The 6 weeks I spent on bed rest during my pregnancy was probably one of the most difficult times of my life. I felt so many different emotions. But in the end, giving my girls 6 extra weeks to grow and develop made the biggest difference in their lives. I felt victorious to be able to stay pregnant until 31 weeks after having so many complications.
These are some of the things that made being on bed rest a little bit easier for me.
I’m the first to admit that I try to do everything by myself. I rarely ask for help, but being on bed rest taught me that I could no longer try to be superwoman. It’s was a very humbling experience. I needed to lean on other people to help me with tasks that normally I was able to do independently.
I needed to learn to let people help. If people want to help with my laundry, cook me dinner, or come by for a visit then I let them. We were all working as a team for the health of my babies.
Being on bed rest in the hospital or at home can be very lonely. I was very fortunate that my husband was able to work from the hospital for many days. On the days he wasn’t with me I had visitors or talked on the phone. It’s was important to surround myself with people. They lifted my spirits and helped pass the time.
There are also online communities dedicated to women on bed rest. I must admit that I lurked a time or two. The women in the groups cheer each other on and help pass the time.
Being able to relax in bed may sound appealing, but the reality is that you are probably uncomfortable and overwhelmed. It can also get very boring after the first few days. It’s easy to feel a little down — I know I did! That’s why it’s so important to find ways to stay busy. It might be reading, watching TV, scrapbooking or learning a new hobby like knitting. I watched all the seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice on Netflix. It might not seem glamorous or even the best use of so much time, but it allowed me to take my mind off of all my fears and worries. I’m glad I was able to take advantage of the downtime before the babies’ arrival.
Make Life Easier
When I wasn’t in the hospital, I was on modified bed rest at home. I was able to walk from room to room, but most of my time was spent laying down. In order to avoid going up and down the stairs for each meal I stocked a mini fridge with food and drinks near our bedroom. I had enough to eat for at least two meals a day. This helped avoid any unnecessary trips up and down the stairs.
Another great tip was to order take-out and have groceries delivered to your house. We used Peapod. It takes the worry out of having to stock the house with food. You just order online and they deliver everything. They will even bring it into your kitchen for you!
Since I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time in bed I needed to make my room appealing. When I was in the hospital I had my husband bring pictures from home and window cling-ons so I had something to look at. It made my space a little bit more like home and less sterile. I was also lucky to have a refrigerator in my hospital room. I had great family and friends that brought homemade food so I wasn’t always stuck eating the hospital food.
There were several products I used to help with my twin pregnancy. One of my favorites was my pregnancy pillow. It was a life saver. It helped ease some of the discomfort I had and helped me sleep. I also got really soft pajamas and lounge clothes. I brought my own towels and blankets from home too.
Take Care of Yourself
There was so much attention put on the health of the babies that I needed to pay a little attention to myself too. Doing little things like taking a shower every day, painting my toenails, and shaving my legs (it wasn’t easy but I did it!) made me feel pretty and kept my spirits up. Since getting out of bed to take a shower seemed like a luxury, I made them count. I used all of my favorite shampoos and shower gels from home — the stuff that smelled really good. When you’re stuck in a small room all day, you’ll appreciate the little things like lavender soaps.
When I left the house for doctors appointments I always threw on something cute with a fun accessory. I even wore a replacement ring when my engagement and wedding rings no longer fit my swollen fingers. Looking better made me feel better.
Connect With Your Baby
Being on bed rest allowed me to slow down (literally) and appreciate my pregnancy a little bit more. I knew every day that passed was hopefully two less days that they would have to spend in the NICU. I appreciated each day that I was able to stay pregnant and give them more time to grow.
I had no choice but to listen to my body and connect with my daughters while on bed rest. I would daydream about what the girls would look like. I guessed what their personalities would be like based on their kicking patterns. I did a lot of online shopping for baby twin products. I wish I would have kept a journal to write down my observations. It would be great to read today.
One of my favorite purchases was a fetal doppler monitor. It allowed me to hear the girls’ heartbeats. It always calmed my fears and reminded me of my commitment to them.
Bed rest was an overwhelming experience for me. It could have been easy to lose sight of why I was making such a life sacrifice, but I had a great husband and support system cheering me on. When my daughters were finally born, I knew that every hour I spent on bed rest was worth it.
Have you been on bed rest? What are your favorite tips to make bed rest a little easier?