Surviving Bed Rest with Little Ones
When I was only 11-and-a-half weeks pregnant, I began bleeding heavily one day and feared that I was miscarrying. My husband was out of town in Seattle, we hadn’t told a soul that we were expecting yet (including our families), and we already had two small children 3 years and younger. In a few hours, I arrived at my doctor’s office waiting for a sonogram, expecting to hear the worst. Much to my surprise, this baby was absolutely fine! But the sonogram revealed significant bleeding most likely from my “over-doing it.” I was immediately placed on bed rest for two weeks and told to return for an evaluation afterward and further instructions. Dumbfounded, I turned to the doctor and said, “Bed rest?! How am I going to do that with two kids?”
Quickly, we announced to family and friends that we were expecting again….and that we needed their help right away. What a great phone call! “We’re expecting! And, would you be willing to cook a meal and watch my kids?” As panic set in about who was going to possibly watch our kids, do our laundry and make our meals for the next two weeks, I took the schedule one day at a time. Surprisingly, it filled up quickly, and we were well on our way to having our family taken care of.
The next hurdle that I had to face alone was how to survive those two weeks. As a stay-at-home mom, I long to have even 30 minutes of uninterrupted rest time in the day. Now that I had two weeks staring me in the face, I worried about boredom and isolation. Here are some ways I coped with bed rest, and I hope this gives you some great ideas if you find yourself in the same predicament.
Catch up on things you “never have time for.” Look up new recipes and dinner ideas for your family, update baby books and scrapbooks that have been ignored, organize photo albums or make some fabulous pin boards on Pinterest without feeling guilty for spending so much time on it. You’ve got all the time in the world, so take advantage now.
Pamper yourself. Moms are usually last on the list, but for your time on bed rest, you get to make time for you! Grab nail clippers, your favorite polish, emery board, buffer and cuticle trimmer and give yourself a mani or pedi. Lotion up your dry skin, floss your teeth, tweeze your eyebrows and enjoy the time to pamper!
Be creative. With so many great DIY blogs and tutorials, the projects and ideas are endless! Make a list of the supplies you’ll need for the projects you wish to tackle, rely on a friend to pick them up for you at the store and let the creative juices flow!
Read one or watch one. Whether it’s a book or a movie, I usually have a hard time staying awake for either one! With so much time on your hands and so much resting taking place, this is a fantastic opportunity for book reading and movie watching!
Stay connected The isolation that comes with bed rest can be confining and depressing. Finding creative ways to stay connected, such as blogging, journaling, emailing, sending cards to relatives and friends far away and making phone calls, will contribute to positive mental health during this time.
Think About Baby Now that I already had two children, finding time to think about this baby was challenging! With so much time on your hands, devote some serious thought to Baby. Scour name books and internet sites for name suggestions. Enjoy looking for nursery ideas and colors. Fill out any hospital paperwork you might have. Make a pre-baby “bucket list” of all the things you need to accomplish before the baby arrives to help you and your spouse get organized and be prepared.
It’s also important not to forget the little people in your life who are being shipped around each day to different houses. While my kids were flexible about going places, they still longed for some time with Mommy. If your kids are old enough to sit with you, let them choose a movie to watch with you. Do a craft together that they would enjoy. Work on some puzzles or anything else you can do while seated. This will be special not only for them but will do wonders for you as well.
Marisa Frymire managed to survive and thrive during her bed rest and is now wishing for that “rest” time once again as a full-time stay-at-home mom.