This story is a little (okay, a lot) personal, but people don’t talk about being on bedrest during pregnancy often enough! Bedrest is hard, isolating, and anxiety-inducing. It’s filled with images and pictures that are obtrusive and totally unwelcome. If you have other kids, you also get a heaping side of guilt and worry. As if your plate isn’t already full! The paintings your mind can form during this time are as awe-inspiring as The Scream but are muddied with fear, rather than appreciation. During my six week stay at the hospital, I learned how to cope with the angry face of bedrest by tuning fully into HGTV…and crocheting.
How HGTV Helped Me Survive Bedrest
When I first arrived at the hospital, two hours north in Savannah, after having been transported by the ambulance, I was terrified. I was 30 weeks pregnant and my water broke. I knew that not only was I very far from my other kids for who knew how long, I would be completely alone. With that, I felt horrible because the longer I stayed, the better chances the baby had, but it meant I was there a long time. I felt guilty for even thinking about not wanting to be there. Moreso, if I needed anything, it would be that much longer before I could get it since that was quite a trek for my family. I was trapped physically, but emotionally too. I was worried about everything from placental abruption to cord prolapse. I wouldn’t even use the bathroom for fear of something horrible happening. I wondered how I, and the baby, would get through the indefinite weeks of procedures and broken waters.
Eventually, my anxiety lessened thanks to whatever medication they gave me and some intentional breathing. I was able to wake the next day and turn on the TV. I immediately began watching Fixer Upper and within 30 minutes, I could put some of those fears aside and just enjoy lying there with my hand on my belly while I watched. Soon, I got out my hook and yarn. I began a project, a crochet octopus and jellyfish that I finished within two days. I would wake early in the AM during my morning NST, and begin watching HGTV and working on my projects. This lasted the next fours weeks. Day in and day out. It made the days predictable and manageable. Seeing beautiful remodels gave me something for which to look forward. When you always expect bad news, having some levity is always welcome.
HGTV Was More than a “Guilty Pleasure”
The all-day HGTV marathons were more than just a distraction, they were a true escape from the complete and all-encompassing fear I was experiencing. Between my favorite DIYers and my yarnspirations, I could breathe a little. I formed a routine so to speak and that gave me a sense of control over a situation that was very decidedly not in my control. Being able to watch and experience something outside of my own mind was integral to my mental well-being in a really shitty situation. I couldn’t change what happened nor the circumstances, but I could make my surroundings more comforting to me. Especially since a small hospital room is already confining in the best of times!
Eventually, I reached 34 weeks and it was baby time! It went by much faster due to my indulgence of HGTV! Unfortunately, we stayed two weeks in the NICU, but of course, I was with him the whole time which was all I wanted anyway! He was worth every second of it-the silver lining, the prize.
Have you ever been on bedrest? What did you do to make it through?