Surviving

When I had got pregnant with baby JaAdam, I could have never imagined what a “roller coaster ride” would ensue. Things were normal at first, but quickly changed when I was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks 2 days pregnant with preterm labor. After spending a total of 12 days in the hospital on strict bed rest and then again the past couple of days with perhaps more to come after my appointment this coming Wednesday...I learned how to survive.

I am not saying that it wasn't difficult, because it was (especially spending your 39th birthday in the hospital). But, how you handle any unplanned situation (such as hospital bed rest) during your pregnancy can make all the difference.

Be thankful
- One of the first things that I did upon learning I was to be admitted was to be thankful for the intervention. Unfortunately, many women with compromised pregnancies, don’t get the opportunity go on bed rest and the situation can turn more dire than it began. Mandated bed rest is an opportunity to give your baby the best chance at being totally equipped to face the world ahead.

Keep a routine - Everyone one has a routine. While some routines are more extensive and detailed than others, they are our own. Keeping up with your “normal” routine is pretty simple when you are in your own environment and you can walk around and do things for yourself. But, what happens when your sense of normalcy is shaken? You develop a new sense of normal. When I was on hospital bed rest, it was the first time since coming into adulthood that I had to be totally reliant on someone else. But, you know what? I got over my ego really quickly. I realized that this journey that I was on was so was so much bigger than myself and my ego. So, I developed a routine. My routine involved waking up at a specific time each day, even if my only job at the time was to stay in the hospital bed and provide a warm place for my baby to grow.

Document the memories - Keeping a wall calendar or whiteboard is essential to get though your “temporary” and I stress “temporary stay”. Depending on your situation, your “care team” may not even tell you when you will be going home. When I was admitted, no one would tell me about anything pertaining to going home. Seeing my nurses write how many days pregnant I was, on the whiteboard after each passing day made me feel a sense of victory… a sense of accomplishment. I looked forward to every morning when the nurse would add a 2 and then a 3 and this morning a 4 after 34 weeks.

Make your space your own
- One of the best pieces of advice that I got in the hospital was to think of the hospital as my “my residence, my home away from home”. I initially thought it was a “load of crap”, but that advice from my nurse really went a long way. I had Adam bring me in my favoite pillow from home. I made a conscious effort to only watch TV during a designated one hour period…supposedly preventing my brain from turning to mush. I used the small dresser beside my bed and kept it stocked with my favorite cereals, snacks and fruit. Believe me when I say, “You should not solely depend on the hospital food for your nourishment”. One of the best feel good things...wearing my own clothes! This had a huge impact on my mental well being!

Stop playing the blame game - What if I had done this? If only I would have done that, then maybe I would have not been in this predicament? You know what? I could go on and on but I quickly realized that it wasn't going change my circumstance. While I could speculate all I want, not even the doctors always know why some things end up like they do. So I did myself a favor and stopped blaming myself. Self pity and guilt wasn't/isn't going to get me anywhere.


At the end of the day when things have been tough I remind myself that I am very blessed and fortunate to be where I am.


Comments

  1. Oh friend, I can't imagine how excruciating that time in the hospital was/is. We were only there 3 nights last week and I nearly went insane. I thought of you often. I love your perspective here and pray that you will get to spend the duration of your pregnancy at home!!

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  2. Keep up the good work- you have a great attitude!

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  3. You are doing great! My good friend spent 10(!!!) weeks on hospital bedrest. I'm sure it can't be easy but once baby boy gets here you'll be daydreaming about doing nothing all day. Keep up the good work!

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