Archive for the ‘Club Bedd’ Category

Bed Rest Survival Guide

 

 

 

Bed Rest Babe - Getting close !

 

After six weeks on hospital bed rest and two weeks at home, I thought I would pass along a few tips which really saved me during a very trying time. Some of these simply helped to pass the hours, or relieve a bit of sadness. Others seem to have strengthened my resolve and helped to make our baby fit and strong. Please feel free to add your own tips or comments in the space below the post as they might help someone else going through this trying situation. 

Things I Did for Healing

Make friends with other women on the floor- this made me feel less alone, and helped me form a network of support. If you are not in a position to do this, you can look up blogs, chat rooms or reach out to friends. It’s important to have allies.

Sing to your baby- Every day I sang to my baby and spoke to him. This made me remember why I was doing this and made me feel connected to something much bigger than myself. I still sing the same song to him (a silly one that I made up). It’s our little secret.

Let GO- As hard as it is, recognize that there are somethings that you CAN control (like the foods you eat, your rest, your breathing) and some you CANNOT. You need to let go of those things you cannot control. Sometimes this means just letting others help you, or advise you with medical care. Other times it means keeping the faith and focussing on the goal. There were many twists and turns and unseen events during our time in hospital. Being flexible, open, and really discussing each challenge with my parter helped us to champion the situation.

Find an advocate- Even Rocky Balboa had a coach in his corner. You need people who will help you keep your wits about you on the days you might feel defeated. I used the Chaplain Services at the hospital, and became friends with the Lady Rabbi on staff. I also spoke to the Social worker, who is a fantastic therapist and specialized in working with families who had challenges similar to ours. The hospital also let me have acupuncture treatments, so my dear friend and acupuncturist was able to make house calls! I believe this did wonders for me and my baby.

Find someone who can be there for you and “fill your cup” when you are in need of support.

Celebrate milestones- My water broke at 28 weeks. It was very touch and go as we waited to see if the baby would deliver early. The Bear got me a big calendar, and each day that passed was a marked victory. I decorated the calendar with sayings and illustrations for my baby and we celebrated each friday (his gestational development date) as one more week of progress. Friends would visit on “Fabulous Friday’s” and we would celebrate the small but solemn victory.

Create a shrine of girl-power – No matter your faith, it’s essential to still celebrate your self and the spark that grows within you. I asked each of my friends to let me borrow something that reminded them of strength, hope, or healing. Something that was an empowering symbol for them. I created a “sacred space” on my window sill and derived great resolution from it. (It also made me realize the healing power of friendship).

Celebrate Children- hanging up the drawings or photographs of children in my life helped me connect with the child growing inside of me. It also inspired me to keep moving forward.

Exercise your brain– So you can’t get up and dance on cue, but you can do something for your psyche. This might be reading, crochet, scrapbooking, etc. I started a million projects which I never finished, but it helped me to pass the time. I also needed to permit myself some “mindless” time- as this helped me cope when I was overwhelmed (yes, I did fall in love with bad tv and went bonkers for the Kardashians, Boston Medical and “16 and Pregnant”).

Have the balls…. My husband and I realized that we needed to become immediate advocates for our unborn child. Listen to the advice of experts, but be willing to challenge recommendations if you feel uncomfortable about anything. ASK QUESTIONS! As hard as it might be at times, you have a voice and a vote in your treatment and care.

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The Basics

A dear friend, who had also been on hospital bed rest for a number of weeks supplied me with some ESSENTIALS that really made it easier:

Almonds- a natural way to relieve heartburn (and a healthy protein for you and baby).

A Camelback water bottle- very cute, and you can drink it when you are sideways in bed, without spilling a drop.

Dark Chocolate- you will be surprised how happy this will make you.

Other friends and family members provided these essentials:

Candied (or crystalized) ginger and ginger tea- again, for heartburn.

Tums- ditto.

A beautiful shawl- It’s amazing how bed rest toys with your self esteem. On the days when you have visitors, but can’t really buff and polish, a shawl can give you a little perk me up. (It’s also good when you are alone, and just need a hug).

Facial spritz or toner and foot lotion/muscle rub- just a little something to sooth you, especially if you are indoors all day.

Things from home- I brought my own pillow, blanket and a small stuffed doll. These really made the room feel warmer.

This lil guy made bed rest easier

 

I hope this helps…..Please add your comments and pass it along to anyone who might find this useful.

Hugs,

Shell

 

 

My belly at 34 weeks

 

Hospital food!

 

My fella

 

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Club Bedd- Home at Last!

Bed Rest, week 6

I cannot believe that I have been on bed rest since before Memorial Day. It’s somewhat unreal.

When I got to the hospital after we thought my water broke, Baby Jake was just 28 weeks and a little over 3 lbs. Today he is 34 1/2 weeks and 5 lbs 13 oz. I feel so blessed to have been able to give him this precious time of sleeping and growing inside of me.

On Friday, they released me from the hospital after confirming that my rupture had sealed. It was quite an ordeal, but what a joyful moment to be released after 6 long weeks. I was overcome with so many emotions, joy….fear…confusion.

It was hard to say goodbye to the nurses and the patients I have met on the high-risk floor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hard to leave people behind and not know where we will all be in a few months. I have learned so much on this journey. I hope that I can give something back.

We met our goal of getting him to 34 weeks. His lungs are not yet developed enough to breathe on his own, but he is so much stronger than he was when we were admitted to the hospital. Now, our new goal is to make it to 36 1/2 weeks without developing toxemia (preeclampsia) and deliver him by c-section. I am so glad that I did not know how critical the situation was when we first arrived. I am so happy we approached everything head-on with faith, love and as much good energy as we could muster.

It feels so good to wake up in my bed. To snuggle with my hubby. To have this precious time.

I would also like to say again that all of your comments and emails have really helped my family and me to feel so supported on this journey.

THANK YOU!

Me

Happy Independence Day Everyone!

Me- on bed rest, week 29

Club Bedd- Acts of Grace

Acts of Grace Foundation

It’s hard to believe that I have been here five weeks. Baby Jacob is now 33 weeks cookin’. Only six more days until we reach the milestone I did not think possible. I can’t explain what has helped us get through this. It was such a hard journey. I believe that we are blessed with an amazing support system and a deep sense of faith. My husband has always been one to help me navigate even the darkest moments. Our exceptional nurses, medical team, family and friends have really offered tremendous support. I have also really enjoyed speaking to the lady Rabbi, who is part of the chaplaincy at the hospital, as well as the social workers trained in dealing with these issues.

And all your blog comments and replies that you have left on my posts have ben wonderful. Thank your for sharing your stories and pep talks!

When I first got here, I thought the best way to get through this was to make use of my time. I surrounded myself with DVD’s, colored pencils, scrapbook crafts and markers. I thought that perhaps I should try to “add on to myself” while incarcerated. Learn a new language, or explore books on tape. But, this is really not about my journey, but Jacob’s. My job at this moment is to be an outstanding incubator and advocate for someone who cannot speak for himself. My hope is that he is in his watery bliss, relaxing and kicking away, with no understanding of this risky outer world.

I have moved from a focus on the self, to the couple, and now to the family. 

The next few months will be all about him. Thereafter, he will remain a primary focus of our motivations and deeds . I think what I have learned from this journey, apart from the benefits of  a good night’s sleep, is that love offers great healing power. I have watched myself “grow up” in this bed.

I see the other women on this high-risk floor and try to do what I can to pass a little good energy around. We cannot leave our rooms, except to go downstairs for testing, so we rarely have a chance to meet. When our gurney’s pass each other on the way to the lab, we grab each other’s hands and say “Good luck!!!!” or “Hang in there!!!”. I think this does wonders for us.

And speaking of WONDER , I wanted to let you know about an organization that does wonders for women on bed rest. It is called Acts of Grace Foundation. I believe that the founder can express her heartfelt motivation better than I can, so with permission, I share her story here. Please feel free to reach out to them if they move you. It’s amazing how small things make such a huge difference….

ACTS OF GRACE

WHO WE ARE

Acts of Grace Foundation is here to serve moms on ante partum units in hospitals.  We serve moms through small, simple acts. These simple acts consist of a floral deliveries, crafts to create, providing toiletry items, goody bags, interaction with other high-risk moms through activity nights, gas cards and meal vouchers to families.  Our hope is to make these moms more comfortable and ease the confinement during their hospital stay by providing them with these simple acts of grace.

Pregnancy is known to be a miraculous journey in a woman’s life.  During this period, one will experience joy and hope when planning for a new life.  Not every woman experiences a “normal” pregnancy.  Some women and their families experience complications severe enough to place them on hospital bed rest.  In certain situations, hospital bedrest can be ordered for the duration of the pregnancy.  The journey now becomes one of disbelief as a mom deals with days, weeks, sometimes months of confinement in a hospital room.  In addition to common new-mom anticipation, a mom must also learn to deal with the fears associated with a complicated pregnancy.  These fears can possibly consist of transferring to a hospital away from her support network, assignment of a new doctor, a preterm infant, a very ill newborn and  the risk of the mom’s own health.  A mom and her family may also have to learn to cope with financial strain, the loss of employment, care for her other children, new medications along with side effects and various other stresses of daily living.

GRACE

Joseff and Marlena Diedrich founded Acts of Grace in November of 2007.  The foundation was inspired after the loss of their daughter, Grace.  The Diedrich Family experienced what many experience during pregnancy: hospital bedrest.  Marlena shares a few thoughts of their experience and inspiration below;

In March of 2007 we found out we were having twins.  We were extremely excited and proud, we told anyone we met and everyone we knew!  We spent the next months preparing for the arrival of our two girls.Our due date of October 17, 2007 could not come soon enough!  The pregnancy was going great and I was enjoying every moment of our journey. The girls were developing on target and I was honored to be able to carry our two baby girls.  The morning of August 13, 2007 (30 weeks gestation) I called my doctor due to some concerns of pre term labor.  We were told to meet our doctor on the labor and delivery floor of Sky Ridge Medical Center.  Shortly after our arrival, I was told I was in labor due to complications with our Baby Grace.  We were advised to spend the duration of the pregnancy in the hospital on bed rest to receive a number of IV/oral medications  and for monitoring of our girls.  August 17, I was transferred to Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in anticipation of Grace’s delivery.  I cried all day on that Friday.  I did not want to leave my loving doctor’s care nor did I want to face the reality that I was having a high-risk pregnancy.  I was afraid of being under a different medical group’s care, was fearful of the unknown and was saddened that one of our girls was having life threatening complications.  I thought I was in a nightmare, I could not believe what was happening.  Our first days at P/SL we were visited by a number of specialists advising us of Grace’s poor prognosis and what we could expect at the delivery. The plan was to get me to 36 weeks gestation keeping me on the IV/oral medication to control my labor and continue to assess Grace’s unknown condition through further testing.  This news was overwhelming for us.  We had many fears of the unknown and felt completely isolated.  How could this be happening to us?  After a few days of attending the pool at P/SL, I realized there were other women in similar situations and realized how therapeutic it was to interact with them.   I also realized many of the women admitted to P/SL were completely alone.     

On September 27, 2007 (37 weeks gestation) our two beautiful daughters were delivered.  Grace arrived into this world with no signs of life, we were able to bring her sister home with us.  Weeks after being back home, I could not stop thinking about my time in the hospital.  I also could not stop thinking about the other high risk women with their various situations.  I felt that there was a strong need to reach out to pregnant women on hospital bedrest in the community.

We started providing services in April 2008 and look forward to expanding those services to other communities.

http://www.actsofgracefoundation.com/5.html

Watch our video

http://www.vimeo.com/6187727

Club Bedd- Week 5- Love Beyond Measure

It’s hard to know what to wish for in moments like this. A healthy baby? Patience? Strength?

I am grateful that we have made it this far. Five weeks of bed rest on the high-risk floor of the hospital. Five weeks of nourishment and “natural” life support for our baby, before he enters the world. When I arrived, Jacob was just 28 weeks. Now he will be 33 on friday. We have passed many milestones, and welcome each new one as a little miracle.

Oh, Baby, you are loved beyond measure!

I never knew it was possible to love someone who is not even born yet. Someone who does not live amongst us. I guess it’s the closest thing to faith or G-d. Treasuring the unseen.

I have had such an amazing support system. My friends and family say that I have been so positive on this journey, and that it’s helping me and the baby, as well as my sweet husband. But, perhaps I have the room to be positive because I feel so supported and loved. I hope they know how grateful I am!

I also wanted to thank YOU, for reading this, for your prayers and emails to me. You have NO IDEA how much this has meant to me. I would like to write you all back personally when things quiet down here (and I will!) but for now, please accept my deepest gratitude.

We have been getting some pressure from the High Risk specialists to rush into an amnio to see if the rupture of my water has sealed up. Although it’s minimally risky, there is still some chance that the amnio could cause another rupture, or put me in pre-mature labor. Our birth plan with our Dr. was to do this test at 34 weeks, at which time they would deliver him (if my water is still broken) or send me home to go a few weeks more (if my water sealed) . We made a decision as a family to keep our original birth plan and test at 34 weeks, not before! The specialist was a pushy, cocky woman and I felt as if we needed to stand our ground. She cared little that there was any risk involved.

So I have opted to stay at Club Bedd for the additional time, rather than risk anything and test too early. Nine days of patience can mean boatloads to a baby who is growing every day inside me. We are doing this for HIM. It makes me happy to know that the Bear and I can whether these things together as a family.

Club Bedd- Week 4!

An update to friends and family, sent from my bed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston (aka Club Bedd)

Greetings from Club Bedd, where the temperature is a steady 67 degrees and the food is white and pasty. 

It’s hard to believe that we are entering our 5th week here. I will take any little miracle we can get and feel blessed to have gotten to this point. Baby Jacob is doing wonderfully and seems as “happy as a clam” to quote one of the Docs. I am glad he has no idea that we are in here, or that my water broke and filled back up again. I bet he is happy that mama has had to set aside her workaholic tendencies for a wee bit!

Jacob is 32 weeks and 2 days today. He’s in a really good place as far as his development, and if he joined us today he would be well cared for by the team in the NICU. The Doctors are going to connect with the experts on the high risk OB team in a few weeks and run some tests on me to see if I should deliver at 34 or 36 weeks (the week of July 9 orJuly 23) which is unbelievable! He will soon be here !!!!

Papa Bear is doing well. He is working as head Contractor on our New Old House and packing, going to college and taking care of me and Jacob. He looks like HE could use some bed rest!

I’ve been trying to do something “meaningful” here (besides my new blessed full time job as incubator- which is pretty important). I’m reading some “deep” books, surfing the web on the best buys for king size sheets and outdoor furniture, and keeping up with the Kardashians. 

(Beware of  Jewish Princesses on bed rest with a laptop and a credit card!) 

The acupuncturist, and lady Rabbi, and social worker from the hospital pay me frequent visits, so I am now squared away with the Tao of Qi, G-d and my inner child. 

All I need is an aesthetician to rip off my very profound  mustache : ) and a constant supply of decaf iced lattes. Then, I will be balanced from the inside-out.

love,

me

G-d

I guess it doesn’t matter what you believe. There are times in your life that feel as if G-d is flowing through you. Sometimes, it can be for just a moment, other times it lingers. Whatever your faith, I do believe that if you can take a breath during that experience, it will stay with you always.

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