10 Tips to Surviving Bed Rest!

Happy Friday! Today is pretty mellow, just gearing up for the weekend. A couple of my running buddies stopped by for a visit which was great. I am scared to think about my first day back to running… but at the same time, I am so excited for it. That first workout is going to be brutal, but I will just have to remind myself of these weeks, sitting here longing to go for a run!

I found out my friend down the hall has to stay on bed rest for a while too. There was a chance that she might get to bust this joint, but it sounds like that isn’t going to happen. I feel for her… but at least we have each other 🙂 In honor of my official bed rest buddy and anyone else on bed rest who stumbles upon this blog, I thought I would list out what I think is necessary to keep you (somewhat) sane while on bed rest. I know I haven’t been all rainbows and sunshine in here, but I think this stuff has helped:

1- Welcome the day by opening your shades and getting up at a fairly normal hour. I’ve heard some people on bed rest sleep the day away and then stay up all night, and I think seeing sunshine (even if it is through a window) is important.

2- Take a shower and get dressed! I wore pajamas for the first week because… why not? I was in bed! But wearing normal clothes makes you feel human. You might even try putting on some make-up. It might make you feel a little bit better.

3- Don’t watch TV all day. That might be a personal preference, but there’s something about day time TV that depresses me. So, I’ve just watched a little HGTV at the end of the night to wind down, but besides that the TV has been off.

4- Tell people you’re on bed rest! The outpouring of love from everyone is what is getting me through this. I have had visitors every day which has really been my saving grace. Thank you all for your calls, emails, texts, care packages, flowers and visits… you know who you are!

5- Ask friends and family to bring you food from the outside world, especially if you are in the hospital! Hospital food…. yuck!

6- Start a blog! Even if nobody ever reads it, it’s a great way to vent and pass the time! I have found that my friends and family appreciate it because they can check in to make sure everything is okay.

7- Set a schedule for the day. Even if it’s simple stuff like eat breakfast, stretch, shower, read, eat lunch, stretch, write blog entry, knit etc… Our normal lives are based around schedules, so I feel like it makes you feel more normal to plan out the day.

8- Wear compression tights to keep circulation going. At the hospital they give you tights and these nifty pumps to put around your legs. Unfortunately you are at risk for blood clots when on bed rest so it’s important to keep the circulation going by wearing these and doing stretches.

9- Be aware that being on bed rest isn’t all about you… but it also impacts those around you, in particular- your partner. I know this has been hard on Matt. It has doubled his workload at home, he’s having to drive all over the place to work, take care of the dogs and take care of me (all three are in different towns). Plus he has had to stay strong and positive to keep me sane even though it’s just as stressful for him, knowing that our baby hasn’t been thriving as much as the average baby. You just have to stick together and use the experience to bring you closer.

10- Be true to yourself. Stay as positive as you can, but know that it’s okay to cry and let out the emotion of what you are experiencing. You have a very important job of growing a baby, and you’re the only one who can do it. Keep your eye on the prize, it will all be worth it!

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Bed What?

When we got pregnant, we knew there was a possibility for some issues because of my history of high blood pressure. Because of that we choose a great group of OBs instead of going with the local midwives. Turns out we probably made the right choice because if we had gone with the midwives, they would have transferred us over to the OBs by this point anyway. As a precaution they said I would get growth ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy to make sure babybug (that has become her in utero nickname) was growing. Around week 25 they said her growth was lower than average and we would keep an eye on it. When we asked what would happen if her growth slowed down, they mentioned bed rest. At that time, I don’t think I fully grasped what bed rest really meant!

Week 29 showed that babybugs growth was slowing down, but we were still okay. They set me up to get stress tests twice/week… basically just having to wear an external fetal monitor to monitor babybugs heart rate. Week 32 the stress test didn’t look great and they suspected low amniotic fluid. It was around 8 cm. They said if it was below 5cm, they would check me into labor/delivery to get an IV. Scary! So they said to rest and hydrate well and they would re-check on Tuesday May 28th, 2013… when I was exactly 33 weeks… which turned out to be the day I was “sentenced”. Even though I had followed their instructions over the weekend, the Tuesday stress test didn’t look great and my fluids were below 5cm.

We checked into the hospital where I got an IV and was told not to eat in case we had to have a C-Section. A NICU nurse came and talked to us about what it would be like to have a 33 week old baby. Needless to say, we were freaking out! I might also add that at that time babybug was breech AND I had placenta previa. Not turning out to be the pregnancy I had envisioned. They kept me overnight and now… just over a week later, I’m still here in the hospital!

Even though bed rest is not ideal, every day I am here is one less day babybug has to be in the NICU. We are hoping a make it to 37 weeks when we will deliver via C-Section because of my placenta previa. It will be here before we know it!