, my toddler having a grand time at Grandma’s house, while I was poked, prodded and pumped full of labor stopping drugs. I wasn’t prepared for that (who is?) and I was even less prepared for what came next.
Every mom dreams of being told to rest, watch television and to have their meals brought to them. Sounds heavenly, right? But bed rest is a horse of a different color, as they say, especially if you have another child to care for. Lesson one of being a mom of two: sometimes the needs of one child supersede the needs of the other child. I learned a lot that first week of bed rest…some unexpected.
- Lying in bed all day makes you very tired. I know…makes no sense, but there it is.
- If you have a child already, you will not be allowed to choose what you watch on television. It’s just like marriage. You may be dreaming of afternoon smoothies and a showing of Breakfast at Tiffany, but get ready cause Ni Hao Kailan is coming for you.
- Accept help. Your family and friends will rally. Let them and let go of the guilt. If the situation were reversed you wouldn’t hesitate to pitch in and help a friend or family member in the same situation.
- Make a list for your husband of everything that needs to get done. Even things you think he already knows. My husband is incredibly involved and yet didn’t know how many hours my son could handle before he needed a nap. If you don’t have a child already, well your husband still has work to do! There’s lots to do before baby comes and as hard as it is to relinquish control, do. Again make a list, accept that he will do it in a different way than you would and let it go.
- DVD’s of your favorite shows, or the ones you’ve always wanted to see but haven’t. Streaming Netflix is a gift from God! If you don’t have that and you’re in for a long bed rest haul get it! Your husband will not put up a fight. Trust me.
- Realize there is only so much TV you can watch before you go crazy. Get a Kindle or Nook, have your girlfriends bring you books.
- Need I even say it? On line shopping. You can still chose things for your baby, and you, right from your own bed!
- Bed rest can feel very isolating to allow people to come visit. Don’t worry about the state of your house, or if you’re in yesterday’s pj’s with your hair in a ponytail it doesn’t matter. Let your friends come over, bring you a Slurpee and hang out for a half an hour. It will do you good!
- Open the windows, switch locations if you can! It’s easy to keep the curtains drawn and the room dark, but don’t! Open the curtains, let the sun in and if the weather is good enough throw open those windows and get some fresh air. If you can move from bed to couch, do. A change of scenery even for a few hours can really help your mindset.
- Last but not least, reach out on line. No…don’t Google scary things. But DO get on Twitter and reach out, within minutes of tweeting that I was on bed rest I was flooded with support and suggestions that really got me through. They shared their experiences and pointed me towards blogs to read that made the time pass and both entertained and inspired me. And those women checked on me every day! If Twitter seems overwhelming to you, start with me or one of the other DC Moms and we’ll be happy to introduce you to the ever addictive world of twitter. You’re never alone on twitter.
It’s been 6 weeks now, and I’ve been on and off bed rest I’m surviving, my son is doing well and baby2 is still in place! Bed rest is tough and can be depressing, but the end result is so very worth it.