Mamas on Bedrest: Failure is not an option

October 7th, 2010

So I’ve been busily working on this fundraiser to benefit Better Bedrest. My husband comes in and asks what I am working on.  I explain things to him and he says, “Oh. What if you don’t raise what you want?”

It kind of stopped me cold. I hadn’t even considered what I would do if I wasn’t able to raise the funds that I had in mind. This is the first time that I am doing a fundraiser of this sort, so I have a lot to learn. Yet, I just never stopped to consider what would happen if things don’t turn out the way that I have planned.

It’s safe to say that I’d be pretty disappointed. But the more I thought about it, I realized that if I don’t raise the amount of money that I want during the allotted time for the fundraiser, I will set up another way to raise the funds. I strongly support Better Bedrest and what they do for  women on bed rest. I fully intend to make a donation to that organization. Failure is not an option. I’ll move on and find another way to raise the funds.

I mention this encounter and how it affected me to remind mamas on bed rest that failure is not an option. Your bed rest experience and pregnancy out come is likely due to nothing you’ve done. Sometimes we have to accept that life is what it is.

It’s pretty much a given that most women never expect to go on bed rest. Sometimes women have an idea that they may have complications; if they are having twins or other multiples, if they have a known incompetent cervix or if they’ve been on bed rest with a previous pregnancy. But the vast majority of mamas on bed rest had never even considered the prospect of bed rest and hence never planned for it.  Many women feel perfectly fine, go in for a routine OB visit and are sent home to bed rest. Sometimes a woman is symptomatic, having contractions or spotting and she is admitted emergently.  But most times bed rest comes as a complete surprise. There is typically no rhyme or reason complications occur. They just do.

Recently I read a blog post by a Pro-Life blogger named Jill Stanek and she contends that the reason so many women are prescribed bed rest is because they have had prior abortions. Stop abortions and the rates of women on bed rest would go down. I did a bit of research and did find that women who have had abortions do have an increased risk of having pregnancy complications and preterm labor, but it is not an absolute connection. Meaning, if you have had an abortion, you are not automatically going to have pregnancy complications, end up on bed rest and have a preterm birth. Likewise, no study that I have been able to find has ever looked at every woman who has been prescribed bed rest to see if they have had a prior abortion. The likelihood is they have not.

You may be feeling very frustrated. You may have been exercising, eating well, resting as you should and you still are on bed rest. It happens. As I have said, there is often no rhyme or reason that complications occur. I say to you, continue to exercise (Remember our fundraiser and purchase a Bedrest Fitness DVD!!), eat well, rest and by all means keep a positive mental attitude. Your attitude does affect  your baby so we want to keep things positive!!

Robin Elise Weiss a child birth educator, lactation consultant and the About.com pregnancy guide said it best in her podcast interview with Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond: (parapharaing)

“I had a lot of pregnancies and a lot of difficulties. Each time I was never sure how long I would remain pregnant. But I finally learned that I could not control the course of my pregnancy, but I could control my reaction. That is when I began taking each moment to simply love my baby. I never know how long it would last, so forever long, I could love my baby.”

Mamas, there is so much that is out of our control; pregnancies, fundraisers….for any given moment in time, all we can do is to do our best. Sometimes things will go our way and other times, we will suffer disappointment. But for any given time, we simply can’t give up. Failure is not an option.

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