multiple gestation

Mamas on Bedrest: “2011 A Horrible, Wonderful Year” A Mama’s Triumph Over Adversity

January 4th, 2012

Mamas are the most resilient people that I know!

After going through fertility treatments, Paige, @babydust on Twitter and the author of this post,  is a mama to a 3 year old little girl and darling twin baby boys.  Now a SAHM (stay at home mama), many would think that Paige “lives the life”. But her journey was anything but easy. Paige’s story epitomizes an all too common scenario for Mamas on Bedrest. Yet, despite its troughs and pitfalls, Paige prevailed.

For those of you “going through” I share Paige’s story with you (with her permission) to show you that you are not alone in your trials and to show you that there can be a happy ending.  Paige has an awesome blog called Baby Dust Diaries. I highly recommend you take a look. Thank you so much Paige for sharing your story!

2011 A Horrible, Wonderful Year

Ah 2011.  What can I say about you? My first reaction is that 2011 SUCKED BIG TIME.  I mean at least 70% of the days of this year were some of the hardest of my life.  And yet, in all the ways that really matter, you know those ways that will matter in 5, 10, 20 years, 2011 was full of life-changing blessings.  I mean I welcomed two baby boys into my family AND I became (at last) a stay at home mom.

I guess the problem was, as will most things, my blessings came with much blood, sweat and tears. I started the year with an extended hospital stay to keep my babies from being born too early.  Hospital bedrest is misery.  Seriously.

Yet, it was a blessing because it kept my boys a-baking for a crucial extra month!

Even though my eventual goal was to be a SAHM it would probably have taken a few years for my hubby and I to get to that point.  And then Psycho Boss (PB) entered the picture.  I can’t even describe the continuous harassment I endured at this person’s hands.  The examples would be endless and cause me stress just in the remembering.  Worse yet, the process that is supposed to protect employees from Pregnancy discrimination failed me miserably.  At every turn I had people shocked at the treatment I endured and agreeing that it had to end.  Then when I finally sought formal relief it is like the “machine” that was my agency responded by getting its hackles up.  Talking about an issue is one thing – actually filing a complaint? In hindsight, the minute I formalized my complaint my career was over.  Even if I had won (or especially if I had won) I would have been blacklisted.  It became a witch hunt.  No one denied the discrimination but everything else became a problem.  In the end, a job that I loved and had always been family friendly, ended because I couldn’t attend a 6PM meeting with 3 hours notice.  They actually laughed (yes, LAUGHED) when I said I’d need a days notice to change my child care arrangements.  It wasn’t about that meeting it was about punishing me for complaining.

Ugh!  Enough of that!  Just talking about it is going to give me nightmares tonight (luckily the daily nightmares are now just weekly, they’ll go away, right?) My point is that it was demoralizing  in the extreme. I couldn’t sleep or eat I had a constant headche and stomach ache.  I had no energy to parent.  I considered hurting myself although I don’t think I was suicidal.  It certainly combined/exacerbated/triggered severe post-partum depression.  It was the second worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Yet, I had asked God to help me stay home with my kids and he sure did.  The circumstances were less than ideal but I got my wish.  I’m sure that 5 years from now I’ll be so glad I quit my job.  Maybe I’ll even be thankful for PB?  Nah.

An added problem was that I couldn’t talk about any of this on the blog.  I get even angrier at PB when I think about him taking away my voice, my outlet.  Holding back what was really going on in my life made any writing impossible.  You can’t build a partial dam, know what I mean?  THEN I got hacked and it felt like a punch in the stomach.  Here my one solace – my blog – was being taken away.

Sob. Sob.  I know it might sound pathetic but it was a very difficult year.  I’m glad it is over and I look forward to looking back on it as a huge transitional point in my life for the better.  I also hope to NEVER relive it!

Mamas, you can make it! Our roads are not typically easy, but as Paige shows, they are often well worth the struggle. Congratulations to Paige for her beautiful children and for finally becoming the SAHM she wanted to be.

Would you like to share your Bedrest story with other mamas? We’d love to hear it and share it! Share your story or a link to it at info@mamasonbedrest.com and give us the full attribution so we can credit you. Your stories are what keep other mamas who are still “on the road” trodding.

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Mamas on Bedrest: Babies or Bankruptcy?

December 9th, 2011

They are e-mails that just break my heart.

“I have just learned that I am pregnant with triplets and have been put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. This is a huge financial blow as we were living paycheck to paycheck when I was working and barely making it. We  didn’t plan this pregnancy, and we knew that it would be a financial stretch. But Triplets??? I am completely overwhelmed! I have no idea how we’ll make it.”

At a time when this mama to be should be experiencing great joy, she is instead overwhelmed and quite possibly panicked. More and more I see couples delaying childbearing or abandoning the families of their dreams due to finances. But sometimes, as the above e-mail illustrates, life just throws  you a curve.

While the decision to have a child is a very personal one, in the United States, without paid family leave, its becoming a luxury. That’s not to say that people aren’t having babies. But more and more, having a child is an additional burden that many couples are woefully unprepared for. Now granted, triplets are not common and are almost always a surprise to the parents to be. But something like bed rest is common (and increasingly more with women waiting later to have children, fertility issues, etc..) yet it catches most couples unaware and unprepared. So what should a couple do when a pregnancy presents unexpected circumstances that create a financial burden?

First and foremost, take a deep breath. Okay, have your meltdown first, then take a deep breath. Surely things seem overwhelmingly bleak, but you can survive. Hundreds to thousands of couples have weathered complicated pregnancies, multiple pregnancies, bed rest, complicated labors and deliveries, NICU babies and survived. Truth be told, many couples have been devastated financially. But others have actually survived the storm. How? Here are 3 steps to take to get a realistic assessment of your finances as you approach your pregnancy.

  1. Make a list of all your monthly income, every dime you receive.
  2. Make a list of all your monthly expenses. As much as possible, list everything that you spend money on from bills, to gas, to gifts to “that morning latte”.
  3. Make a list of all of your outstanding debt; mortgage, car notes, school loans, credit card debt and the like.

Once you make these lists, you’ll have a clearer picture of how much money you make, how much money you owe and how much money you spend. The task then becomes separating the essentials from the non-essentials. Rent/mortgage is an essential. Daily lattes or lunch out is not. Where can you trim? Couples will have to look at everything and make some tough decisions. I can recall one couple who was having financial difficulties when mama went on bed rest. For them, one solution was to move back in with parents. Was it their first choice? Most certainly not! But they saved a lot of money on rent and utilities and also, since the parents were retired, mama had a lot of care and support while on bed rest.

Pregnancy can present some unique challenges, especially when they are multiple and/or high risk. Couples will have to be creative when it comes to finding solutions to managing the financial burden these challenges bring.

Over the next several blog posts, we’ll share various tips we’ve learned about financing bed rest. We want your input. What are your financial concerns? What has worked for you financially? Share your story below as it will most certainly benefit another mama.

Bedrest: What’s the Point?

May 5th, 2011

This is podcast discusses the rationale for the bed rest prescription, indications for bed rest and new advances in the treatment of high risk pregnancy. Available as a download only.