Keep Busy on Bedrest

Mamas on Bedrest: Halloween Spooktacular!!

October 27th, 2014

Good Morning Mamas!

Today I’m encouraging you, Mamas on Bedrest, to get into the holiday spirit! Mamas let your creativity flow-Let your “freak” fly!  Celebrate Halloween in a new and creative way on bed rest!

Mamas, I know this isn’t what you wanted. No one actually WANTS bed rest. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life and it’s simple pleasures. To that end, we’re having a Halloween Spooktacular! Mamas, share how you are creatively enjoying and participating in Halloween this year. Are you decorating your surroundings? Semd us a photo! Did you paint your belly? Dress up? Bake something amazing (or have one of your recipes baked for you!!), write a poem or create a piece of artwork? Share your creation with our community and inspire other mamas! Submit your creations to info@mamasonbedrest.com. The submissions will be posted next week, November 3rd,  and as a community, we’ll choose a winner who will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card. The winner will be announced on November 10th. Happy Halloween Mamas!!

Mamas on Bedrest: “I feel so useless”!!

April 4th, 2014

TGIF Mamas!

sidelayingAs we end another week, many of you come that much closer to ending your bed rest journeys and seeing your precious little ones. There has been a lot of activity in our community and if you haven’t already, I invite you to jump on our Facebook page and join the conversation. Mamas are sharing tips for surviving bed rest, we have lots of new to bed rest mamas and in general there is a lot of great conversations going on.

Bed rest is hard, there is no doubt about that. Being asked to stay in bed or in a chair all day when one is used to being active and full out in one’s daily life can feel like torture. But one thing I want to remind all of you is this-YOU ARE NOT USELESS!!

We live in a society where “more” is associated with better and the “more” we do, the “more” productive we are, the “more” hours we put in the better, more highly esteemed, successful we are perceived to be. Think about it, How many times have you said, “I had the greatest day!” and then proceeded to recite a laundry list of things that you accomplished that day? We are conditioned to believe that if we stop, if we rest or if we simply slow down and take things at a slower pace, we are not being productive, we are not doing anything and therefore, we are somehow unworthy of whatever may be coming our way.

But I am here to tell all of you, you are not useless! While I totally get that bed rest is maddening; it’s so easy to become bored and for your mind to wander to all manner of unpleasant places, I want to remind you that your body is performing miraculous feats! During the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, your body became a safe and protected environment in which your baby’s entire skeleton formed and many of its organ systems began to develop. Through weeks 12-28 your baby’s organs further developed; the heart grew stronger, the lungs began to form, the digestive system began to take shape and many of the enzymes and food breakdown mechanisms began developing, the brain continued to form and develop all those complex neurological pathways your baby will need to be able to breathe, cry, see, hear, crawl, walk, talk and grow. And all the while, you body is supplying food, fluids, blood and oxygen so that all of this work can take place. Your body is functioning in a way that a non-pregnant body can’t even fathom-man or woman. Your body is making adjustments daily to support and provide not only for the growing baby, but also to meet your physical needs. YOUR BODY IS LITERALLY LIVING, BREATHING AND EXISTING FOR TWO PEOPLE!!

So I want you to consider this. I know that you have all done strenuous activities before. Some of you garden. Some of you run marathons or do triathlons. Some of you Rock Climb or sail or snorkle, or swim….Whatever you have done, you know the amount of physical exertion these activities (and many more like them) take. You know that you can’t simply run out and do them without eating properly, drinking lots of water, getting rest and conditioning your body. Pregnancy is no less strenuous and in fact, is much more taxing. Pregnancy is an endurance sport. It lasts for 10 long months (yes, pregnancy is actually 40 weeks!) and everyday of that pregnancy your body undergoes some sort of change as it accommodates for the needs of your growing baby. Is it any wonder that sometimes your body requires some extra energy?

Consider this. Rather than feeling badly and/or berating yourself for having an incompetent cervix or high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, think of these conditions as signals from your body that it needs to conserve its energy for the moment in order to be more efficient and to better take care of you and your baby. When you train for a marathon, you have rest days to allow your body time to acclimate to it’s new level of performance. If you push when your body requires rest, you risk injury and the loss of all the conditioning and momentum you have built up. Same with Gardening. Once you plant your seeds, there is some time where you do nothing to allow the seeds to take root and then sprout above ground. Think of bed rest at this “rest, growth and strengthening” time. Without you moving about, your body can take that energy and those nutrients it would use to move you about and shunt it all to your baby. If your cervix is incompetent, by staying in bed or in a chair, there is less gravity pushing down on the cervix and the baby can (in theory) stay in and grow. I could go on with the analogies, but I think you get what I am trying to say.

Mamas, you are not weak, broken or useless because you are on bed rest. Your body just requires a different regimen to make this particular baby (remember, not every pregnancy results in bed rest!). And while I know that it is difficult mentally and emotionally, at least relieve yourself of the “burden” that what you are doing right now is somehow wrong, your fault and the result of some sort of defect. You (and your baby) are just perfect and everything is proceeding in its perfect time and grace!

How do you cope with the emotional stress of bed rest? Please share your tips and tools in the comments section below. Questions? Send us an e-mail at info@mamasonbedrest.com

Mamas on Bedrest: I Just Read “One Recumbent Mommy”

March 24th, 2014

One Recumbent Mommy Book CoverGreetings Mamas!!

Rachel Blumenthal, a former Mama on Bedrest, and a member of our community wrote a book called, “One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encounter with Bedrest”.  First I must apologize to Rachel because she sent me a copy of the book about a year ago and in the course of moving I misplaced it. She was gracious enough to send another and after several more months, I am finally reading it and sharing my thoughts with you all.

First, I applaud Rachel for being so committed. When I was pregnant with my daughter and facing all my medical challenges, I most certainly didn’t have the where-with-all to do a daily blog. Yes, I have encouraged you all to monitor your journeys, but this is most certainly a case of “Do as I say, not as I do”. I admit that I did keep meticulous baby books and still keep journals for my kiddos now that they are in “this realm”, but during pregnancy-not so much. Rachel wrote daily about her hospital bed rest stay in a blog; all the quirky little nuances of the staff, the hospital itself, her rooms and the various schedules and tests have become this book.

One Recumbent Mommy is easy to read.  I find Rachel’s conversational style easy to read and pages are not crowded with tiny print. In fact, I really liked the layout of the book as each daily entry’s header is in bold print. She kept the entries short for the most part, so if you wanted to take the entries day by day, you could also do that. Some days she wrote more than one entry, but like I said, each entry was pretty brief so it was easy to read and keep up with what was happening.

I think the one thing that I missed reading the book was what Rachel and perhaps even her husband really thought about her bed rest experience. The entries were all very neat and tidy, grammatically correct with excellent politically correct word choices. But I never really got a sense of how Rachel really felt about being in the hospital or her baby’s life being in danger due to her incompetent cervix. She mentions that it is not fun, she mentions that she misses her 2 year old son terribly. But, and this may be semantics/word choice, I could never really get a sense of Rachel. I don’t know if it’s because she initially started the blog as a way to keep friends and family members informed of her status and didn’t want to upset them, or she is a very private person, but I got very little emotional response when I read the book. The only times I noted emotion was when Rachel spoke of her son and his visits. You could feel her love for him and how much she missed him. Also, Rachel was in the hospital over the winter holidays and she did a (for her) lengthy entry on a woman who had come with Christmas gift bags and how it was a bit off-putting because she is Jewish and no one really bothered to ask. That entry was the first time I really felt like I was talking to and hearing from Rachel. As is customary of her temperament (that which I saw) her word choice was kind and respectful, yet in this post, I could feel that something important to her had been “stepped on” and although courteous, she provide a subversive “Hey, watch it!” Even when she fainted when she had her cerclage removed, her recount is more of a soundbite than, “Wow, that was kind of weird” or “Wow, I was so overwhelmed that I fainted.” She gives a cheeky description of how her eyes rolled back and she shuttered a bit, but I don’t know how she-or her husband really felt about the incident. When Maya, Rachel’s daughter is born, we again get the highlights. Yet I do sense more emotion-much like when she is  speaking about her son. Rachel is a proud mama indeed! I’d like to get to know her better and I missed her in this book.

One Recumbent Mommy is a “nice” account about one mama’s journey on bed rest. It is well written, an easy read and very accurate. For my taste, I would have liked to have had a bit more “Rachel” in it and more meat on the bones. In a book that I think she intends to help other mamas on bed rest, to say, “Google it” when she has a procedure is not very helpful. I would have liked to get to know her better, to hear (perhaps) from her husband and to get a sense of the impact that this experience had on her and her family. My perspective is that this is the “public view” and quite frankly, I would love to have “the inside scoop”-especially as I have gotten to know Rachel a bit in our Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond Community. If you are a mama on bed rest and looking for what you may encounter if you go on hospital bed rest, this is a good book to read. But if you are a mama on bed rest looking for ways to navigate the myriad of emotions-loss of control, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and really hear from a mama who has been there, I don’t think this is the book for you.

You can order One Recumbent Mommy: A Humorous Encouner with Bedrest from Rachel Blumenthal directly or at Amazon.com.