Once I got pregnant, my husband came with me to all my OB appointments and each time we were told everything was perfect. After twenty-seven weeks of being pregnant with no issues, I told my husband I was fine going to the doctor by myself. Of course that was the appointment when I found out there was a problem. Although I felt completely fine, ultrasound revealed that my cervix had rapidly shortened, and in an abundance of caution, my doctor ordered me to bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.
At first I was really excited to have a doctor sanctioned reason to lay around all day. I was tired, my hips were killing me and I was starting to waddle. Plus, I was sick of feeling guilty about that pregnancy yoga DVD I kept telling myself I was going to do. I had seen pregnant woman in online pregnancy forums complaining about how awful bed rest was, and in my ignorance I didn't understand why they were whining. This was my chance to act like a Greek goddess, and I was going to enjoy every second of it.
The first few days exceeded my wildest expectations. Friends and family came to visit bringing gift baskets full of soft socks, stretchy pajamas, snacks and Ibook gift cards. Phone calls and emails of concern came flooding in. One of my girlfriends even gave me a much needed pedicure. I loved being the center of attention.
Soon the novelty of seeing me doing my best impression of a beached whale faded and everyone went back to their own lives. I quickly became bored of my solitary confinement. The constant pressure on my hip from laying down all the time because so painful it made me cry. I was supposed to lay on my left side whenever possible, so knitting those baby sweaters I had planned on was impossible to do. Even reading and watching movies made me dizzy after a few hours and besides, there are few forms of media you can experience while pregnant without bursting into a hormone induced torrent of tears.
I thought being pregnant with twins would afford me the chance to sneak in some decadent treats, after all, I needed the extra calories, but between my growing baby bump compressing my stomach and awful heartburn from eating while only partially sitting up, I had zero appetite so I didn't even have munching as a way to deal with the boredom.
I started to count down the seconds to my hourly pee break, and getting a five minute shower every other day felt like a luxurious soak in a hot spring. I grew so sick of being in the same room that I would cry with joy when I got to leave my cell to go to my weekly OB appointment. My bed rest happened during the holidays, and one afternoon my husband took the long way home just so I could see the lights twinkling on all the houses. I cried, obviously.
Far worse than just being bored though, was the worry. Because I took naps during the day my sleep cycle started to reverse. I would lie awake at night thinking of all the things I wasn't doing but thought I should be- like setting up the nursery, packing a hospital bag or going to birthing class. I was hyper aware of the babies themselves. I kept track of their movements and woke my husband in a panic whenever I feared that it had been too long since I felt them move.
If you've never been pregnant before, this next sentence may cause eye-rolling, but I am sincere when I say that by the end of my pregnancy, each day I managed to keep those babies inside me felt like a huge accomplishment. After seven long weeks of bed rest, my kids were born-a bit premature, but ultimately healthy.
Now that my kids are toddlers, there are plenty of days when they run me ragged. While I might have the occasional daydream about taking an uninterrupted bath or a long afternoon nap by myself, being on bed rest is not something I ever long for. I'm very glad that my pregnancy had a happy ending, but I no longer think of pregnant woman on bed rest as being lucky.