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Pregnancy doesn't always go as planned. Occasionally, circumstances beyond your
control can result in some form of bed rest. It could be preeclampsia, preterm labor or a variety of other reasons. Your doctor may put you on restricted activity
at home or in the hospital. No matter
the circumstances or level of restriction, it's safe to say this wasn't what
you had in mind for your pregnancy journey.
But it doesn't have to be all bad news. I checked into the hospital at 30 weeks pregnant and can honestly say it
was an enjoyable experience. Below is a
list of things that kept me busy and happy while on bed rest.
1. Pre-shop for the next six months of birthday/holiday gifts (and wrap them)
Once the baby is born, your brain isn't really capable of remembering important dates. While your brain is still sharp, shop online for any birthdays, anniversaries or holidays that are important and get the gifts wrapped. Keep them stored in a closet and you'll have one less thing to worry about once the baby is born.
2. Learn to knit
The first thing I did when I learned
I was going to be put on hospital bed rest was inquire if I could move my baby
shower to the hospital suite. The second
thing I did was buy yarn. I envisioned a
beautiful baby blanket, but got bored around the time it was the size of a pot
holder. So I made a pot holder.
3. Make a sleep-eat-poop chart
This is a must-have for first-time moms, although I was just as diligent about keeping the chart for my
second child, too. It made me feel
competent and in control. I could fill
out the little box with an exact time and know that I was doing a good
job. Plus it was helpful when I was deliriously
tired and really had no knowledge of the last time I fed the baby.
If you think you'll have time (later) ... that's really ambitious and sweet of you.
If you think you'll
have time to write thank-you notes while the baby is sleeping, that's really
ambitious and sweet of you. Bless your
heart. But you won't. And you don't get that one-year grace period to
write them either. Just pre-address the
envelopes during your bed rest and you'll be able to get those notes out
5. Pre-design a birth announcement
You could fiddle
around for hours designing a birth announcement. Use a site like Tiny Prints or Shutterfly and you can play with
different templates, colors and fonts. Finalize the one you like best and then just upload a photo and update
the date, time and birth weight once your little one is born.
6. Fill in pregnancy diary
If you haven't been
keeping track of milestones, now is the time to get on it. Write about how you felt when you first found
out you were pregnant, how you told your partner, if you thought you were going
to have a boy or girl, food cravings, etc. Anything you think would be fun to read about later.
7. Make wedding/travel album
All of those
digital files are lovely, but wouldn't it be nice to actually make an
album? You've got plenty of time to
devote to the project now. Snapfish
is a great choice and makes it easy to create personalized albums.
8. Give yourself a manicure
Have your nails look
freshly manicured with these fantastic DIY
nail art hacks. You've got time to
perfect them. Invite a friend over and
have a mani-pedi party.
9. Research 529 plans and decide which one is best
for you and your little one
If you've got any money left after you've all of the above, you'll want to start thinking about a college savings plan for your soon to be
genius. Start saving small amounts from
the time your baby is born and it really adds up. It's also nice to have an account set up so
grandparents and relatives can contribute if they wish.
This should really be on your to-do list even if you aren't on
11. Start an email account for your baby
This is a
really easy way to keep track of milestones and memories. Create an email account such as firstname.lastname@example.org and then
write emails to the account—tell a funny story, share a great picture or the date your
baby took their first step. It'll all be
in one easy place and you are more likely to do this than write in a baby book.
12. Get your meals delivered
While you are on
bed rest and even after you've had the baby, it'll be nice to have a tasty meal
prepared for you. Services like Munchery and Postmates make it really simple and more
affordable than you might imagine.
13. Avoid medical websites
Be aware that Google searches regarding your condition will likely take you down a scary road.
There's a medical reason
you are on bed rest. Trust your
doctor. Be informed and advocate for yourself,
but be aware that Google searches regarding your condition will likely take you
down a scary road.
You are likely large, swollen
and not really feeling like your typical self these days. I found it really helpful to wear cute
pajamas and do my hair and makeup every day. It made me feel like less of a blob.
15. Have a service dog visit you
If you are bed rest
at a hospital, chances are they have a pediatric ward that receives furry
visitors for their patients. If you ask
your nurses nicely, they can put in a request for a service dog to come visit
When people first find out
you are on bed rest, you'll get a lot of friends and family wanting to visit and
help. But remember, you might be on
restriction for a long time. I knew that
I had a two-month road ahead of me if I wanted to make it to the finish line,
so I intentionally only let one person per day visit me. That way I could stretch them all out and
have at least one visit to look forward to per day.