Holidays on Bedrest
Good Monday Morning Mamas!
Today we have a treat! While trolling the posts on our community, I came across a post by this very knowledgeable “Former Bedrest Mama”, Karen Gates. Her post was so full of good information, tips and triumph that I just HAD to speak with her! Being the gracious mama that she is, she agreed and here she shares her story of being on bedest for Placenta Previa with her second son. Listen to how Karen was able to intuit and support the needs of her husband, to receive help from friends and family and to overall Thrive while on bed rest! It’s an interview you won’t want to miss-especially if you are on bed rest during the holidays!
Well, the holidays are officially upon us! I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and found a way to celebrate with family and friends.
Being on Bedrest during the holidays is not easy. In plain language, it sucks! Regardless of the holiday that you celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa) there is always a lot of preparation before the celebration, hustle and bustle and even though it is exhausting, the time spent with family and loved ones is priceless. This year, you are sidelined. There are no trips to the mall, no trips to specialty butchers, wine shops, cheese shops, etc… for the special ingredients for those special dishes. Some of you may wrap presents at home and witness the transformation of your homes, while others of you are totally out of the loop in the hospital. I know that this is maddening and hurts like the devil. I know because this Christmas I too am having a first-having Christmas without my children at home.
I don’t talk about it much, but I got divorced 2 years ago. As a result, my children alternate holidays with me and their father. For the most part, it’s not a big deal. New Year’s, Valentines, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving are all pretty generic so the switch is easy. We each get the children on our respective “parent” days, so the kids are with me on Mother’s Day and their dad on Father’s Day. We bite the bullet and spend time together on their birthdays. But Christmas is always hard. Seeing the kids bolt out of their rooms and tear into the gifts under the tree is an unexplicabale joy-one that I imagine is as difficult for their father to miss as it is for me. The year our divorce was granted, the children spent Christmas with their father. I couldn’t bear to be in our house by myself, so I bolted to my Sister’s in New York. I had a wonderful time and did not have to cope with the sense of loss that I felt. And once I returned home, the kids came that evening and we had Christmas again the next morning! Last year the kids were with me and we spent Christmas in New York with my sister and my parents. Again, sheer joy as my parents got the privilege of seeing not only all of their grandchildren (My sister’s sons and their wives were there!), it was my grandniece’s first Christmas and at 4 months, we all got a huge kick out of helping her open and play with her toys.
This year will be different. This year will be the first year that I spend at home without my children. We moved from our old house last year, so it’s not so eery when the kids aren’t at home. But by not traveling, I’ll have to really confront being on my own without them for the first time ever, on what I feel is the most major holiday of the year. Since I decided not to travel this year, I know that I will have to do something to make this Christmas memorable.
I know that some of you will see this as a completely different situation from what you are experiencing. Despite being separated from my children as a result of divorce, I do have options to go out and create a “Joyful Yule”. But you can have a joyous holiday! It will be different and you’ll have to do a bit more to create the vibe, but you can have a “Joyful Yule” (or Happy Hanukkah or Festive Kwanzaa) this year.
First, determine what is really important to you about the holidays. Is it cooking a big feast? Is it having a bunch of people over? Is it decorating? What is it about these winter holidays that really light you up? When you figure that out, then adjust the holiday traditions to suit your situation. If you love having a huge holiday party and you are on hospital bed rest, ask a friend, family member or even the hospital social worker to help you throw a holiday party for a few friends and family members in your room. With the internet, you can pretty much order anything that you could want or need and if you have a “willing accomplice”, you can have everything delivered to their home and then they bring the party to you. Yeah, it will take a few extra steps, but there is no reason that you can’t create a “holiday soiree” in your hospital room! Do it up, Mamas! Dress up, have sparkling cider (no alcohol, its not good for the little ones!), do a gift exchange, ….whatever you normally do, adjust it and do it from wherever you are! Want to make it even better? Collaborate with other mamas in the hospital and have one big, fat party!! You may have to be on bed rest, but no one says that you can’t get together and have a blast! Here in Austin at Seton Medical Center, We’re planning an ornament making party. Then we’ll decorate the AntePartum unit and have a holiday party for Mamas on Bedrest & their families!
This has the potential to be a really hard holiday but it doesn’t have to be. I’m already putting out feelers to see who will be in town alone. I plan to create a holiday soiree for those who must be away from home. Not sure yet if I’ll host or be at someone else’s house, but I do know, If I am home alone on Christmas, it’s because I choose to be-not because I have to be. And so it is with you. You may have to be on bed rest or worse, on bed rest in the hospital. But the joy of the holiday season is up to YOU!!
Mamas on Bedrest, do you need help planning a holiday celebration, decorating or gathering holiday cheer for family and friends? Hospitals, is your Bedrest unit lacking in the Joy department? Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is available to help Mamas on Bedrest, loved ones and hospitals create a wonderous holiday atmosphere! Give us a call (512) 288-0827 or send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) describing what you’d like to do for the holidays and we’ll get it done!
Mamas on Bedrest, your kids are off from school, you’re sidelined and everyone is trying to figure out just what to do to make this a festive Thanksgiving. Why not create a Gratitude Tree? It’s easy to do and something that you can do while in bed with your kids. See how I did this with my kids here.