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Pregnancy and Bedrest

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Nothing can be more frustrating and deflating than being told that you need to be on bedrest. I've been put on bedrest 3/5 pregnancies. One of those pregnancies ended in a miscarriage really early on so I never had that opportunity for bedrest until it was too late.

When I was pregnant with my first son, it was an awful pregnancy. I was sick from day 1 and couldn't hold down any food. That is until I discovered Artic Circle cheeseburgers. That's all I could hold down. Cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers. ?. I started getting hypertension symptoms around 31 weeks and I had no clue what was happening. My feet were crazing swollen and would not go down. That was a huge red flag and I was too naive to ask any questions. My eyesight was blurry and there were spots of black and flashes of light. My head felt like it was spinning and was so heavy. It was just not a good thing all along. At 32 weeks I was put on bedrest because my BP read 165/94. I was doing ok because I had no kids, no real responsibility…yet.

At 33 weeks I started stress test for the baby in which they monitor the heart rate/movements of the baby. At that time I got up from the table, there was a circle of water from where I was sitting. They measured my fluid which was at a 4, they want it above 10. My BP was still not under control so they ended up admitting me to the hospital. I had to have a constant hospital life for 7 days. I could only get up to go to the restroom and to take a quick shower. It was around these times when I could feel that my BP was still making me feel the same exhaustion and dizziness.

It was Sunday night by this time and they were going to release me because I was able to get my BP stable for a few days but I'd still have to be on bedrest. They took vitals at the shift change and this was when my BP was 170/111. They knew at that time that I'd have to be induced. I was in labor for 2.5 days. AWFUL! I delivered a fairly healthy baby with strong lungs at 34 weeks weighing 4 lbs 7 ounces. Little Fred.

After spending those weeks in the hospital and at home just sitting in bed was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It makes you realize all the things that you can't do for yourself. It's hard for an independent person to rely on people just for simple meals, bring you drinks, make sure you don't pass out. It's a huge emotional rollercoaster because you can't control the situation and the only thing that will make you feel physically better is to deliver the baby. Depending on how far along you are, the scarier the situation.

My second pregnancy was totally normal, no sickness, no high BP. Nothing. Now he's my craziest child.

My third pregnancy started out just fine and then around 24 weeks, I started getting the spins again. I was so frustrated to think that this was happening again. All I had done that night was plant some flowers in planters. It wasn't anything vigorous that set this off. It was also at this pregnancy where my Fibromyalgia symptoms were becoming prevalent.

I was not naive anymore and knew that I had to ask questions. My nurse was particularly short with me. She treated me like I was googling everything and then saying I had those symptoms. Like I had nothing to back it up. That was more than frustrating. On my next appointment, my BP read 140/90, right in the mark for bedrest. My doctor at the time said that my BP always reads like that and I'm fine. I wasn't fine. She measured my stomach at that appointment and told me to come back in two weeks for a growth ultrasound because I was clearly measuring low and not at 27 weeks.

Between that appointment and the delivery, I had gone to Labor and Delivery 4 times. I went the Friday before she was born. I had seen my doctor walking down the hallway and we made eye contact. She never asked me any questions and she intentionally walked through a pass through so she didn't have to walk pass me. I'm sure she was tired of the phone calls and hearing from other professionals that the baby was still ok but I wasn't. During this time the baby was always being monitored by stress tests and so this made me feel somewhat at ease.

Throughout the weekend I started realizing that she wasn't moving so much. That had been my reason for the visit on the Friday before. On Monday I had a stress test scheduled so I knew I'd be able to get all my answers then. When we hooked me up, there was no movement. She had no peaks in her heart rate during that hour. They measure my fluid and it was at an 8 and she had the hiccups. Those hiccups were the best sign ever. When they check for movement in the babies and they are not responding, they use a little buzzer on your tummy to give the baby a jolt. She literally shrugged her shoulders like she was uncomfortable, it was not the jolt we were looking for.

They sent me to Labor and Delivery and I wouldn't be leaving without a baby. I was 29 weeks and 6 days. They measures the baby the next day and she was only measuring as if she was 28 weeks old. The blood flow in my uterus was not going to her at the rate it needed to and thus she wasn't growing. This pregnancy I had to be on bedrest for 2 days but I really think I should have had to once my BP had that high reading.

I had been through it before and so I knew what to look for. I knew what to expect but what I didn't know is that the first pregnancy problems actual helped me realize something was wrong and it saved my third child. Many times I hear about people who don't want to bother the doctors and they don't think a situation is as serious as it is. It is. It's your body, your child and it's important to listen to your body during these times.

Now for my fifth, and FINAL pregnancy! I started spotting and I was only about 8 weeks. It was only when I went to the bathroom so I didn't think it was a huge deal. Around 9 weeks the bleeding got a bit heavier and redder. I knew at this time to call my doc and the high risk doctor on call never called me back until I was already at the ER.

Yes, I have to see a high risk maternal fetal medicine doctor because of my horrible pregnancy history. My doctor is awesome but the on call one, I guess bleeding isn't that urgent. Oh well, I'm ok now and so is the baby.

While I was in the ER they did a bunch of tests to find out if I was miscarrying or if the blood was coming from my uterus. The docs were so thorough  and careful about what was happening that it really made me feel at ease. However, all this time they still hadn't done a heart monitor or ultrasound so I didn't know the state of the baby.

About 4 hours into my visit, the last place they took me was to get an ultrasound and it was at this time I could hear a pumping heart and a healthy heart. I was so relieved but still unaware of why I was bleeding. It turns out I had a small hemmorage between my placenta and my uterus so the placenta hadn't fully attached. It depends on the size of the hemmorage to determine if you'll miscarry and thankfully mine wasn't large enough to put me in that category. We still would have a baby and he was healthy.

They recommend that I again go on bedrest until the bleeding stopped and I got my Rhogam shot to help in not having my negative blood type reject my possibly positive type blood baby. I really have to say that the shot made all the difference. That shot is what has saved 4/5 babies and has ensured that for the most part, I can carry them healthy.

Pregnancy is not my jam, it never will be. I don't ever feel good and with Fibromyalgia in the mix with this pregnancy, it's giving me painful flares. I do love my children though so I hope the older ones can see my misery to let them know how much I really do love them. Lol.

I hope this baby stays in me full term or at least until they can be as healthy as possible in my stomach. Thank goodness for good doctors and good husbands and sometimes listening children.

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  1. kara says

    Thank you for this post. I am 27 wks w baby #3 and have been in similar situations with all my other pregnancies. My perinatalogist said to expect to be on bedrest starting at 32 weeks, and it’s hard to imagine how that’s gonna work with 2 kids under 7. But you gotta do what you gotta do to ensure baby is healthy

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