Bedrest can seem EXTREMELY daunting. Every November 22nd, I remember the day that bedrest began for me…
During my twin pregnancy, I knew that carrying two babies increased my chances of going on bedrest. While it was always in the back of my mind, I prayed it wouldn’t actually happen. As my belly grew bigger and bigger, the possibility of bed rest seemed greater and greater. I made it to 28 weeks before my doctor told me it was time. I don’t think you are ever truly ready to hear this and fully understand what it means.
I had been teaching full time up until this point. Thankfully I already knew my long term sub, and she had shadowed me multiple times, as I planned to take the rest of the school year off once the babies arrived. It was right before Thanksgiving, my favorite time of the year to be teaching, so I had the next two weeks ahead already planned for my first graders.
The week leading up to hearing this news, my doctor didn’t seem to think I would need bed rest quite yet, but I had an ultrasound at the hospital just to be sure. It was a Friday, and I assumed I would be back to teaching Monday. The doctor at the hospital (not my regular doctor) made the call. My cervix was shortening and thinning, and of course, we all wanted to keep my babies inside as long as possible.
To make a long story short, after my appointment that day, I never went back to work (except to introduce the babies to my students and then pack up my room at the end of the year). I essentially sat on our couch and laid in bed for 8 weeks. Eight weeks of “doing nothing” sounds crazy to me, even now, as it seems like such a distant memory. I never thought I could do it, but I did, and my babies were born at 36 weeks & 5 days (just 2 days shy of full term for twins & my planned c-section).
While the thought of sitting and doing nothing these days sounds glamorous (at least for a day or so), it was tough. I definitely learned to accept help, which was very useful once the twins arrived too! Even letting things go has remained helpful.
My “rules” for bedrest were – I could get up to eat, use the bathroom, & shower. The only time I left home was for doctor appointments. I never thought getting out of the house to go to the doctor could be so thrilling! Luckily this time period was during the chilly “Polar Vortex” so being cozy inside wasn’t such a bad thing.
I usually spent my mornings in bed upstairs. My wonderful husband brought me breakfast in bed each morning (bless his heart!), and I would either rest or use the iPad until I needed a change of scenery. Then I would quickly shower (upstairs) and go downstairs for the remainder of the day. I was told I should only go up & down the stairs once a day. My days were spent on the couch in our living room. One end of our couch reclines so it was a perfect spot. The pillow in that spot is still sunken in from overuse three years ago! I had my water, snacks, sometimes lunch, computer, magazines, remote, etc. all handy so I wouldn’t have to get up unless I had to go to the bathroom.
I think I watched EVERY episode of House Hunters and Love It or List It! Who knew some people actually watch all day marathons of the same show?!? Once I got sick of sitting around, I would lay down and nap. Growing two babies was exhausting…
It seems like 8 weeks would be the perfect time to accomplish so much! While I did accomplish a few things (reading twin blogs, ordering Christmas presents online, finishing up student report cards, folding freshly washed baby laundry, etc), I really didn’t actually do too much. My main focus was my babies. I was told it was the perfect time to learn a new language or read a bunch of books… but I didn’t. Time seemed to stand still but also fly by.
One thing that got me through those days was visitors!! I am forever grateful for all the people who came over to keep me company, brought us meals, cleaned for us, helped with snow removal, wrapped Christmas presents for me,…and the list goes on. THANK YOU!!
While I will never know if I was able to grow my daughters for as long as possible due to bed rest, I just know that I had two healthy girls that came home with me when I left the hospital. Not only am I thankful for those 8 quiet weeks, but I realized how my network of family and friends will do just about anything for my family.
Bed rest doesn’t seem to be prescribed as much as in the past, but who else has been on bedrest? Any other tips to help pass the time?