The Hell of Bed Rest: Helping Out a Stuck Mama-to-Be
As I visit Moms of Multiples and other pregnancy/mom forums, one question I see a lot is, "What can I do to pass the time during bedrest?" Another one is, "My best friend/sister/colleague is on bedrest. What can I do or bring her to help her feel a bit more normal?" Let me tell you a bit about my story.
I was done with work at 31 weeks of pregnancy. I wasn't pulled out of work, but I was a teacher and it was our last day of school. I was in the process of getting cumulative folders checked back in (every teacher's favorite end of year checkout chore /sarcasm) when I felt a gush. I couldn't exactly tell my 50+ year old male guidance counselor, "Um, I think my water broke...brb?" So I crossed my legs and hoped to God that everything was okay with these stupid folders. Finally, I ran to the bathroom and, honest to God, thought my water broke. I call the birthing center and they tell me to come in for a check.
Mike picks me up because I am terrified to make the 45 minute drive from my job to the hospital and call Mom and tell her to meet me there. I'm checked in immediately, put on the oh so sexy hospital gown, and have a fibronectin test done. Basically, it's a swab test to see if you are leaking amniotic fluid. I have toco meters strapped to me to monitor the girls' heartbeats, and I'm freaking out, terrified that my daughters were going to be born 9 weeks early and that I'd be transported via ambulance to a hospital an hour away with a NICU.
The nurse returns. "Holly, your Baby A dropped and you peed on yourself."
Big smiles and laughs all around and I am released to go home with a doctor's appointment in the morning. You would never think a 29-year-old would be elated to tell the world she peed on herself, but I sure was.
Immediately, I went on mild activity and voluntary bedrest. Mike still had a month left of work before he was off for a month, and I was bored, depressed, and lonely. My dad did a great job of visiting, bringing me lunch, keeping me company. Several of my friends would come and spend time with me in the evenings.
Here are some great ways to keep yourself/your favorite pregnant gal entertained during bedrest:
1. Buy her a subscription to Netflix. We *heart* Netflix in this house, and they have a great way that you can buy a gift subscription where they send a code that unlocks a free month. Click here to see what it's all about.
2. Buy an iTunes or an Amazon gift card. This allows the momma-to-be to get books, games, magazines, movies, etc. I read like crazy while waiting for our girls. I read The Help in six hours. Not even kidding. Reading definitely helped me to pass the time. I also played an insane amount of Angry Birds.
3. Offer a beauty service. Do you do hair? Can you give an amazing makeover or pedicure? I can tell you right now you feel straight up gross in yoga pants and an oversized tee day in and day out. This would definitely help make your momma-to-be feel fantastic and human again.
4. Offer the gift of organization. What reduced me to tears on several occasions was that in my head, I wanted to nest so badly, but I was just too big and too tired. If you know you are a kick-butt organizer, or if you want to fold teeny tiny adorable baby clothes, or knock out a few loads of towels, this helps SO much.
5. See if she is game for a sleepover. Ask if she would like all of the gals to come over for a fun night of mocktails, games, movies, and fun. You would take care of all of the work. She gets to enjoy all of the company.
6. Create a guilty pleasures basket. Fill it up with delicious chocolates, trashy celebrity magazines, soft, cozy socks, a warm throw blanket, delicious smelling lotion, etc.
7. Plan a meal train. There are great websites like Sign Up Genius and Take Them A Meal where you can get with others and plan a meal train to help out. Gift cards to restaurants are also wonderful, along with takeout menus!
I can't tell you how much it helps a momma-to-be to know that she is thought about during this time. I had some great friends and my wonderful family and husband help me through it. The mind tends to wander when you're left to your own devices, and these gifts would certainly help a bedrested momma.
What is your favorite idea or gift to give to a mom who has been put on bedrest?