Silver Linings of Bed Rest

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Categories Attitude, Family, Fertility, Health, Other people, Perspective, Pregnancy, Working

12 days ago I went in to the doc for my 32-week check up and a half hour or so later, ended up in the hospital for monitoring, due to high blood pressure, having dilated and lots of swelling.  Once hooked up for monitoring, I was told my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart.  I had been having contractions for a few months now, and never really bothered to time them, as I’d been told it was normal to have contractions early with twins. Before you knew it, I was being admitted, and stayed two days in order to get some meds in my system to slow down contractions and two doses of steroids to help with the babies’ lung development should they come a lot earlier than anticipated. Upon discharge, it was recommended that I stay on bed rest till 34 weeks, at minimum.

12 things I’ve learned in those 12 days that I did not know before

  1. The clock does not matter in the hospital.  I had a nurse come in to check my weight at 3am.  My weight.  I understand that this could be related to ruling out preeclampsia.  But still.  3am seemed a little unnecessary.  Almost like they just wanted to give a job to the night nurse to even out the daytime workload.
  2. After only two days of hospital bed rest, my muscles seemed to weaken.  I have nothing but sympathy and total admiration for you MoMs who endure MONTHS of hospital bed rest, not to mention, people who struggle with chronic illnesses that keep them bedridden for the forseeable future.
  3.  Even nurses in the high-risk OB floor, whose caseloads are probably half women pregnant with multiples, will make the annoying comments like, “Wow, a boy/girl set of twins!  Now you’re done!”  If the nurses in this arena still make these comments, can we really have hope for the rest of society to be more PC?
  4. IVF really does prepare you for the discomforts of being poked and prodded a million times and the lack of modesty that comes with being in the hospital.  Silver linings.
  5.  It is possible to gain 10 lbs of fluid in 48 hours from IV fluid.
  6.  It is possible for it to take 10 days to lose said 10 lbs of fluid.
  7.  The advice from others takes different shape throughout pregnancy, and has followed this timeline for us: Trying to conceive advice- “Just don’t stress about it, it’ll happen.”  Pregnant advice-“You think you’re tired now, just WAIT until you have a baby to take care of at 3am.”  Twin advice (from moms of singletons)- “Better you than me.”  See also number 10 on this list.  Bedrest advice-“You need to just accept it.  It’s all for the greater good.”  I just can’t wait to see what lovely nuggets of wisdom we get once the babies are actually here.
  8. That list of things I’ve always wanted to do that’s piled up for ages can actually get done pretty quickly when I don’t have other things like work, exercise, cleaning that I’m able/allowed to do.
  9. Working from home would not be something good for me.  I didn’t learn this through this experience, but it reaffirmed that I do get so much out of being around others each day, conversing, learning, contributing.  And I’m grateful to have a job I can return to that will allow me this luxury when the twins arrive.
  10. I am so lucky I had no complications in this twin pregnancy until 32 weeks, and even with being on bed rest, this is still a very healthy pregnancy.
  11. Every step of our fertility and pregnancy journey has taught me more and more to surrender and accept the things I cannot control.  Bed rest is just another one of these things to humble me and remind me to live life on life’s terms, not on mine.
  12. I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by friends who have texted every day, parents who have driven 45 minutes just to walk my dog for me, a husband who has waited on me hand and foot, family to visit and make us meals, a great hospital system a few blocks from our house, and my general health.

What did you learn from your bedrest or pregnancy complications?

Katie is almost 34 weeks pregnant with b/g twins, currently on bed rest and watching way too much HGTV.  She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and soon-to-be-big-sister canine friend.  

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7 thoughts on “Silver Linings of Bed Rest”

  1. Katie, hang in there! What are the parameters of your bed rest? Can you go to the bathroom, make yourself a sandwich and the like, or do you need to be on your side all the time? (Or back? I only had to deal with modified bed rest, so I’m fuzzy on the details.)

    Maybe you can start practicing your sarcastic retorts to silly twin comments on the nurses. 😉

  2. I was on home bed rest with my b/g twins from some time around 5 months to nearly the end – they were born at 37+ weeks, no NICU. The few times on hospital bed rest were the worst. I learned a lot about being humble, too. It was probably my first taste of something motherhood can often require of me – letting go, rearranging, making do and living for the moment. My twins are almost 4 now. And I miss the quiet of bed rest. Hang in there.

  3. I was on bed rest for 4 week but was able to make it to 38 weeks gestation with no NICU stay for the twins. Hang in there! I learned that bed rest is debilitating to the body. The stronger you are going into it, the better off you are. Staying active through pregnancy is so very important. I was happy I had some fitness going into it because like you said, you weaken quickly when you do not move. Good luck!

  4. *virtual hug*
    I wasn’t on bedrest, but I’m a teacher and my last weeks fell during the summer. I basically couldn’t move and since we are on the 3rd floor, I was housebound many days. And I am not the sitting still type!! My silver lining – it worked :o) My guys were born at 38 weeks and 3 days. I wish you all the best in keeping those little ones in there as long as possible!
    The advice that annoyed me the most was to get rest now, because once the babies come… It’s not like you can store up rest. And it’s hard to rest when you are uncomfortable, bored, etc.
    Surrendering to things I couldn’t control was definitely my biggest lesson on the road to motherhood too. Still working it on now! :o)

  5. Sounds like you’ve got a great attitude about the whole thing and that will get you far. The comments people make about twins even the pregnancy part are crazy! I still get them and my twins are 4….

  6. I was the same as you- 32w appt, all was well, and he hit the emergency button. I spent 4 wks in the hospital on bedrest. I know it SEEMS like time is standing still, but now, 4 yrs later? Its a fragment of my imagination. It IS worth it, as mine at least were born healthy, and I was fine too (also had pre-E). Shop online, get in touch with your twin group, read trashy magazines, and find out what kind of daytime TV you will soon be watching while home with those babies!

  7. Here’s something I found to be true: I was in so much pain and discomfort with my twins (and contractions, pretty much nonstop for 2 months), that, except for the first 24 hours, I felt pretty much ZERO discomfort following my c-section. I didn’t really realize it until afterwards, because I was so focused on baking those babies.

    I also found that I gained…like a zillion pounds of water post-section. I had pitting edema for almost 2 weeks post partum. This is normal.

    I was on bed rest, from strict to modified, from 21 weeks until delivery at 35. Silver lining: watched enough trash TV to get me through their first 17 months (so far).

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