Being benched by bed rest is maddening. So many of the daily activities that we complain about are suddenly out of our realm of ability. Who would have guessed that mamas would miss running to the post office, picking up dry cleaning or going to the grocery store?
It’s not so much that mamas miss these mundane trips. The fact of the matter is that being on bed rest is boring, isolating and can at times become mind numbing. Day after day one waits in bed and each day that passes serves as a marker of success.
But there are ways to pass the time and acccomplish some of those routine activities of daily living. Recently I was perusing the web for a client and found a plethora of online grocery delivery services. While home grocery delivery is nothing new, it did kind of fall out of favor for a while. Now with the uptick in two career families, it is once again in vogue.
However, career couples are not the only ones who can benefit from Grocery delivery services. Mamas on bed rest can now grocery shop from the comfort of their beds! A quick online search revealed that all 50 states and Washington DC offer delivery service. Additionally, for our Canadian mamas, you too can order your groceries online and have them delivered to your home.
While listing each and every delivery service would make this blog post insanely too long, I am listing some of the more popular vendors here.
Swans.com - Delivers fully prepared meals to your home. They simply need to be heated/cooked.
MexGrocer - Home delivery of Mexican Food products
Of course these are just a few of many vendors that delivery groceries to your home. A couple of the vendors even offer delivery within one hour of receiving your order! There are also a myriad of coupons and discounts available for regular customers and special services for customers with special needs.
After 11 weeks on bed rest (8 of which were strict) and 30 hours of labor Cora Jeyadame gave birth to her son Ravi Ixtel Jeyadame at 39 weeks and 3 days on July 16, 2011. Cora is my parent’s next door neighbor. I met her while I was home visiting for the summer.
For Cora, the road to motherhood was not an easy one. Cora has a long history of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCO) and seldom ovulated. When she and her partner Suriya married last August, she immediately started taking Lupron in order to stimulate ovulation. While on her honeymoon, she and Suriya prayed to the Mexican fertility goddess Ixtel so Cora would ovulate and promised that if she became pregnant on her first attempt she would name her child after the goddess. Cora ovulated for the first time the day after praying to this goddess and became pregnant on her first insemination in October.
Unfortunately, Cora’s joy was short-lived. She had significant morning sickness through her first trimester. She developed Gestational Diabetes and low blood pressure complicated by fainting during her second trimester. Additionally, an abnormal heart beat was detected and she had to wear a holter monitor for a month. At 26 weeks she began experiencing preterm labor. However, because of her heart problems, her obstetrician was very cautious using drugs to halt labor. At 28 weeks she was placed on modified bed rest which meant that Cora, a first grade teacher, reduced her work schedule to 3 days a week. When the episodes of preterm labor intensified, she went on full bed rest at 32 weeks.
“The decision to go on bedrest was really hard,” Cora says. “My OB left the decision totally up to me and as a teacher, it was really hard for me to leave the classroom. But the thought of having my baby early was frightening. I knew all of the problems that he could have and that terrified me. So I opted to do all that I could and went on bed rest.”
“Bedrest is so much more difficult than I could have ever anticipated” Cora adds. “I was very lonely and although I thought I would stay at home and finish the nursery, read books and prepare, I found that I wasn’t physically able to do anything to prepare. My attention span was really short so I found that I didn’t want to read and spent much of my time watching reality TV shows. My saving grace was the Bedrest forum on BabyCenter.com. Having those other women on bed rest to correspond with really kept me sane.”
Cora was really lucky because she had a lot of help and support.” My partner Suriya is extremely supportive and my parents live close by so my mother came by often and ran errands and did the grocery shopping.” Cora and Suriya already had a housekeeper and dog walker and hired a helper to do other jobs around the house such as tend their garden.
“It’s impossible to do this without support. I never would have made it without all these people”. (Cora also had a labor doula.)
At approximately 35 weeks, Cora developed Pubic Symphysis diastasis. While it is common for the pubic bone to begin to relax in preparation for labor and delivery, in some women, the relaxation becomes a more pronounced, painful separation. Because she was so uncomfortable, Cora was prescribed oxycodone for the pain and crutches for her limited ambulation.
In the end, Cora had to be induced at 39 weeks and 1 day. Ravi was born after 30 hrs of labor at 7lbs 6 oz and 19 inches long, a perfectly healthy baby boy.
“I loved being pregnant,” says Cora. “I loved that feeling of having life inside of me.”
Admittedly, Cora didn’t like all the complications and probably won’t have any other pregnancies. But she is very glad to have had this incredible experience.
As I have openly said, my reproductive history was fraught with complications and I am forever thankful that I have the two beautiful children that I have. And when it became evident that my son (my second child and 4th pregnancy) was a healthy boy, I didn’t want to tempt fate. I had a girl and now would have a boy. At 40 and with my history, I was done. Nip/Tuck away!!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with the World Health Organization, have updated their recommendations for post partum contraception.
“The revised guidelines affirm the importance of starting contraception during the postpartum period to prevent unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals, which are associated with adverse health outcomes for the mother as well as for the infant. These include greater risks for low birth weight and preterm birth”.
The World Health Organization and CDC both emphasize the importance of women NOT using combination hormonal contraception for the first 21-42 days post partum due to the increased risk of blood clots forming and migrating to the heart, lungs and brain. (VTE).
“Compared with control participants, women in the first 42 days of the postpartum period have a 22-fold to 84-fold increased risk for VTE.”
The CDC and WHO recommend that women who choose to use hormonal contraception use progestin only injections, implants, mini pills or IUD’s. All can be started immediately post partum and all are safe for use with breastfeeding. (Combination hormonal contraception can hinder successful breastfeeding.)
Condoms can be safely used at any time, but use of the diaphragm and cervical cap should be delayed until 6 weeks postpartum. And of course, for women who have all they children they desire, they can consider permanent sterilization.
It my seem strange to even ponder contraception while working so hard to grow this baby. But in the interest of your own health and the health of subsequent children, adequate time should be allowed for you to recover so that (if you choose) you can enter your next pregnancy healthy, strong and doing all that you can to avoid another high risk pregnancy and potentially, bed rest.