Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

The Trial of Bedrest

Pregnancy bedrest is something that many women have to face, though with different limitations and time commitments.  Bedrest during pregnancy can be a huge struggle and inconvenience for women who face 3-4 months of strict bedrest.  Other women may face a few weeks of bedrest with only minor physical limitations.  However, each woman who goes on pregnant bedrest has to give up some control in her life and deal with feelings of uselessness, fear, anxiety, frustration, and learn to accept service from others.  It isn’t an easy thing for anyone, and I seriously doubt anyone hopes to go on bedrest so that they have an excuse to be lazy.

One thing that drove me crazy when I told people I was going on pregnancy bedrest was when they would say, “Oh, that must be so nice to be able to just lay down and read and sleep whenever you want to!”  To say this is shouting out how naive you are and it’s thoughtless and inconsiderate.  Physically, yes, you get a break from being tired all of the time and you will get to do some reading, watch TV and movies, or write 10 posts for your blog every single day, but the mental, spiritual, and emotional struggles far outweigh those “benefits”.  And, those “benefits” get old really fast.  How many days do you think you can watch five movies in a row and still find it enjoyable and relaxing, especially when you can’t get up and escape the house when they’re over?  Not many, and when you’re facing weeks and months of bedrest you can really go insane with boredom.  I know I had a few breakdowns in my four months of strict bedrest.

Being physically limited, your mental, spiritual, and emotional self takes over and you have excessive amounts of time to think, write, and ponder.  This can be good or bad depending on your attitude and whether you let this time take you on a positive and progressive road or a negative and regressive one.  You may marvel at the kindness and service being offered to you in your time of need, or you may decide to be offended because of all of the things being left undone and the time that is not sacrificed for you.  Hopefully, after a series of ups and downs you will decide to be optimistic and you will recognize the value of love and service.  After all, the best way to repay the kindness shown to you is to likewise help someone in need when you are able.

It is difficult to find a peer group who understands your struggles with bedrest in pregnancy , and there are not many people who have time to sit with you and listen who will truly understand.  It is a lonely road and I finally realized that until someone has been there, there is no way they can comprehend how difficult it is to give up control of your household, let someone else discipline your children, have someone else do your laundry and your shopping, have someone else cuddle your little children when they get hurt, have someone else take your child to the park for the first time, on play dates or to the zoo, or have your child cry for someone besides you.  It is not easy to be in the midst of it and it is not easy to get things back to “normal”, or to get yourself back to “normal”, after bedrest is over.

The one thing that kept me going was that it was worth facing those challenges to give my baby the best possible start in life I could give her.  Now, I wasn’t always sure that it was worth it during those four months, but when it was over and I was holding my healthy baby in my arms it was completely worth it.

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

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