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Staying Sane During Pregnancy and BedRest

Updated on June 5, 2013
Pregnancy BedRest
Pregnancy BedRest | Source

I always thought that pregnancy would be the best time of my life. After all that I’ve heard from my friends and coworkers, seeing the “pregnancy glow” and their smiling faces. They all look so content. I just couldn’t wait for that to be me! I’d daydream about how I’d strut with my growing belly down the Promenade. I’d draw silly faces on my tummy and take pregnancy pictures. I’d go shopping for maternity dresses and be that cute pregnant lady. But as John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”

When my doctor put me on a strict bedrest, I was in a complete denial. I naively asked if I could still walk the dog for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening. She just laughed at me! When I began negotiating, her voice became quite stern. And that’s when I had to face the reality of it; that I wasn’t even allowed to put a collar on the dog. I was allowed to get out of bed only to go to the bathroom and to take a quick shower. That’s was all.

The first few days were okay because I was able to catch up on my sleep, but shortly after I was so bored that I just couldn’t stay still, and ironically I was supposed to do exactly that! I had to come up with a plan to stay sane during that time. If you do happen to find yourself in my position, here are a few items and activities that helped me during my life on bedrest.

1. Laptop/Tablet

My laptop became my best buddy. By the time I checked the news, Facebook and Pinterest for updates then posted a few things of my own, I had managed to kill at least an hour if not more. I also become “the researcher” among my friends and family. If someone needed any information on anything, I was the person to ask. I’ve became very good at researching pretty much anything from books to pre-schools, even hair loss natural remedies (sorry Honey).

2. Books

Well I sure had a long list of books waiting for me to find the time to read. Plus my list had gotten a lot longer with all the baby books I had added to it. I rediscovered the Kindle I received as a Christmas gift. Instantly downloading books is super convenient! It’s so nice not to wait for the books I buy to be shipped and delivered or to rely on my husband to remember to stop by the bookstore on the way home from work. The only problem is that it’s too easy. When purchasing is only a click away, those charges can sneak up on you. And that’s when I discovered free books.

3. BedRest Pillow

Staying comfortable in bed for long hours on end is a challenge. So I do encourage you to get a bedrest pillow. There are a whole lot of them on the market (believe me, I looked at all of them) and they all come with different options. Make sure you do your research so you find the right one for your needs. I personally liked the BedLounge BedRest Pillow. I could use it while on bed rest then I could re-use it for breast feeding. I found the washable, 100% cotton cover was handy since I was using it all the time, which included eating, drinking and spilling in it. They also have a Hypoallergenic model, which I thought would be safer since I was pregnant. It brought me peace of mind to know exactly what it was made of.

4. Phone

Of course I had to get the unlimited plan, but I did reconnect with everybody in my contact list! And I was surprised to find out that there are quite a lot of people out there who don’t have full time jobs or just have a lot of spare time at their jobs. I always could find someone with time for a conversation, even if it was just texting back and forth. Sometimes I could even lure in a visitor. This takes me to #5…

5. Visitors

Don’t just casually invite your friends over. Explain to them how badly you NEED to see them! Tell your friends that being on bedrest doesn’t make you contagious and you would really appreciate some human interaction. If that doesn’t work, lure them with the wine you’ve got sitting around, you’re not drinking it at the moment. Make sure you spread your visits throughout the week so that you have something to look forward to. That way you don’t get 3 people showing up at the same time (unless you’ve planned a game of poker). Ask your friends to bring over board games, gossip magazines or a favorite movie so you can watch it together. Time flies when you’ve got good company.

6. Start Planning

You can start planning your baby shower, nursery, first family trip with baby on board, upcoming birthdays, pretty much anything you want. These are usually things that require a lot of time, research, and could have the potential to stress you out. Now that you have a lot of time on your hands you can really have fun with them. Use Pinterest to create boards where you can round up all those ideas into one spot. You can even take advantage of free virtual room design software like homestyler.com and design you baby’s room…or why not your dream home?

7. Create a Blog

There so many free blog hosts these days - WordPress, Blogger.com, Blog.com, just to mention a few. Start writing! What about? Anything you can think of. You can write about your life, hobbies, most ridiculous baby names you’ve ever heard, even your experience on bedrest. Set your imagination free and experience the healing power of writing. If you’re timid and feel you’re not ready to share your thoughts on the World Wide Web, you can always stay private and jot down thoughts in your own journal, or start small by posting reviews on books, doctors, restaurants or anything else you want. Amazon and Yelp are good platforms for this.

8. Learn to…

I’ll let you fill in the blanks on this one. You can learn to do just about anything on the internet. There are so many free tutorials online. You can learn to knit, teach yourself a language, take a marketing course, or interior design classes. If you can think of it, it’s probably out there. Go find it! You can see a list of free online courses from the world’s leading universities here: http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses

9. Take Care of Yourself

It’s very tempting to stay in your pajamas if you’re not leaving the house. Well don’t! Bumming around in your pajamas all day can make you feel depressed. Take some time to try a new hair style, practice that cool eye make-up you saw in Vogue, and put on that dress that’s been hiding in the back of your closet since last season. Believe me, when you look good, you feel good. Oh, and don’t forget your nails! There are tons of nail art ideas on Pinterest. After the baby is born having a nice manicure will be a luxury, so take care of your hands and nails now. You’ll miss it later.

10. Movies

Remember that movie you wanted to see but couldn’t find the time for? Now you do! Once you check that one off your list, ask your friends if they have any recommendations. If you have Netflix, there’s a “Top 10” list they’ve compiled just for you based on other movies you’ve watched. On Amazon.com, search for your favorite movie (for example: Fried Green Tomatoes) and it’ll show similar titles other customers bought or searched for. Other great ways to find out what’s out there are sites like Rottentomatoes, Imdb, and film.com. You can sort the movies by “the top 100” and start going down the list.

I hope these tips will help your bedrest be more enjoyable and exciting. Admit it. You’re kind of looking forward to it now. Ok I won’t go that far, but don’t forget what the main goal here is – to produce a healthy, full-term baby. Good luck!

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