I hit 27 weeks last Saturday and today is my 5th day of official strict pregnancy bedrest. It has been an interesting week to say the least and I am using all that I have learned to be thankful for this instead of dreading it.
I had a scare last weekend that I was leaking amniotic fluid. Thankfully it turns out that wasn’t the issue but I for some reason started have contractions and my cervix was soft and so my midwife advised I stay in bed. This is a common issue she has come across over her many years of experience (she has assisted at over 2000 births) during the 26-30 week period when the baby’s head is just the right size to want to hang out right on top of mama’s cervix. I did not have this issue with my last pregnancy but there is a history in my family of preterm labor so we are being extra cautious. `
I am hopeful once the baby’s head gets bigger at around 32 weeks I will be able to be more up and about. But for now – All I can do now is obey midwife’s orders and stay in bed to allow this baby to cook more! I am taking this day by day.
For those of you that know me…this is a huge challenge but I am doing my absolute best to stay positive under the circumstances. I am definitely a mover and a shaker and laying down all the time isn’t for me! Plus I need a lot of social interaction which is tough to do while in bed. Party in my bedroom anyone?! I have to say that everything does happen in life the way it is supposed to even if you don’t realize it. Last year I started honoring a weekly Sabbath (read: 5 reasons to rest here) and I know that if this had happened before I learned how to rest again it would be a lot tougher. So I am thankful for the blessing of Shabbat to teach me this past year how to enjoy the present moment and be mindful of how I am resting.
I have gotten an outpouring of support from you and I was shocked to learn how many of you have had the exact same thing happen. It is so nice to have support from those who have been there. I am making it work day by day and wanted to share my current survival guide for pregnancy bedrest in this post. The key is finding the small things to be thankful for…small and big…anything really. I could be stressed and anxious in here or I can accept that this is G-d’s will and find the silver lining. So that is what I am doing in this post!
So here is my current list of things to be thankful for so that I can find the joy in being on bedrest…
Finding Joy in Pregnancy Bedrest
1. a shower
Yes I am super thankful for my shower today as the past couple of days I wasn’t able to get up to have one. So hooray for the small things. Showers are truly a miracle! I am not much of a bath person and we only have one bathtub in our home and it is my daughter’s and it is quite small and low to the ground. I might venture in there soon for an epsom salt bath…possibly with a ton of Lavender and Idaho Balsam Fir…yeah I think that would be nice if it were lukewarm. I am terribly hot these days and a hot bath actually does not sound too relaxing but I will take the magnesium any way I can get it!
2. these funky prism glasses
I happen to have the best assistant ever and she showed up the other day with this gift for me: prism glasses. I would not be typing this post without them! I am truly blessed to have her as I had never heard of these interesting glasses before nor would I have ever thought to seek them out. Typing while laying down is no small task – even on a phone. It definitely strains the neck. Using these glasses is an adjustment so it actually took me 3 days to write this post when before it would have taken me just an hour or so! So I am learning to be patient. Only so much can happen in a day these days.
Even if you aren’t pregnant these glasses are pretty awesome. You can have your phone in your lap and be sitting up looking straight ahead and be able to read and type with easy without straining your neck downward!
3, one amazing husband
This week was a very important Jewish holiday, the holiest of the year in fact, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. I was scheduled to speak to our congregation to a full room of more than 700 people on this holy day sharing my story of coming back to my Jewish roots in a much deeper way. Well clearly with me on bedrest I could not be there in person to deliver this speech. Thankfully my husband had helped me with my speech and he agreed to deliver it in my absence. I truly believe all things are a blessing and can say with confidence that he likely delivered my speech better than I ever could have! The feedback we have gotten is tremendous and while I was sad not to have been there to do this myself, I am so enjoying seeing him so happy about having done it himself! Here is a copy of my speech. My story in it has a huge part to play in how I am handling bedrest with grace and ease.
As you can see from the speech, this year has enabled us to be able to handle my bedrest in such a beautiful way. Because we honor each other and are committed to putting G-d and PEACE first, this is not a constantly stressful situation. It isn’t easy but it is a whole lot easier given our growth together as a couple and a family. I know G-d prepares us for these things but only if we take up the challenge and obey. I am so humbled by his careful care of me at this time. Are you prepared in your marriage for something serious like this to happen? Something to think about.
4. an amazing community of support
To be quite honest, I can remember back when my daughter was 15 months old and I came down with pneumonia and was hospitalized for 5 days. I felt like I was 90 years old. That’s how sick I had become a few years ago and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back that led me on this path to committing to eating real food and ditching processed food for good. So in the end, it was a blessing. What I remember from that time most, however, was the lack of support. I think only one person visited me in the hospital. I don’t recall anyone bringing meals over to our home to help out my husband and my toddler. I know now that was my fault. Pure and simple. I worked a corporate job and had not developed the friendships I could have to help me in a time of crisis. I will never forget that and it likely is what drove me to start this blog and create my own community.
Fast forward to today and the support we are getting is tremendous. We have had a constant stream of meals brought over and many offers from people to help with laundry, run errands or come and play with our daughter for an afternoon, or even to come and sit with me to keep me entertained. I am so incredibly happy to have this support. I have realized over the years that it is a blessing and to always ask for and accept the help your community offers. It’s a blessing for both sides! THANK YOU for your offers of support. It means a lot to me.
5. a flexible work-at-home business
I used to work for IBM for about 15 years. I cannot even imagine what bedrest would be like working a corporate job. I guess I would have to take a leave of absence or something. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about this because I left that corporate job 3 years ago and now have my own business. I am just so incredibly thankful for the amazing opportunities this blog and Young Living have provided for me so that I am able to take care of myself and my family and still earn an income. Such a huge blessing even more so because it has allowed my husband to be home with us. If he had a full time job right now, I am not sure how I would survive bedrest.
Just something to think about in your life…what happens when you get ill? Who will take care of you? How is your lifestyle going to accommodate the curve ball? It’s worth the time and effort to build a business that generates income even when you are sick or pregnant or whatever. I don’t know if you have the skills or qualifications of the type of person we are looking for but if you click here you can get further information and if it’s a match great, if not, that’s fine too. At least it’s a chance to have this kind of security.
6. a comfortable bed to rest in
On days like today, I am choosing to focus on the small things and even though it is quite uncomfortable to be on your back all day long staring at the ceiling, this is truly a first world problem. I do have a lovely bed in an air conditioned home. And for the discomfort? Well I have my essential oils for that. I made a lovely blend for my back made up of Idaho Balsam Fir and Aroma Siez that is just super helpful!
7. my amazing midwife
I am so thankful for my midwife and her advice. She is so warm and comforting when I speak to her. I never feel like she is rushing me off the phone to be somewhere else. She truly listens to me and addresses all of my concerns. The care she provides is second to none – even all through the night with an emergency! She is taking extra measures to keep me comfortable at home versus spending this time in a hospital. Two nights ago was super scary and I am constantly being reminded at how fragile life can be. But there is no faith in FEAR and I will not walk in fear during this time. I know all will work out the way it is supposed to and that any outcome is going to be a blessing. It is beyond my control.
Who knew a simple Benadryl could be so helpful. In this case it was a real blessing. It helped to stop my contractions and when things did get a bit hairy and they were not slowing down…guess what remedy we did? I chugged a glass of red wine and that did the trick. Sometimes it is really just about breaking the cycle. To keep me calm I also used quite a lot of Lavender on my belly (about 8-10 drops) and added 3 drops of Basil. It really felt like my uterus had undergone a workout and these oils really soothed it. To help me get a restful nights sleep I also used a lot of RutaVaLa blend on my spine. I get my oils here because I trust this brand and it’s quality and effectiveness. You can learn more about them in my Homemade Mommy Facebook Community.
Funny story: my daughter saw the box of Benadryl this morning and commented that my mother must have forgotten to take it with her. She said, “Gogo forgot her gum!”. She had never seen a box of Benadryl before! Too cute. So innocent. She knows what we use for our remedies and it doesn’t come in a box, it comes in a bottle!
8. Puppy pose (yoga)
Another great way to get baby out of my pelvis and off my cervix other than lying down on my back or side with my hips raised with a pillow is puppy pose! What a great counter pose to help stretch my back. What’s puppy pose? Basically being on your hands and knees but with your shoulders lower than your bum. Thankful for yoga. I can’t really do any ‘exercise’ but stretching sure does help throughout the day and I really do think it has helped to teach baby where is a good place to hang out…not so low baby!
Have you ever been on bedrest during your pregnancy? I would really welcome hearing your experiences and outcomes. I hope you will comment here on this post with your story. That’s what community support is all about. May you be blessed in all that you do!