If you’ve ever been on bedrest during a pregnancy, you know how horrible it is. Early on in my third pregnancy, I was diagnosed with placenta previa and was ordered to go on bedrest. First, at home, and eventually, at the hospital. Regardless of where you are, being confined to a bed, couch, chair, whatever…is hellish. And for someone like me who’s a very restless soul by nature, sitting (or laying) still for an extended period of time is an absolute nightmare.
What makes bedrest even worse is if you already have children that require your care. When I was on home bedrest, I had a 1-year-old, and a 5-year-old who needed their mother. Luckily, my older daughter was able to carry out many of the tasks I needed her to, such as getting a diaper for me to change her sister, or retrieving snacks from the kitchen. However, no matter how “good” you try to be at following your doctor’s orders, being a parent requires you to get up from time to time to take care of your children.
Due to repeated hemorrhaging, my doctors admitted me to the hospital until the end of my pregnancy, whenever that might be in my fragile condition. I lasted seven more weeks on hospital bedrest. My mother, and mother-in-law, both helped my husband at home tremendously, which was an incredible solace to me since I was otherwise miserable.
One of the worst aspects of bedrest is boredom. I had a pitiful routine in the hospital that I employed to kill time which involved taking an hour to put my makeup on for no reason whatsoever, watching gameshows, napping as often as possible, and doing crossword puzzles. My BFF ultimately saved my sanity by sending me a felt applique Christmas stocking kit to put together for the new baby. Not only was it extremely meticulous and time-consuming work, but it also gave me hope that my baby would be okay. If you’re ever on bedrest, I highly recommend taking up a new hobby, or completing a craft that can be done from the “comfort” of your couch, or hospital bed.
The real kicker with bedrest is that you have so much time to think. I realized that being alone with your thoughts for too long can be dangerous. I spent too much time thinking about how the world was carrying on without me in it, and I conjured up every horrible scenario that could possibly happen to me and my baby. I found that I had to be strict with myself about sticking to my routine of distraction. And, the number one thing to avoid when you have that much time on your hands is researching your, or your baby’s, condition. Trust me on this one.
The only people who truly understand how horrible bedrest is are other people who are, or who have been, on bedrest. Blessedly, I met quite a few women online who were traveling the same sad road that I was. None of us knew if we’d make it to the end of our pregnancies, and none of us knew what the outcome would ultimately be in each of our individual cases.
If you find yourself on bedrest someday, please take my advice. Stay busy, connect with others who are suffering through a similar scenario, and do not dwell on this very temporary state of being. There are several reputable websites out there that connect high-risk women with each other, allowing them to commiserate and endure the trials of bedrest.
I don’t look back fondly on bedrest. It wasn’t a time of relaxation and rejuvenation for me. It sucked. No other way to say it. But, if I could get through ten combined weeks of it, anyone can. If you’re currently on bedrest, hang in there!