36 Weeks: Bedrest

This post is cross posted from Parker Haus Grows

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Yeah, so today is day 4 of strict bedrest for Blobby and I.

As relaxing as that term sounds I can assure you it is hard mentally and physically. I am trying to take it day by day. How did I end up here? After all I was having a perfectly boring pregnancy right?

I have been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple months. There wasn’t a pattern so no cause for concern. BH contractions are normal. My midwife put me on Calcium Magnesium Citrate and that was it. Fast forward to last Thursday. I notice that my BH contractions are happening pretty frequently. For me BH contractions are mostly painless and when they happen my whole belly gets rock hard. Frequently a bulge will appear on my belly as it hardens and tightens. When Matt got home I thought we should time the contractions to see if there was a pattern. 5 minutes apart and 1 minute in duration. Uhhh-Oh. Even though they were painless i figured we should call the midwives to see what i should do.

The first thing a midwife or Dr will suggest in this situation is to lie down for a bit and to drink 2 large glasses of water. I had already done these things before calling the midwife. The first thing she did is ask me a bunch of questions to see if I had other preterm labor signs. “Did my back hurt? Did I have cramping? Had I had an bloody discharge? Did I have any fluid leaking? Etc. Then she reassured me that these type of contractions usually don’t dilate the cervix, but they can prepare the cervix by shortening, softening, and moving it forward. She also noted that not yet 36 weeks was too early for these preparations to happen and we should try to get the contractions to reduce in frequency or to stop completely.

She had me drink another glass of my Cal Mag Citrate followed by a glass of wine and a relaxing bath. She told me to get my butt in bed after that and let Matt handle dinner. She said to stay resting for the next 24 hours and see how things went. The contractions slowed to every 10 minutes after following her instructions. The next day I rested in bed and the contractions continued but much less intense and more sporadic. This made me feel better. Until I realized that I was getting a menstrual cramp feeling with the contractions. Late Friday night I started to feel a tugging sensation on my cervix. I spent most of the night worried that changes were indeed happening to my cervix as the midwife and I had discussed.

Saturday AM I paged the midwife on call. She came to our house to check me out. It was so nice to not have to get out of bed and so reassuring to see her. She checked Blobby’s vitals. He/She was responsive and doing well. She did a pelvic exam and confirmed that my intuition was correct. I wasn’t dilated but my cervix had moved forward, softened, and shortened. These things don’t necessarily mean that I am going to go into labor right away, but the are concerning. This wasn’t something we wanted to happen at 36 weeks.

She added Cramp Bark tincture to my regime. She noted that Blobby was head down and low. Sitting or standing immediately was bringing on contractions and she noted that I should try to stay as horizontal as possible. Even though bed rest isn’t statistically proven to prevent preterm labor it would be best to avoid direct pressure of Blobby’s head on my cervix. Pressure alone could start the dilation process. This is when it hit me. Bedrest.

Even though OBs and hospitals will say it is ok to deliver at 36 weeks babies born before 37 weeks have a higher chance of respiratory problems that might require a stay in the nursery. They also have more feeding problems and are less likely to be able to breastfeed immediately. After 37 weeks the incidence of these problems decreases. For this reason my midwives would like me to make it to at least 37 weeks. If we make it to 37 our next goal is 38 and after that 39. The longer Blobby can bake the better. My midwife also mentioned that sometimes babies who show preterm labor signs end up going to the due date or longer. I laughed because I was already preparing myself for that ironic situation.

So, bedrest… what is it like?
Physical: For 23 hours a day I am laying down in bed- usually on my left or right sides with a whole slew of pillows around me in an attempt to make myself comfortable. My hips are very sore as a result. If I could tolerate laying on my back I think my hips would be much happier- but this late in pregnancy laying on my back is out.

Because laying down so much can cause blood clots I am rocking some sexy compression socks and trying to remember to do muscle contractions in my legs to keep the blood moving. I am working hard to stay hydrated which means frequent bathroom visits- thankfully the bathroom is just a few paces away from the bed. When I move myself to sitting or standing I have a big contraction. Fun times.

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Cheese is taking advantage of my constant reclined position. She likes to sit on top of my ribs and hip and get lots of pets. Hugo has been keeping watch over me. It is really sweet.

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I try to limit the number of naps that I take during the day so that I am not wide awake and thus keeping Matt up a night. In order to limit the number of times I get up Matt has made sure I have much of what I need at my bedside.

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  • My Cantigo mug filled with ice plus an extra one for when the ice melts
  • 3-4 soda stream bottles filled with filtered water
  • Recharge drink
  • glass of Cal Mag Citrate
  • Cramp Bark and a small glass of water
  • snacks like oranges, apples, crackers, and yogurt
  • Cell phone with charger
  • iPad
  • Nintendo DS and games for entertainment
  • sticky notes and pen

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My Mom came over on her lunch break and heated up my lunch for me, saving me a trip downstairs and providing me with much needed company and conversation. Best Mom ever! My SIL has been texting me to check in on me/keep my spirits up and various friends have also been reaching out. It is all appreciated. There is so much I want to say about the mental and emotional side of bedrest but I think it will be a post of its own.

So that is where we are, Blobby and I. I am laying on my side in bed while blobby kicks me and stretches. He/She is still on the inside and I am trying to keep it that way. Bedrest is hard but we are taking it one day at a time.

Have you been on bedrest? Care to share any bedrest boredom busters?

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5 Comments

Filed under We Grow

5 responses to “36 Weeks: Bedrest

  1. I just recently went through this — contractions started at 34 weeks. I made it to 38 weeks and now I have a healthy, wonderful 8 week old baby. If you’re not playing Candy Crush, that was my biggest time-waster while laying around. I hope the next few weeks go quickly for you and blobby hangs out until it’s really time!

  2. red_seattle

    I was on bed rest from 29 weeks to 36 weeks with my pregnancy with X– for reasons pretty similar to you. I ended up going into labor on my due date– so yay for that, but 7 weeks of bed rest was not my idea of a good time. As I’m sure you’re discovering. 🙂

    As for boredom busters– the first 2 weeks were hard, but after that I was given the ok to start working from home as long as I took lots of breaks. Working ended up being wonderful in lots of ways– it beat boredom, but it gave me a purpose and a reason to be up and showered by 8am, connected me to co-workers/ made me feel less lonely, and it helped me feel more in control of the situation in that I could check more things off of my pre-maternity leave list. So my best boredom buster idea is to work if you can, or if not, do some other big, non-physically strenuous project that you’ve been wanting to do but never had time for.

    • red_seattle

      Oh, and, of course, good luck! I hope you’re able to make it to 39 weeks. Only a few weeks isn’t bad at all, in terms of bed rest! Hope you’re able to make it as enjoyable as possible.

  3. Malo

    Hey there, I don’t usually comment… first, I am glad you are doing better.
    Second, I need to tell you something as a first-time Mom that I wish more people had told me… babies are unpredictable. Labours are unpredictable. Deliveries are unpredictable. I noticed that you mentioned several “stats” – ie, babies born before 37 weeks are more likely to have respiratory problems, feeding problems, and problems breastfeeding. Although these things may be true to a point, there are NO black & white rules when it comes to labour. I had a perfect, problem-free pregnancy, and my firstborn was a week late – and I still ended up with an emergency C-section, a week long stay in the hospital, and was not able to breastfeed.
    Please don’t take my words as discouraging – I am just trying to elaborate that stats aren’t always reflective of reality; and you shouldn’t let the statistics frighten you. Obviously you want a safe, healthy pregnancy; and we all wish that for you – but please don’t stress yourself out worrying about “the rules”.
    Also, please keep in mind that you could be a week ahead already – the ‘weeks’ you are pregnant is not an exact science.

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