Pregnancy is supposed to be a joyous time in our lives. And yet, 1 in 4 women will experience a complication of pregnancy. Thankfully most of these are not serious and require little intervention, seeing the pregnancy go to term. However, there is a certain portion of the population that will wind up with complications that require bed rest.
Bed rest comes in a few different forms and which you are prescribed will depend largely on your particular situation. There is strict bed rest, in which a mother must remain in bed. Sometimes strict bed rest is done in the hospital. There is bed rest with bathroom privileges. And limited bed rest, where a woman may get up a certain portion of the day, or take meals with her family, sit in a chair instead of lying in bed.
Cristy Riggall spent 21 weeks on bed rest after a pregnancy loss due to an incompetent cervix, " I would of gone totally nuts without bathroom privileges."
There are many different problems that face families during bed rest. The mother often finds herself bombarded with questions, complaints, and self doubt. Riggall says, " In my case some family thought I was "just over reacting". I had to remind them what the ultimate goal was. You will need their help and love. It is so hard to relay the amount of stress and worry that goes along with those lonely hours spent in bed or on a couch. I probably put harder restraints on myself then necessary but I think it was worth it. The world's greatest reward is at the end of this temporary hell. "
Marriages and relationships make adjustments to the new surroundings. Who watches the children, if any, now? Who picks up the extra tasks?
"My marriage is stronger now cause I can see how much my loving husband loves me and this baby," believes Lisa Murray, who just started bed rest for premature labor and high blood pressure.
However, it isn't always perfect, and takes some dealings as Riggall describes, "Ken (husband) was working double shifts to help out with money. So I saw less and less of him. I became to resent his freedom and he resented my ability to just "sit around". We managed to work through that and never had any major problems. But we had to learn to be without each other and that was hard. Not just the physical restraints but the mental too. I never realized how much we communicated in bed. Not sex... but the real quality chatting time. Once the sex was eliminated it was as if the bed became a prison and we just used it for sleeping. "
Having other children at home can be a problem. Murray says that the hardest thing about having another child at home is "trying to get my 13 month old to understand why mommy can't pick her up."
Cindy had a 3 year old daughter at home when she went on bed rest at 25 weeks for suspected premature rupture of membranes, "Taking care of Alyssa was difficult, but she helped a lot, more than I would expect from a 3 year old."