Bed rest: a mask-less version of quarantine; stay close to home, work remotely, order groceries, wear leggings, and find creative ways to entertain yourself.
At 22 weeks, my doctor put me on a modified bed rest. I didn’t have to literally stay in bed 24/7 (I set up camp on the couch), but I couldn’t go into work anymore (I left for spring break and never came back), had to avoid car rides longer than 30 mins, and absolutely no exercise.
The last requirement didn’t necessarily hurt my feelings all that much. At this point, I took full advantage of the dietary benefits of pregnancy: anything I wanted at anytime (one day, I dipped Teddy Grahams straight into the Nutella jar. Ryan just shook his head, but I claimed the jar as mine so I could double dip). Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly itching to jump on the treadmill or lift a weight (except my own body weight–HEAVY).
Over the next 10 weeks, also known as “4th quarter” for those in the education world, I compiled some pretty useful tips (my main audience then was my family, who couldn’t always discuss my observations at work…what a drag).
1. Embrace it: I knew if I wanted my babies, endearingly referred to as Twin A and Twin B, to cook until at least 30+ weeks, I needed to buckle up and settle in. I was in it to win it.
2. Keep your mind occupied: Fortunately, I worked at a great school that allowed me to work remotely–my colleagues were even so kind as to come to my house for a few meetings (they also brought me McDonalds for lunch). Continuing to work helped keep my pregnancy brain sharp, and gave me something to do more than texting my mom and sister pictures of things I wanted to buy for the boys. Really, bed rest just prepared me to work from home during quarantine. Side note: working remotely while massively pregnant is exponentially easier than with two 8 month olds.
3. Watch tv: At what other point in your adult life will you be allowed to binge watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey on a Wednesday and not be questioned? The answer is never, especially when you have two infants. Before you say, “I thought you were supposed to be working, but you were really watching RHONJ?” Calm down, I used to be able to multitask with the best of them. Now, if you’re not a Bravo fan, I don’t think we can be friends, but there are other shows out there too. Ryan and I even found a few shows to watch together. This was the most shocking part of bed rest because we never agree on a tv show or movie to watch together. We discovered New Girl and You. Now, we choose one show to watch together. This is an arduous process, but I guess this is what people mean when they say “marriage is work.”
4. Take a shower: When I was sick, my mom always told me, “take a shower, it will make you feel better.” You know you’re an adult when you can say, “my mom was right.” Every morning I took a shower and got dressed. As someone who prided herself on never repeating an outfit, this part was challenging. None of my maternity clothes even fit anymore, but I did have a few pairs of black leggings and some tank tops that I kept on rotation. Probably a blessing in disguise (for our bank account and my coworkers) that I could work remotely and embrace my new, ultra casual, heavily repeated wardrobe.
5. Shop online: If we’re being honest, this should be number one on my list of favorite lifetime activities. I do not have to be on bed rest to excel at this. What a great way to pass the time! Ryan disagreed…another one of the ways we’re just so different. I rationalized my purchases because we definitely needed, monogram hats for example, for the boys, obviously. I’d like the record to show that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t buying clothes to fill my closet. If that’s not progress and maturity, I don’t know what is.
6. Eat! Again, when in your life will you not feel guilty for eating anything you want (except for lunch meat, sushi, and all of the other forbidden pregnancy foods). Enjoy your favorite pregnancy approved snack! I ate a lot. I even ate some vegetables, mainly to make Ryan happy. I suppose he did have a valid point that they were good for the babies.
7. Find the best husband. Bless him. He cooked, he cleaned, installed new hardwood floors (that was his “nesting” period), brought home frozen cokes from McDonalds, and even turned the power back on for me after a bad storm (I wasn’t worried about the lights, but holy hell, if the house got hotter than the 65 degrees I set the thermostat, I would basically boil. So ironic for someone who is perpetually cold, but it was the middle of summer and I was carrying two extra humans). If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. I also convinced him to take me to Target one day, and promised I would ride one of the scooters so I didn’t walk too much. That, my friends, is when I peaked.
Let me be very clear. I do not want to minimize anyone else’s bed rest experience; I am fully aware that others are put on bed rest for potentially life-threatening reasons for both mom and baby. If that was your experience, I give you all the credit in the world because if I thought my version of bed rest was difficult, I cannot fathom the anxiety, uncertainty, and physical limitations of strict bed rest.