I am a wife, and stay-at-home mother of 3 boys (with a 4th on the way!) so it goes without saying that my life can be summed up in 2 words - organized chaos. I've always loved to write and being a mom gives me great material. I started my personal blog, More Skees Please, in 2008 when my son Aiden was born with a rare craniofacial condition. Ever since then, writing has been an outlet for me. I love sharing about my family, the challenges of motherhood, raising a special needs child and the everyday ordinary stuff that makes it all worth it. Enjoy!
November 05, 2013 | 12:43 PM
I write this post from my bed in the Special Care OB unit of a local hospital. I'm 24 weeks pregnant and not due until February, yet with some recent complications, I have been transferred from my regular doctors to this specialized center to monitor the health of me and my unborn baby.
I've been here just shy of a week. The plan is that I will get to go home on day 7 but will need to continue my "modified bed rest" there, only able to get out of bed to use the restroom or take a very quick shower.
I used to tell my husband that for my birthday I'd love for him to put me up in a hotel for a night or two – SOLO - for a "mom's refresher": a good night's sleep and to reclaim a small amount of private time, a sort of respite from the busy life of a stay-at-home mom of 3 young boys. But before you go thinking that where I am now sounds like it meets those needs let me assure you, it does not.
There's crappy food, a lumpy bed, disrupted sleep from the nursing staff checking on me every so often. I'm missing my kids, missing their activities, their routines, and yes, even their bickering. I'm frustrated by the long list of things I feel I should be doing but can't – the laundry, the grocery shopping, the picking up the house. Not to mention the fears that invade my mind each lonely minute reminding me why I'm here in the first place – a pregnancy complication delicate enough to force me off my feet.
As you can see, bed rest of this variety is generally not restful at all.
There have been many bright spots throughout my time here at the hospital. People sending their well-wishes via texts and online always put a smile on my face. Sometimes just when I'm feeling especially lonely a message will pop up with an inspiring quote or notion that reminds me "it will all be worth it in the end." So true.
And knowing that almost every room on this floor is occupied by other scared and restless moms-to-be hoping for the best outcomes for their pregnancies, I thought I would put together a list of things that friends and family might find useful to help others experiencing pregnancy bed rest.
1. Don't underestimate the power of a personal visit. Staring at the dull creamy walls of the hospital room all day proves quite depressing. I've caught myself occupying too much of my nurse's time, rambling on and on simply because there is nobody else to talk to. Sure, phone calls are nice, but having someone come sit for an hour or so brings that human element and is most certainly appreciated.
2. Drop off or send a "goodie bag". Some items I'd recommend are:
- magazines, books or crossword puzzles
- snacks – a mixture of healthy and indulgences (might need to check whether there are diet restrictions first)
- personal care items such as lotion, chapstick, nail file/polish and cute socks
- a new pair of ear buds
- a gift card for itunes or other electronic purchases (or better yet, perhaps you can "share" your login and password for services like Netflix or Amazon Prime for tv and movie downloads)
3. If the mom on bed rest has additional children at home, schedule some time to take them off the caregivers hands. Chances are, there is a family member or friend who has graciously offered to step-in and handle all the goings on of their children. Whether its dad, grandparents, aunts/uncles or friends, the burden of relying on someone other than themselves can be hard on a mom. Knowing their children are well taken care of is comforting, but it also helps to know that those special people are given a break every now and then as well. Offer to do school pick-up, coordinate a play date, or do a grocery run for the essentials. And don't just offer…insist on it! Both parties will most likely be appreciative.
4. Have your children (or theirs!) make a card or drawing. Again, the rooms are dull. Handmade artwork hanging all around can definitely cheer things up a bit. This is a cheap and easy way to contribute a little sunshine to the situation.
5. Set up a "meal train". You've probably seen them circulate before. Perhaps you've even participated or been on the receiving end of one of these scheduling services where people sign up to bring your family a meal. If the mom is on hospital bed rest, the meals can be brought directly to her room (again, you'll need to check on any specific diet restrictions). If at home, the meals can be a welcome gesture for the entire family so there is one less thing resting on the caregivers' hands and one less thing for the mom to worry about Some of the websites are: www.mealtrain.com, www.mealbaby.com, and www.takethemameal.com.
These are just a few ways you might be able to reach out and lend a hand during the time a pregnant mom has been restricted to bed rest. Whether it is just a few days or an extended period of time, any change in normal routine can have a huge impact on a mom-to-be and her family. For that reason, any gesture - large or small – will go a long way in helping ease their mind, body and soul during what can be a very trying time.