My 48th day of bedrest (May 23, 2017) was no different than the others but, little did we know, life would be significantly changing for us soon. So what did it look like then? What had I been doing for 48 days? Below you’ll find a loose schedule of my days, some notes that may help clarify how we made things work during this time and some tips for approaching people in our situation.
My typical schedule looked something like this:
2:00 am – Much of my blood loss came like clockwork. 2:00am seemed to be the witching hour. It was not a long, drawn out process over night. It was a quick, large gush; too much at once.
6:00 am – If there was a second round of blood loss, it was most often around 6:00am.
7:00 am – Get up, get dressed, brush my teeth, do anything I needed to do upstairs before making my descent to the family room on the main floor.
7:30 am – Breakfast. I don’t usually do this, but every day from the day I went on bedrest I ate a bagel with cream cheese. Call it a craving. Call it a guilty pleasure. It got me out of bed in the morning during a real crummy time, so let’s just call it a miracle.
8:00 am – Work. A lot of people didn’t realize this, but the two part time jobs I had been working were more than willing to let me work from home as all of my work could be done with a laptop. I would sit on my living room couch and accomplish just as much (if not more) than I had been accomplishing in the office.
11:30-1:30 – Lunch. Usually somewhere in my work day, someone would bring me lunch or stop by for a visit. Some days these visits were warmly welcomed. Some days they were hard to endure. While I wish I could say I loved every visit – I was mentally exhausted from trying to schedule visitors, get all my working hours in, keep a happy appearance for 9-10 hours a day and navigate our obvious situation.
I don’t know how to tell you what is the right or wrong thing to do when someone is in our situation other than to say these two tips:
1 – Be flexible in your availability. Even though I was sitting on a couch and unable to leave my house all day, I still had a lot going on (like getting in 8 hours of work each day) and still had to schedule people. It was easy to feel taken advantage of when people would tell me, “I’m coming over tomorrow at 1:00.” I struggled to say no because I both needed and dreaded these visits sometimes.
2 – Be flexible in your conversations. Sometimes I wanted to talk about our situation. Sometimes I wanted to talk about the book I was reading, or my dog or anything but our situation. Be prepared to listen to the person sob and be angry and be prepared to interact with the person like you normally would have, as if you’re just two friends shooting the breeze.
1:30-5:30 pm – Work. Usually, given the weather was good, at some point in the day I moved out to our patio to work. I typically worked later than I did prior to being put on bedrest to make up for the time I was losing during my lunch visits. This also helped me keep busy until my husband got home from work. If I didn’t need to make up work time, I would read (did you expect anything else?).
6:00 pm – Dinner. Between my husband cooking, takeout and our friends and family, dinner was very different for us during this time, but we were always well fed.
A few notes on that…
1 – If you provide dinner to someone in our situation, please take the time for it to be homemade. The amount of restaurant food I ate during bedrest was substantial. Never have I felt so gluttonous.
2 – Ask the person for an old staple of a meal you can make for them. In my house, there are one or two meals we eat every week. I missed those meals during this time. I missed you, flatbread pizzas…
3 – Eat the meal with the people you’re providing for. Don’t get me wrong, ask about 42 times whether they want that or not, but it’s a great way to visit that doesn’t make the person feel like an invalid. We’re all just hanging out, eating dinner, like we always do. Maybe we’ll play a game or something too.
7:00 pm – Outside time. Usually we’d sit outside at night for a bit. My husband would shoot hoops or grill our dinner and I would crochet dish scrubbies. I was told I could leave my house so long as I never walked further than the distance from my house to the car, so occasionally we’d get out and go to small group or a family dinner or something of the sort.
8:00 pm – TV/Read time. As before bedrest, we generally ended our days with a bit of TV or reading or some type of unwinding.
10:00 pm – Bedtime.
Some seated hobbies I acquired/continued during bedrest were:
1 – Reading.
2 – Learning how to crochet dish scrubbies and knit dish cloths and then giving everybody and their brother a dish scrubbie or dish cloth.
3 – Making cards for people and/or writing thank you notes.
4 – Binge-watching Netflix (can I count that?).
Some seated hobbies we learned I am terrible at:
1 – Puzzles. My husband did more of the puzzles than I did.
2 – Adult coloring books. Which is odd, because I love to doodle. I just don’t have the patience to color someone else’s doodle.
As many people know, we had planned on doing a “babymoon” road trip through Canada, stopping in NYC and ending in Acadia National Park in Maine in the middle of June. We kept our reservations for this trip until May 1st, when I finally admitted defeat and cancelled everything. Our doctor told us we could still go somewhere, as long as we were within a half hour or so of a hospital with a solid NICU and only two hours from Grand Rapids. After some research, I booked us a trip to the beautiful and exotic New Buffalo, MI at a hotel in the marina where we’d planned to just sit, watch boats/people and be on bedrest somewhere else. On May 25, I would cancel that reservation too. 2017 was not a year for traveling.
In the stats:
Gestational Age: 22 weeks 3 days
Days of blood: 27
Days of bedrest: 48
Doctor’s Appointments: 7
P.S. I want to be transparent in the process of telling our pregnancy story. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions! I’m trying to include the important details, but I realize that may mean I’m neglecting to include details that make it all add up to the outsider. Also, don’t hesitate to share our story with others – especially those who might be facing a similar situation, looking for a story of hope and ready to hear ours. (I know, firsthand, not everyone is ready/wants to hear these stories in those moments. Please be considerate.)
I should also note that the posts are about to pick up. June and July were big months for us. I’ve tried to limit myself to two posts per week, but I also want to make sure each important day is covered.