Hellooooo from my bed! I’m about 6+ months into my twin pregnancy and currently on “modified bedrest”. Early on I assumed that being preggers with twins would result in some sort of bedrest eventually, but I never imagined it would happen so soon!
Modified bedrest can mean slightly different restrictions for different women, but in my case it means that both my high risk doctor and my OB agree I should limit my on-foot activities to 2 hours a day…just not all at once. Ummm…that’s a heck of lot of time to just lay here and rest every day 😦 Telling a lady like me who LOVES to run, bike, walk, cook, bake, and even go grocery shopping (totally serious – grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do) to suddenly stop all of it and “just rest” is like telling a 2 year old to go take a nap during a birthday party. It just feels like a very strange thing to do, but in the end…I’m 32…not 2…and I need to actually grow 2 little humans to their full development. So, I get it. I’ll stop complaining ;).
Walking around for more than a few minutes, or even just sitting upright at a desk for 20-30 minutes adds plenty of stress that my body’s still trying to catch up with. Luckily, ever since I stopped working and stuck to these bedrest restrictions my back pain has become MUCH lighter, sometimes even non-existent. After plenty of rest, and then more rest, and then resting again…I’ve learned that it can get lonely, boring, and straight up annoying when I let myself get to that negative-nancy mindset. But when I keep myself occupied, try to stay positive, and just enjoy this last bit of quiet time that I’ll have until the twins arrive and change our lives forever – I quickly shut the door to all the negative thoughts and remember that this time to rest is such a gift, not a punishment.
Here’s a list of 10 things that I’ve found helpful. I really hope this helps any of you mamas-to-be out there who are also on bedrest and feelin’ the blues!
1. Be grateful.
My biggest fear is having to deliver the twins way too early where the likelihood of them surviving isn’t strong. That’s absolutely terrifying. This whole “take it easy” warning was a reminder that at any moment after doing too much I could be elevated to strict bedrest or even hospital bedrest. I’ve read blogs from women who were in the hospital for weeks/months just trying to stay sane while their developing baby/babies kept on growing. Remembering to take this precaution seriously has really helped me to stay thankful and positive. I love our home so much, but I appreciate it more than ever when comparing it to months in the hospital!
If you’re reading this and are already there – on strict or hospital bedrest – my prayers go out to you girl! Know that you keeping your baby/babies safely monitored is the most important thing in your world right now. Stay strong, be grateful, and trust that your positive outlook will carry you through this.
2. Create a schedule.
Can I get a “hallelujah!” for Google Calendars?! I know this sounds odd since I have zero work related to-do’s each day, but I still use Google Calendar to schedule things…like…well…anything to do throughout the day. 2 hours for reading, another for sifting through old papers/junk mail that we don’t need to hold on to. 1 hour for writing. Half an hour to fold laundry in bed while I’m watching Netflix or Hulu, and maybe another hour for a couple of phone calls to family or friends. It also helps to keep track of those escalating doctor’s visits, blood work appointments, our newborn CPR class, etc. Just throwing the day together on a calendar has given each day more of a focus, and frankly, it just keeps me sane.
3. Write thank you notes.
As you get closer to your 3rd trimester you’re bound to get gifts from friends and family to help prepare you for parenthood. This is the time to write them a hand written note to let them know how much their love and support means to you.
At a time when you crave social interaction, it’s a lovely way to stay in touch with them without just “writing on their wall” or sending a thankful-looking emoji. Nothing compares to a handwritten note, and you know how much joy it brings you personally when you receive a note like that addressed to you in the mail 🙂 You’ve got time to return the love now!
4. Catch up on movies & TV.
“Netflix and chill” is my new jam, y’all. Whether you’re a binge-watcher or not, watching at least one or two episodes or a movie really helps to fill the time. I love mixing in a nice documentary in between watching good ‘ol guilty pleasures like Laguna Beach & The Hills (no judging…), The Bachelor/Bachelorette (duh), or Parenthood (absolutely love that series!).
You know what else Sean & I have really gotten into lately? It’s on PBS and you can watch all of the episodes for free online: A Chef’s Life. We LOVE that documentary-style series. It’s a refreshing mix of culinary fun, entrepreneurial ups and downs, the raw sense of urgency required to run a restaurant, parenting boy + girl twins (I mean, WHAT are the odds!?!), small town living, a genuine and honest narration, and a celebration of local farmers. Check it out. We absolutely love it 🙂
5. Research new recipes, then cook in stages.
I love how much healthier and cheaper meals can be when I cook at home instead of getting takeout all the time. Sure, we totally indulge in some takeout pho, bbq, chinese, or pizza from time to time (we’re normal), but for the most part we’ve been working on good ol’ home cookin. Problem though – that whole part about not being on my feet for too long gets in the way of my crazy love for cooking. So, I break it up in stages!
Last week I made this DELICIOUS recipe for PF Chang-style chicken lettuce wraps. It had multiple steps and plenty of ingredients involved, so I made the sauce and chopped up some veggies in one stage, then a few hours later I browned the ground chicken, then right before dinner time I simply threw it all together. BOOM! Done and done without overdoing it. It was so delicious too. Oh golly. You should seriously give that recipe a try.
6. Get out…briefly.
On Monday, for example, I was so desperate to get out of the house that I basically searched for things that were dry clean-worthy, threw them in the car, drove reeeeeally slow with the windows down and country music playing on that beautiful sunny day, dropped the clothes off, continued on to get a drive-through chocolate milkshake (because I said so. I love you, Braums!), then came right back home and hopped into bed again. It was something…it was anything…and it was so lovely :).
Even if you don’t plan on going anywhere, I highly recommend taking time once in a while to get dressed in “normal” clothes (not just sweats or p.j.’s for a change) and just enjoy looking your best. It’s a game changer and it puts you in a better mood, believe me. All those trips to the bathroom to pee for the 974th time also yields juuuuust as many glances in the mirror, and while you’re beautiful regardless of if you’re dressed up or not – you’ll perk up seeing you at your best :). You deserve it!
Meanwhile – open up your house/apartment’s windows on a beautiful day. Sit or lay outside on a blanket for a bit to soak up some well deserved sunshine. If you have a yard/shared lawn/whatever – take advantage of it and relax in the beautiful weather for a bit!
If you’re like me on “modified” bed rest and aren’t on house-arrest…enjoy the freedom while you have it. But, just briefly enough to not overdo it. It helps me to remember that this is the last time I can just get up and leave the house without having to lug the twins into their car seats, pray they don’t have a melt down in a store, transfer them back to the car, then back home. For a little while longer, it’s good to enjoy this last bit of simplicity and freedom :).
7. Take naps.
I find it kinda funny that I think this is top-10 worthy because in my former non-pregnant life I just didn’t take naps. In the past if I was tired I’d just relax for a bit, down some coffee, or sometimes I’d just go to bed early…but I didn’t take naps..until now!
Carrying these twins makes me super tired even when I’m on bedrest. Somewhere between 1-3pm I get all heavy-eyed and exhausted. The magical thing about napping when you’re pregnant (for me at least) is that you’ll likely be tired again by 9 or 10pm when it’s actually time to go to bed. Score! Rest that precious baby bump while you can.
8. Read Read Read.
We live in an incredible world where we can read anything we want on demand simply by having internet access and a computer/tablet. From articles on labor, c-sections, parenting strategies, or breastfeeding to finding out who the next Bachelorette is if you missed The Bachelor finale (*spoiler alert* if you missed it….congrats to Ms. Jojoooo!!!) – use this time to read.
I’ve received some great books from friends and family on labor, parenting twins, and so much more. It helps me feel prepared. It also rids any prior excuses I’ve reverted to in the past for “not having enough time” to read those NY Times Best Sellers. But now? Bring…it…on.
If you need any advice on a few good reads, check out my post from last year: 4 Ridiculously Good Reads. Happy reading! 🙂
9. Call your family & friends.
My sweet family and friends have been incredible. Seriously. Between my caring and supportive hubby to my family back East, my friends scattered around the nation, and my dear sweet Okies nearby – not a day goes by without a text/call/FB message from them to check in to see how I’m doing. Way to melt my heart, y’all! Thank you so much for being there for me.
There are days when I just miss people, face to face conversations, and laughing with co-workers (miss you already, Clary Sage!)…but then I realize I have so much phone/text/social media support in front of me to stay connected, and all the time in the world to reach out.
I’m also not the only one “going through something.” Everyone I love might be going through their own hurdles, or busy parenting their own beautiful children, or attempting to balance work + grad school + life at once. It’s time to check in on them and be the good friend that they deserve. I’ve got time for that – no excuses!
I love y’all SO much, sweet family & friends!
10. Let music & coloring books take over.
Ummm…so this new “adult coloring book” craze is seriously the greatest thing since Facebook…sliced bread…pockets…everything good! For my 32nd birthday last month Sean got me a vinyl record player, some good ‘ol records (Etta James, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, all my favorite classics!), and since bedrest seemed to be in the near future he also surprised me with 2 adult coloring books and a set of colored pencils. That precious man!!! How did I get so lucky?! I just love him.
Coloring not only helps to pass the time, but it’s also a great way to relieve that bottled up stress you’re probably suppressing. Am I right? I sure was. Let’s be real – life right now is limited to lying down most of the day in my house + a few rare outings, I can’t go for walks or exercise, I’m dealing with a watermelon sized bump at only 6½ months, annnnd I’m about to go from zero to like 90 mph in a matter of weeks to care for two little beings for the first time in my life…chances are I need to just chill and color a little right now.
So, I put a little Etta, Miles, or Frank on vinyl and color away. You can easily lose yourself in a hour or two in the mosaic pages or other creative sketches. I love every minute of it! Wanna see my latest from Sunday? Sure you do. Sunday I had all the hormones…all the feels…and I was totally in need of a good color session. So, here’s Sunday:
So there we have it. No excuses. Time to perk up and enjoy this tiny little “bump” (haaah!) in the road. It took some time for me to get used to just lying down all day and to truly stay positive, but I’m getting there thanks to the blessings on this list.
Before I know it I’ll be learning how to hold my TWO precious babies in my arms at once. I’ll get to snuggle with them, sing to them, read to them, giggle with them, and learn from them every single day. It will be the greatest joy I’ll ever experienced and I’m thrilled that I get the opportunity to rest just for them right now.
I hope this is helpful. If you have any other suggestions – I’m all ears! Literally…6 ears. My body is currently carrying 6 ears between myself and the twins. How craaaazy is that!?
Comment below and give me your thoughts, or simply give me ideas on more fun things to do. Got more blog posts, awesome sites, or articles for me read through? I’d love to check ’em out! Thanks so much for reading.
Big hugs, and happy resting 🙂