Bed rest??? Two words that any and every pregnant woman dreads to hear. Bed rest means something is not right and the little life inside your belly is dependent upon you lying with your feet up for the remainder of your pregnancy. There are many | that doctors prescribe bed rest to pregnant women. But one thing is for sure; ordered bed rest means that the longer you lay still, the less of a chance your baby will be born to early. Being on bed rest is not the optimal way to spend pregnancy. For most women, these two words are held off until around the 27 28 week mark. However, some are ordered bed rest during the first or second trimester and still others are confined to a hospital room on bed rest. No matter how you put it, it can be the first hurdle of parenting.
The first thought is worry. You worry about moving the wrong way. You worry about sitting up too fast. All in all, you worry about everything. You desperately want your baby to be normal and healthy and realize in a split second that you would do nothing to put him or her at risk. The first few days aren’t really that bad. You get to lie down with your feet up and hopefully have some caring family members to bring you food. Your chores around the house get done and you can catch up on some television, emails, and books you have dying to read. Depending on your level of restlessness, however the ‘joy’ of being on bed rest disappears anywhere between day two and week two. Then, you feel sort of helpless and absolutely stuck.
Not only does bed rest come at a point in pregnancy when you are already uncomfortable, but you also are emotionally distraught. The time spent lying on the couch or bed gives you too much time to think and worry. You may feel slightly resentful of the pregnancy and your husband who is out playing gold. You may feel like a prisoner of sorts and feel as though you are missing out on so many aspects of life. Plus, the emotional roller coaster driven by hormones fuels your psychosis and chances are few people want to be around you anymore. The images of greasy haired, pregnant women wearing sweatpants with a TV tray pulled up to the couch are sort of accurate. Being on bed rest can completely steal your pregnancy high. Still, you know you have to endure it.
At some point, most moms on bed rest give in to it. Not because they want to, but because they have to. Then you realize that a few more weeks or days really aren’t so bad. Instead of complaining about it, there are a million things you could use this time to accomplish. Baby announcements, thank you cards, updating address books. Take your time and do that research you have been wanting to do, find an online job that allows you to stay home or put your creative energy to the test by writing a book, starting a website or finally digitally scrap booking your immense amount of photos. You can organize your computer, catch up with friends on the phone, pay bills, and handle just about everything (except for the getting up) that you need to do. Many employers even make it possible for women on bed rest to work from home for a short period of time. Who knows, if it works it could turn into a permanent arrangement. You also can start researching childcare options and the laundry list of other things you will need to know once the baby is born.
Of course, you should also have fun. Make sure you have plenty of movies and video games. See if friends will alternate coming by to see you and spending some time visiting with you. Get to know your mother in law (yes, really!) and spend some quality time with other family members. Once your baby is born, you will look back at your time being on bed rest and wish you took advantage of it more.
Obviously, part of the reason being on bed rest is so emotionally and physically draining is because you are worried about your pregnancy and your baby. It is very important to deal with this worry in an honest manner. Every mom will tell you that thinking about the possibility of miscarriage; feeling as if something might go wrong at any minute is part of pregnancy. What you may not realize is this is just a part of being a parent. Learning how to deal with, reign in your worry and remain grounded is an important quality of motherhood. The way you feel is such a combination of love and fear, that it can be difficult to tell them apart. While you are on bed rest, you can feel depressed and many women even feel as if they are going crazy. This is why it is important to talk about your feelings and stay as busy as possible.
Being on bed rest is at least a temporary state for you. While you won’t believe it now, once your healthy baby is born you will all but forget the time you spent on bed rest. At that point, whatever you experienced or went through has just made you stronger and in the end, it will seem like a small price to pay for the little piece of perfection in your arms.