I have spent over 4 and a half years of my life in a state of pregnancy. Three months of that was on bed rest. Those three months were served during two separate pregnancies and have been some of the toughest days of my life.
The first time I had two children under the age of three. With my pregnancy I had placenta previa accompanied by heavy bleeding. It was a scary time if I let myself think about it too long. During that time in my life I had a dear friend who brought her kids over for the long days that my husband was working. I also had a wonderful support system at church that volunteered to bring meals and several women volunteered to help watch kids to relieve my main helper. My mom came over when she could do the laundry. It lasted 6 weeks in my second trimester. During those six weeks I taught myself to knit from one of those books at the local discount store. Now youtube can help you with that. I did lots of logic puzzle books. A friend let me use their laptop and I got a callous on my finger from playing spider solitaire. I did a lot of crying and soul searching. My teenage nieces from out of state came when it was their summer break and they had a grand time playing house with me. They helped me clean out my closet while I sat there. I enjoyed getting to know them for those couple of weeks. It was the second best thing to happen, right next to baking the baby to full term. After 6 weeks, the bleeding receded and my placenta moved up the side of my uterus enough where I was out of danger. Bed rest orders were lifted.
The second time I was on bed rest was very different. It was my sixth pregnancy. I now had nine kids at home ranging from 14 down to 2. My complications this time were simply contractions before baby was ready to come. It was a very different atmosphere than the first time. Six months previous my husband and I had just tied the knot and doubled our family. The reason I was on bed rest was our honeymoon shocker. Half of my kids were still getting used to me, including one stubborn teenager who did not much like the whole idea of this Brady Bunch scenario, never mind that his crazy stepmom was carrying his dad’s child. Instead of being able to hide in my room, I was directing my army from the couch. Most of the kids were in school all day. I only had to get one ready for preschool and the youngest was pretty independent for her age. If I took it slow and allowed myself plenty of time, I was okay. Grandma came and helped with laundry. Every other day she came for about 5 hours and got us all caught up. I had the wonderful church support system for meals. I had older kids to help keep the house clean. To occupy my time I organized paperwork. I edited a book. I played games on my computer. I didn’t have time to cry. By the time I had been put on bed rest, I had so much stuff that I was behind on that I didn’t have time to twiddle my thumbs. I looked at it as a blessing. After six weeks, I was close enough to my due date that it would be safe to deliver.
The hardest part of all this was being forced to slow down and accept help. It was not easy for me to admit I needed help with keeping up with my family. I got to know some people in my life a lot better. I got to know my kids better. A healthy baby is the best possible outcome, and sometimes even that is not possible. There is always goodness where you go looking for it. If you are on bed rest, hang in there. Pregnancy never lasts forever.