Life

Surviving A Season of Bed Rest as a Mom

I haven’t been posting on here as much lately because a few weeks ago I gave birth to my daughter, Myla. We are so in love with her! If you have been reading any of my previous blogs, you would know that I don’t have terribly easy pregnancies but I have beautiful babies! I was super healthy this pregnancy, making it to 41+1 weeks and working out till the day before. I went into labour myself and delivered a healthy baby girl about 14 hours after going into labour. I thought I got away with this baby as my best and healthiest, little did I know…

Roughly 6 weeks ago as I was contemplating a new postpartum workout series, I woke in the middle of the night to feed my darling. I sat up, got out of bed to get her out of the basinet when I fell over in pain and could not walk. My immediate thought was blood clot and we rushed off to emerg (after feeding her). A few hours of intense pain and complete loss of feeling in my left foot, a CT determined that I had herniated my S1 disc in my back. Due to intense nerve pain and the fact that I am breastfeeding, I cannot take anything pain-wise. I was put on bed rest for a week until the initial inflammation settles and the pain becomes manageable. I now see physio for acupuncture and stretching and I am on the mend. But being on bed rest for a week reminded me of the time when I was on bedrest for pregnancy related issues with my eldest son. I remember how hard it was and a few of the things I did to cope as well as some of the things I did to cope this time around with more children (did I mention I cannot sit for more then 15 minutes at a time and have a nursing newborn?)

  1. Get Dressed Anyway- When I was a nurse, I received comments about how nice I looked everyday and asked why would I bother with make up anyway? The answer is because when I look good, I feel like I can perform to my best ability. Mentally, I feel like I can handle life if I have showered and dressed even if its just into clean yoga pants and tank top. I remember after my placental abruption (which involved a LOT of blood) the first shower…I was terrified to shower but my husband insisted that I would feel better. He had to help me with the shower but I cant even tell you how good it felt. Bed rest sucks. Make it suck less by staying clean and looking at least alive.
  2. Talk to People Who Get It- I talk to my mom a lot about almost everything. My husband too. But neither of them have had to be on bed rest and while they offered loving support, they couldn’t offer much support from personal experience. I had friends message me or comment on facebook about this injury and their experience with it. It helps so much to talk to people who say, yes I was there but look at where I am now. It keeps you looking to the future so you don’t get lost in the now. I get lost in the now…I did this time too. A friend dropped by the other day to bring me dinner and brought some girls clothing all for the future. It snapped me out of that mindset and set me back to straight. This is an injury with a long recovery time but there is an end. I will still have to be careful after but there is an end. Find a “village” even on facebook of other mommies who get it, who have been there or is going through it right now.
  3. Recruit Some Help- My mom is around quite a bit, thankfully. My husband also took a few days off work because not only did I have this crazy pain but my boys both were sick as well. They needed extra love and cuddles and I didn’t have the ability to give them that (though it hurt my heart!). Ladies from my church brought meals and sat with me. Many people gathered around me to help out in anyway they could. It was amazing. I realize not everybody has a support system like this in place but when you are on bed rest, thats the time to gather people around you. If you can afford it, hire people to help out. Whatever you need to do to make this easier.
  4. Keep Away from the Negative- This includes people. When I was on bed rest, I watched a lot of movies, read books and listened to music. At first, It was whatever I felt like but then I began to notice a change in my behaviour. I would have a much more difficult time tuning out the sounds of depression (its common with bedrest for long periods). I would start snapping at those around me and have much less patience. When you have to rely on those around you for a period of time…best not to bite the hand that feeds you. Choose movies and books that are uplifting and make you smile. There is lots of stress related to bed rest, don’t make your movies one of them.
  5. Eat Good Food and Drink!- The body is either trying to preserve a baby or recovering from an injury and it needs good nutrients to do this! When I was on bed rest in the hospital, I ate…well hospital food. I felt bloated and nutrient starved for much of the bed rest. This time, I don’t. Drink lots of water, tea etc and eat high fibre foods as not being able to move can sometimes cause constipation problems. Lets not add to the problems you already have!
  6. Hold Your Other Children as Best as You Can- They miss you. I missed my boys so much. It broke my heart that I could not snuggle my son as I put him to bed and he would cry because I couldn’t. But we found a position on the couch where the boys could snuggle me while watching a movie. I needed it. They needed it. Find a way, even if its just them standing in front of you and you hug them.
  7. If You Need To…TV for a Season- I have now seen every single episode of Wild Kratts out there. My kiddos jump up onto my couch or into bed and cuddle while we watch. I would almost never recommend screen time but on occasions like this, its handy to have. It wont be everyday for the rest of their lives but it might give both them and you a chance just to take a break from the harshness of the reality going on. Just be aware…you may wake in the middle of the night unable to get the Paw Patrol theme song out of your head.
  8. Remember That This is a Season- Its only a season has become my mantra especially watching my son cry because mommy couldn’t put him to bed so Oma had to. I had tears…lots of tears, and thats ok. But I also picked back up and remembered that yes, this sucks, pain and fear all the time is yucky! But its only for a season!

There are lots of other ways to survive a bed rest season but these are a few of the more helpful ones that I didnt find too often out in the world wide web. While I am on the mend now and can move a little more with less pain, I look forward to the days when I can really run with my kids again and start this mountain climbing season! Recipes and tips will start coming again soon!

Thanks for your patience as I find my feet again,

 

Karemi

 

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