One of the most frustrating times of my life was the Summer of 2000. I was stuck on bed rest in the last four weeks of my pregnancy. Everything had been progressing along nicely up until that point. I wasn’t gaining weight, the morning sickness was over, and I possessed that pregnancy “glow”. Little did I know that my perfect pregnancy would be short-lived.
Can You Say That in English Please?
At 28 weeks, I finally gained four pounds over a month’s time. That isn’t much, but for my formerly small frame, it was enough to send my blood pressure into a tailspin. After days of peeing in cups and numerous vials of blood drawn (I’m on the phlebotomist’s Christmas card list now), I was informed that I had preeclampsia.
Pre-eh-what? It sounded like something that you would catch in the ocean.
But preeclampsia is a serious condition that happens in the second half of pregnancy. At 24, I didn’t really think it would be very serious. I soon found out that it was more than just high blood pressure. According to WebMD, it also includes the following:
- · Rapid weight gain
- · Swelling
- · Protein in urine
Who Wouldn’t Want to Spend Days in Bed?
Most of us wish we could just lay around, sleep, be lazy, right? When my doctor told me I would be on bed rest for the next 4 weeks, I was actually happy. I thought it would be nice to be at home and do things I hadn’t yet been able to do. I’d put together the nursery, fold some baby clothes, do some shopping.
Yeah, not so much.
When my doctor said bed rest, she actually meant in the bed resting. There was no working in the nursery and there was definitely no shopping. I only left the bed to bathe myself, relieve myself, and go to the doctor every three days. I was fortunate my mom was nearby because I wasn’t able to drive myself either. Anything more than that and my blood pressure spiked to dangerous levels.
What to Do, What to Do
So now, the million dollar question. What did I do lying in bed all the time? Well, I read, slept, watched tv, and started writing again. I was bitten by the writing bug at ten years old when I won a poetry writing contest at a South Florida fair. I’ve always written stories here and there and then put them down when life got in the way. But when I was on bed rest, I started a manuscript that I’m still working on thirteen years later. Hey, don’t judge. I’ve been busy raising a tiny, screaming human being!
And let me say this, I learned something about myself during this time. I found out that I am not the type of person to lay around and take it easy. A rebellious streak I didn’t know I had showed up in the last few weeks of my former life.
So, if you find yourself on bed rest at the end of your pregnancy, think about something that you once did that you may have put down. Some kind of dream you might have set aside. You just may find your way back to that dream.
Just as long as you can find it lying in bed.