Being confined to bed during pregnancy can be frustrating and emotionally draining. Here's how two expectant moms coped.
"The ladies I met online while on bed rest were like virtual nurses!"
- Casey Mclendon, Kannapolis, N.C.
When I was six months pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to start testing my blood four times a day, alter my diet and go on medication.
Then, an ultrasound revealed that I had too much fluid in my amniotic sac, a condition called polyhydramnios that can be common for women with gestational diabetes.
By seven months, my feet, ankles and calves were so swollen that it was difficult to walk. I was also experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions and occasional spotting, so my doctor suggested I go on partial bed rest. I'd try to get up and walk around a little, but even that was tough by the time I was 30 weeks.
Stuck at home and on my computer, I connected with other women via a product giveaway on Facebook. With their advice, I started winning all kinds of free samples of helpful household items just that week. Then they invited me to join their private online group, which kept me busy and sane during my last weeks of bed rest.
Thanks to their support, I got through my pregnancy healthy and strong, and my son, Lucas, was born via Cesarean section two weeks early on March 21, 2012. My advice for surviving bed rest is to get the support of other moms, even online. You'll be amazed at the love, advice and friendships you can find.
"During bed rest, I had time to reflect on my life and the person I've become."
- Melanie Cain, Atlanta
Once my doctors managed to stabilize my blood pressure, which had been too high, they decided to keep me in the high-risk pregnancies ward at the hospital for bed rest.
During those three weeks, I felt overheated, uncomfortable and sleep-deprived, not to mention frustrated by being poked and prodded so much.
People ask me all the time how I kept from going insane while on bed rest. One of the things that helped was the music therapist who visited our rooms at the hospital. She brought CDs and talked about fun ways to add your baby's name to songs and how music fosters babies' development.
Volunteers also brought dogs to visit us. I did crafts, and my husband brought a laptop
Time seemed to pass more slowly when I focused on the negative, so I tried to think about the baby I'd get to hold when it was all over. And I learned a lot about myself and my relationships; if nothing else, bed rest gives you time to reflect, pray and create.