Benefits of Bed Rest The Doctor Didn’t Mention

Bed rest has not been easy. To go from normal life to laying down all the time literally overnight (I was sending emails and making calls from the hospital!) has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. I’ve learned that I like to be in control, so letting go has been quite tough. As my weeks of strict bed rest start to wind down, there are some perks to laying down all day that I will miss.

This counts as strict bed rest. I was laying down!
  1. You have a great excuse about why you can’t do anything. This one’s pretty obvious. Is there a household chore you hate doing? A social event you really want to avoid? “Sorry, I can’t. I’m on strict bed rest.” It has been a get out of jail free card of sorts. But then again, I’ve missed (and will be missing) some great events…
  2. Great excuse to grow your hair out. My hair has gotten long. It’s well past the middle of my back when it’s wavy and even longer when it is straight. It’s Kardashian long, but real. This is what happens when you’ve got pregnancy hormones flowing and cannot leave the house to get a trim. I know most of my luscious locks will be history post partum when the shedding begins, but I will certainly enjoy them now!
  3. Bye bye hot tools. This kind of goes with the above. I have blow dried & straightened my hair once in the 10+ weeks I’ve been on bed rest. Once in over 10 weeks is some kind of a new record for me, especially considering that I would straighten at least once a week previously. I bet it is contributing to my hair length as well. I’ve also learned how to embrace the wave: how much of what product to put in, how to keep it looking great on the second day after washing it, etc.
  4. You learn who is there for you when you’re in a bind. I have to say that this bed rest has really shown me who I can lean on when times get rough, and the answers have been eye opening. I have barely heard from some friends in 10 weeks, while others have really stepped up to be there for my family and I. Whether it’s bringing us a meal, coming over with food to spend their lunch break with me just because, or even a text every few days to see how I am doing, I’m very thankful for those this experience has brought forward. Sure, I get that everyone’s busy with their own lives and family, but how long does it take to send a text message when you’re updating your FB? It was quite a rude awakening for me at first and I’m certain I’m still bitter about it, but I’m glad it has happened.
  5. You can get lots of reading done. From old issues of Mothering magazine to books on breastfeeding, I’ve done quite a bit of reading lately. In fact, it is the most reading that I’ve done in years. I think it is the third most amount of reading I’ve done (1 is college, 2 is reading while pumping at work). I know I won’t the opportunity to do this much uninterrupted reading again for a long, long time, and I’ve certainly enjoyed it.
  6. Naps. I took three naps yesterday because I could. Three naps. Just because I was tired and wanted to close my eyes. Pregnancy has made me exhausted. Pregnancy insomnia makes it even worse. I’m glad I can sleep as needed. I am definitely enjoying it now. I know I won’t be doing this after the baby is born!
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30 Weeks – The Countdown Begins!

Click to enlarge so you can actually read it!

How far along: 30 weeks – 10 weeks from EDD, 6 weeks(!) from stitch removal, and 2 weeks from even greater viability.

Total weight gain: Within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity clothes: I got to wear something other than yoga pants this week! The lovely moms from the mom-to-mom breastfeeding group I helped facilitate prior to bed rest threw me a sprinkle this week. I got to wear a maternity dress I bought months ago, blow dried & flat ironed my hair for the first time since January, and put on my going out makeup. It felt so nice to feel normal.

Sleep: I can’t get enough. The baby starts its calisthenics at about 1am every day. I’m usually up, thanks to pregnancy insomnia. I nap a lot during the day.

Miss anything: Social interaction, though the sprinkle helped a lot.

Movement: So much movement! The nightly exercise includes rolls, kicks, and punches. Sometimes I feel like the baby’s going to break through my pelvic floor!

Food cravings: guacamole, chocolate, grilled cheese, and funnel cake.

Anything making you queasy or sick: certain smells. I’m not sure of which ones until I smell them.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I love my big belly.

Gender Baby’s Sex: This has been bothering me for weeks. It’s not gender. It’s sex. We don’t know the baby’s sex. The gender will be determined after its born. Lots of green and yellow.

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks continue, but usually go away if I empty my bladder or drink water. Hoping not to see labor signs for another 6+ weeks.

Belly button in or out: Still in. I don’t think it’s going to pop.

Wedding rings on or off: On and they are kind of loose.

Happy or moody most of the time: Very moody. Regular pregnancy hormones + extra progesterone + dealing with bed rest = moody.

Looking forward to: 32 weeks, seeing the baby at my perinatologist appointment this week, getting baby stuff, stitch removal!

Big Belly Bliss

As I come into the home stretch of pregnancy, I think I can finally say I’m starting to enjoy it. At almost 30 weeks, I’ve grown accustomed to the kicks, rolls, hiccups, and jabs that this little one has been throwing out for several months. The heartburn isn’t that bad (yet) and having to pee every 10 minutes gives me the chance to stretch my legs and walk a little. It makes me a little sad that it took me so long to finally come to terms with the sudden transition from low risk pregnancy to a high risk pregnancy.

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is the change my body goes through. The hips widening, the curve at the small of my back becoming more defined, the basketball I seem to be smuggling under my shirt, even the new stretch marks appearing because Baby enjoys hanging out on my left side. Yes, I am that weirdo lady that doesn’t mind stretch marks. Pregnancy is a time when I feel womanly and truly beautiful, especially when I’m in full bloom during the third trimester.

My most recent IG belly shot

My stomach has always been where I carried my extra weight. The spare tire, the muffin top, the pooch… I have them all when not pregnant. I don’t like drawing attention to it when my uterus is unoccupied. When pregnant, the opposite is true: I no longer feel the need to suck it in, I own many striped pregnancy shirts, and prefer a belly hugging top to an empire cut. I want to get my bump painted, henna’d, and photographed. I take the pregnant woman pose: hands on the back of my hips, stomach out in all its glory.

My iPhone camera and Instagram feed is filled with bathroom selfies. When I was pregnant with E, I went into labor the night before my maternity pics were to be taken. I don’t have any professionally shot maternity pics, but my husband took weekly bump pics for me (every Monday, after prenatal yoga). He hasn’t been taking weekly bump pics this time around and I’m not sure if the restrictions will be lifted long enough for me to have professional photos taken, so the phone bathroom selfies may just be it. Unless I can talk Dave into helping me with a belly cast in a few weeks…

Hello Third Trimester!

The last trimester of my last pregnancy. Very bittersweet feeling.


How far along: 28 weeks! As someone told me earlier this week, “the days are long, but the weeks fly by” – this is especially true on bed rest!

Total weight gain: I weigh 12 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. At my last midwife appointment, I learned that while I may be gaining weight, the bed rest is likely causing me to lose muscle tone 😦

Maternity clothes: If by maternity clothes, you mean yoga pants and t-shirts, then yes.

Sleep: So tired, and it’s just going to get worse from here on out.

Miss anything: Lots of social events, pedicures, hair cuts, wearing makeup every day (although I will wear it around the house when I have visitors), going outside, and Guinness.

Movement: Tons of it! Each kick, roll, hiccup, and punch is getting stronger by the day. Sometimes the kicks take my breath away.

Food cravings: avocados, Coke (don’t judge, I don’t give in very often), oranges, apples

Anything making you queasy or sick: the smell of cauliflower when it’s cooking.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, for weeks now. I am feeling large and in charge.

Gender: still a surprise. When my sister was here, we did some old wives tales to see if we could figure it out. Check out this video to see what we determined.

Labor signs: just Braxton Hicks. While it’s not a labor sign, my linea nigra is starting to come through.

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On and they are kind of loose.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Still very moody.

Looking forward to: A refresher birth class this weekend, making it to 32 weeks.

It’s Not All Cutesy Pregnancy Updates

This pregnancy has been hard. Having to go from being really really busy to laying down for 99.97% of the day has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I definitely have my less than optimistic days, and today was one of them. I had a pity party of 1 which included lots of tears. Pregnancy hormones suck.

I am missing out on several fun pregnancy things that I was looking forward to, silly things like dressing the bump, getting my belly painted and/or henna’d, maternity pics, and even a baby shower/sprinkle/blessingway. I hate that I can’t do these things because gravity is not my friend. I just want a cervix that works. I hate that I feel really let down by certain friends because they’ve about fallen off the face of the earth for the past 6 weeks. Bed rest really makes a girl realize who is there for her and who isn’t (and cue the text messages asking how I’m doing from people I haven’t heard from in ages). I hate that I am missing out on events I’ve been looking forward to since before this baby was conceived. I hate that I feel like I have let people down. At least in reality everyone understands and has been supportive, so I’m really not letting anyone down.

Sorry Mrs. Gaskin, I respectfully disagree. Pretty sure mine is a lemon.

My body feels broken and I am not sure I trust it anymore. It’s making me apprehensive about labor. It’s making me even more apprehensive about breastfeeding. I don’t feel very connected to this baby or pregnancy. While I care very much about the growing life inside of me, I certainly don’t feel about it the way I felt with E. I’m almost a little grateful that this is the last pregnancy I will have. Almost. Then I get sad again about all of the things I won’t get to enjoy.

While this post is some sort of verbal (written?) diarrhea about feeling all the feels, I am trying very hard to keep a positive attitude. I’m so thankful for the friends who’ve come through in this tough time and have helped me take care of my family when I can’t. I’m thankful that I’ve made it this far. I’m thankful that there seems to be an end in sight. I’m thankful for every kick, punch, roll, and hiccup that grows stronger every day. I’m thankful for having fantastic health insurance. I’m thankful that E is old enough to understand that Mommy has a big ouch and needs to lay down a lot.

I’m looking forward to getting this damn stitch out and going into labor on my own. I’m looking forward to having my baby in water, even though it will be in a hospital setting and not at home. I’m looking forward to breastfeeding again, and all the newborn things (the desperation, the gulps, the sighs, the sleepiness, the warmth, the smell, the love) that come with it. I’m looking forward to getting to know a tiny person and watching him or her develop and learn. A tiny part of me is even looking forward to the newborn stage filled with no sleep, no showers, and no schedule.

There you have it. The roller coaster of emotion that has been my pregnancy. This post has been brought to you by pregnancy hormones and underwritten by 17P progesterone shots.

24 Week Update

 


How far along: 24 weeks, 3 days

Total weight gain: I weigh 12 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Yes, for real. Pregnancy is the best diet for me.

Maternity clothes: Absolutely. I unfortunately don’t get to wear most of them. So much for dressing the bump and enjoying that part of pregnancy.

Sleep: I can’t get enough.

Miss anything: Work. I really like what I do and I was just getting into the swing of things when all of this happened. I also miss scooping up Ethan when he needs a hug.

Movement: So much! This baby enjoys bouncing on my bladder and kicking up a storm after I get up to pee in the middle of the night.

Food cravings: salty and sweet: Whataburger french fries and Snickers bars. A friend turned me on to Luna bars in the caramel nut brownie flavor, and holy crap they’re so good! A healthier alternative to candy means I can eat more, right?

Anything making you queasy or sick: my weekly progesterone shots have made me nauseous in the mornings and sometimes all day. Luckily, bed rest means I can sleep it off.

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes. I think I was this big at 32ish weeks when pregnant with E.

Gender: still a surprise. I’ve been tempted to open the envelope, but we haven’t. Did I mention we have the print of the sono sealed in an envelope? We did the same thing with E.

Labor signs: Thankfully, nothing since the initial IC diagnosis at 21 weeks. I have been having Braxton Hicks a bit in the mornings if I don’t empty my bladder right away.

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I don’t wear them around the house.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. Still very moody.

Looking forward to: Making it to 28 weeks and my sister’s visit in a few weeks.

This Update Almost Didn’t Happen



How far along: 22 weeks!

Total weight gain: -5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight

Maternity clothes: Still using some of my pre-pregnancy long sweaters, but definitely in maternity pants. My wardrobe these days is sweatpants and t-shirts…

Sleep: I can’t get enough.

Miss anything: My “carefree” pregnancy 😦

Movement: Yes, this baby’s a kicker. E & D got to feel the baby kick for the first time recently.

Food cravings: apples and oranges

Anything making you queasy or sick: chicken breast. I have no idea why.

Have you started to show yet: Yep

Gender: Surprise baby

Labor signs: Too many. Long story short, I started showing signs of preterm labor last week (at 21w3d). A night in the hospital later, I left with a diagnosis of incompetent cervix and a cerclage. I’m currently on bed rest at home.

Belly button in or out: Still in.

Wedding rings on or off: On, but I don’t wear them around the house.

Happy or moody most of the time: Moody. So very sad.

Looking forward to: Potentially getting off bed rest! My sister coming back to visit next month!