Friday, February 20, 2009

Ladies!! I need a favor for a friend!

I have been best freinds with Mrs. A. since 10th grade. She is one of the kindest, most generous, loyal, and thoughtful people in the world. There isn't a mean or spiteful or jealous bone in her body. She has diplomacy skills and foresight to work through any situation. She is extremely intelligent and super fun. And yeah, I'll say it, I'm not embarrassed. I think I might even have a little girl crush on her she's so awesome. And I know that there isn't a single person on this planet that would argue with me on this. She is a wonderful wife and an amazing Mommy. And now that I've completely embarrassed her I'll tell you why I'm posting this.

My dearest and closest friend is pregnant with Baby #2 and has just been put on modified bed rest at 16 weeks. Bed rest to most people sounds like an extended weekend off to eat and nap as you please. But the rest of us know that this is really a scary thing, especially when faced with a lot of weeks for your baby to be ready to arrive healthy. Every woman ever placed on bed rest has had those moments of utter panic and fear and doubt. Then there is the tediousness, the monotony, the desire for a long hot shower or a stroll down the block, or even to go out to dinner. And the heartbreak of not being able to pick up your toddler and get down on the floor and play with them or do many of the day to day things you would normally do with them.

Now I would have posted a simple and basic and generic "Please send good wishes" post but that's really not my style. And I wanted to do something that would be more helpful than just showing her that I care. I want to show her just how amazing the support can be from all of you wonderful women out there. You all know how much it has helped you to have people cheering you on from afar, lending the much needed virtual ear and shoulder to cry on even though you have never met in real life. So I'm asking a big favor from all of you.

1. Please send Mrs. A. all of your available Happy Baby Baking Bed Rest Dust possible.

2. Please take a moment to post a comment with words of encouragement and any tips, hints and tricks on making it to 40 weeks on bed rest with a 4 year old toddler.

I'll start the list:

- My first suggestion for Mrs. A. is to find some support, in whatever way you can. People to help you through your days with anything you need and especially for things you shouldn't be doing yourself (because I know you will and I shake my finger at you for getting up off your butt to cook and clean!).

- My second suggestion to Mrs. A. is to start a blog. It can be anonymous and it can be as vague or specific as you want. You can really let some of your fears and frustrations go by blogging.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your support!



Sara said...

I agree! Don't be afraid to accept help. You will need it.

-Get some baby books to read like The First Years book or even some sleep help books. I really wish I had taken the time to read these before now. I don't have time!

-I also agree with #2 - Start a blog. Today. Right now.

-Realize that your job is to rest and do not feel guilty. Nothing you did made you have to do this. Your job is to grow a human. Period. End of story.

-Get on Facebook if you are not already. That right there will eat up half your day.

Hmm...what else? I'll think about it. I may be back :-)

Danyiel said...

I'm sure it's hard to handle this early on, especially with having another little one already. Hang in there, you can do and bake this baby to full term. You'll have lot's of time to read to the first one and be the best mommy to both. Sharing your down time with the first while taking care of yourself for the second little one.

Bethany said...

I would say not to worry, but I know you're going to do that anyway. I was on strict hospital bedrest for 11 weeks of my pregnancy. At 24 weeks, I was 80% effaced and a fingertip dilated. I delivered a BIG healthy boy at 36 weeks weighing 7 lb, 8 oz and even ended up with a c-section because my cervix STOPPED DILATING!

The internet, facebook, etc is your friend. I learned to knit (not that I have time for it now) and I also learned to smock. I did big jigsaw puzzles and watched movies.

Enjoy being pregnant! Cherish that baby growing inside of you. I love having him in my arms but I miss having him in my tummy.

You will do great!

Busted said...

I can't help re: the 4 year old part, but I've been on modified bedrest since 16 weeks as well due to a history of preterm labor. I don't know that I have any advice since I'm often pretty bored...I knit a lot, watch CSI on DVD, and marathons of bad shows on Bravo during the day and I've read a ton - lately the Sookie Stackhouse series. I am also on facebook regularly with pointless updates, and we now get all our food via delivery (Peapod, if she has that by her) so DH doesn't have to go to the grocery store alone. Hang in there! If she ever wants a bedrest buddy feel free to contact me via the email address on my blog.

Kathy and Ryan said...

Wow...I will be honest and do not envy you. I am going on week 5 of bedrest and this is my first, so I don't know exactly what you are going through, but here's my advice:

1. Make the bed and lay on top of the comforter with another blanket. That way you are not "IN" bed all day. Makes a huge difference for me.
2. Get lots of books - girly, murder mystery, baby, etc. I have to change it up book to book on the type.
3. Take advantage of friends and family coming by to help and bring food. It has been a lifesaver for me and my husband. But also, if you are not up for being social just reschedule and get your rest. Everyone will understand.
4. Don't feel bad for your husband for doing everything. Mine got tired of me constantly apologizing and said that he would much rather clean and cook than be in my situation.
5. Have a sense of humor. People will say, "Enjoy rest now because you will never do it again." Drives me crazy, so just learn to laugh it off, or at least vent about it to another close friend.
5. Find a TV show and rent the season that you have never watched. I started up with Lost.
6. I agree to start a blog. I love mine and enjoy writing it.
7. Hang in there and come join us at the said...

First, I am so sorry that you are going through this.
As the others have said, reach out for support, and accept it whenever possible.

You must also have the ability to say no thanks when you are feeling overwhelmed. I had days when I wanted no phone calls, no one around and you just have to let everyone know if it is one of those days.

Remind yourself every day that you are doing it for your baby, and as others have said it is your JOB.

One thing that always helped me was simply knowing that there were people who were being optimistic and hopeful because some days I was very pessimistic. It allowed me to have bad days without having to feel guilty.

Most importantly, know that you have so many people (those that know you and those of us who have never met you) that are here to support you.

Good luck.

n. said...

mrs. a - sending tons of bed best/baby building dust your way. i was on hospital bedrest for 5 weeks, with a 3 yo at home. its hard! absolutely start a blog.

i know its hard to cut back and not do things that were formally your responsibility. you just have to learn how to ask for help and graciously accept it. people want to help and would be glad to unload the dishwasher fold a load of laundry whatever. just let go.

about your older child, think about asking someone to get some activity books or chapter books that they can only do when they are snuggling in bed with you. its good to have a quiet activity that you can do together. keep them in a laundry basket near your bed so you dont have to get up and collect things. card games or board games are also good.

good luck!

for dinners alot of the "take and bake" places will prepare the meals for you. just tell them your situation and they will gladly help out.

taylo 2 babies can put you in touch with me if you have specific questions or just want to vent.

Kim said...

Ahh.. I was in her shoes not too long ago! It CAN be done, my daughter was 4 also.

It *is* hard to really do nothing, though.. it's not like your child can take care of themselves.

But I tried to do a lot of fun 'sitting down' things with her. I would lay on the couch and she would sit next to me and we would:

1) cut pictures out of magazines and glue them on paper to make collages

2) having 'movie and popcorn' days

3) get crafts ready the night before to do together.. you can buy all kinds of ready to go kits

I also tried to make (or have my husband) lunches that are ready to go in the fridge (like sandwiches or wraps or salads).. and I put everything for her in a place where she could reach it herself (like cut up fruit, yogurt, apple sauce, cheese, etc). My husband also got her ready before leaving. You really learn how independent four year olds can be. She was actually a very good helper!

I was on/off bed rest and my husband was gone for several months in there (military).. so it was definitely a true test. Blogging REALLY helped. Having your friends set up a schedule to bring you meals is also great, even if it's stuff for the freezer your husband can do himself. And I did a LOT of shopping online!

Laura said...

From Hether R on

I was put on bedrest at 9 weeks. I spent 16 wks on full bedrest and the remaining 15 wks of the pregnancy on modified bedrest.
We got a mini fridge for the bedroom and stocked it with goodies. My grandparents-in-law came to make me lunch every day. I read and got into old seasons of shows I'd always wanted to see. Bravo, WE, Oxegen, MTV, and VH1 have marathons of Next Top Model, etc. all the time. I lived on the laptop in bed. I researched my condition and made mental healh files of positive outcome stories. There's a website for women on bedrst called sideouts, I believe. Depending on your condition, you can find online support groups. I researched baby products. We moved a card table next tot he bed that had my toiletries so I could feel nice. I asked for nice pairs of pj's so that I could feel nice, as well. Good luck to you. Looking back, it's all a blur (a blur of tv shows, ha ha)

K. said...

First of all, Mrs. A, you CAN do this! I'm so sorry you've landed on bedrest, but as you well know, this is your job for now - to be an incubator for that baby until further notice. When women get yanked out of their life and suddenly sidelined, it's a harder adjustment than anyone realizes. Especially with another child at home. I spent about 4 weeks of bedrest at home (starting at 19 weeks), and the remaining 5 in the hospital before delivery. Both places have their perks - but home was definitely better for obvious reasons. I only say that to give you incentive to follow docs orders so you don't land in the hospital - at least not for a while.

My best advice for you:
As everyone else has said, start a blog. It's incredible therapy. You may find too that it's an easier way of keeping people informed, rather than having to update everyone on the phone or answer all of the phone calls. Being at home, laying down, is monotonous in itself. When people are calling throughout the day (only with good intentions of course), having to explain your daily update umpteen times gets even more monotonous. So, depending on your style and tolerance, a blog is a great way to chronicle your journey - and also keep your friends and family informed.

Another suggestion is to reside during the day in a different area than where you sleep, if possible. We set up my guest room to be my "day room" which gave me a change of scenery every day and was much brighter. It really changed my spirits each morning. I would always at least change my clothes for the day - and comb my hair etc. Those little things will go a long way to make you feel like you're taking care of yourself and having a daily purpose.

Within that room, I had my tv with movies, a cd player, my computer, a small frig and lots of books and magazines. I tended to stay away from anything baby because it just made me paranoid - and never read any of the "shape", "fitness" etc. stuff. That tended to be just plain depressing. Try to keep your mind occupied with things that take you away from your daily grind (good books & movies). It makes the time pass so much faster.

I also kept a camera handy and took pictures - of your belly and your surroundings.

Let people help you! Don't be too proud to accept help - you can pay them back later. You need help & your family needs help - AND THATS OK. That's what friends are for! I wish I had this view when I was in your shoes. That seemed to be one of the hardest hurdles.

I'll think some more and come back if I think of anything else. I chronicled my best rest journey on my blog - which you can look at. It's back in the 2006 summer month archives on my blog.

We'll stand by and keep sending loads of positive thoughts. Feel free to touch base in person if you wish! Laura knows how to find me. You can and you WILL do this! Keep that chin up!

Laura said...

Posted from asnowracer on
It's not letting me comment but you can pass this on to her. Let her know about our check-in on 3rd tri!

I agree with many of the other suggestions:

Accept help. Even when you think people are "just saying" it, accept it! Allow people to vaccuum your home and empty your dishwasher! You are not being selfish by accepting offers.

If you don't have one, borrow a laptop. It is a LIFESAVER during bedrest.

The websites I frequent include Facebook, have a daily check-in for mamas on bedrest. There have been a total of about 50 of us, so you can find support there. I also frequent which is a site for women with high risk pregnancies and bedrest. It requires a registration but it is WELL worth it.

Check your local library to see if books can be reserved online and have someone pick them up for you.

Blog! It's therapeutic and honestly my family and friends check it frequently, they want to know how you're doing and what you need.

I just finished off the first season of Friends. My goal is to keep this baby in until I finish season 10 haha! Netflix is also a good suggestion I have heard from others.

It won't take long to forget about work. After the initial panic about income and benefits and how they will handle things without me there, I realized there is just nothing I can do about it and I might as well focus on my job for now: Keeping the baby healthy and growing.

I hope your friend finds us on, Good luck and well wishes to her!

things that make you go HMMMM said...

Mrs A. - I've been where you are now, just a few weeks later. I went on strict bedrest at 20 weeks after a rescue cerclage because my cervix was less than 2cm. I had a perfectly healthy 6 lb 2 oz baby girl at 38 weeks after I was INDUCED. Accept any help that is offered to you. Let someone come clean, cook or do laundry if they want to. I totally agree you should start a blog, it's a good release. I really got into soduku. Nintendo DS became my sanity-saver.