Bed Rest Survival

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Are you on bed rest too? This is definitely a more challenging pregnancy compared to my first with J.

Each trip to the bathroom is filled with anxiety, with me muttering “Please. Please. Please.” under my breath. Pleading and praying that I see no blood, I let out a sigh and a series of “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” after confirming that all is clear. I get to pee in peace.

Being on complete bed rest for two weeks is actually not bad. It’s a long enough time to recover but not too long that you start going a bit crazy. Now, being on bed rest for more than fifteen weeks is something else. I have been in this bedroom for about four months, and I have approximately two more to go.

I have stared at the walls, the ceiling and the photos on our dresser – memorizing each inch, resisting the urge to fix, clean or move things around.

Is it difficult? Yes. Is it impossible – not at all.

The top ten things that helped me (and continue to help me) survive bed rest are:

10. The Internet (and a smart phone) – I have been on strict bed rest and am not allowed to go down the stairs, carry a laptop (or my two-year old), do anything really except go to the bathroom. What I am allowed to carry though is my cellphone – and with that, I can use the internet. Access to news, light articles and friends and family have kept me busy. The recent typhoon has messed up the internet a bit at home, but thanks to Globe Tattoo, we’ve been able to remain connected.

9. Books – Ebooks, real books, photocopied books (I know, that’s bad) are all great company. When the power is out, and when your batteries are all drained, a real book won’t let you down. The books that have kept me company so far are:

The Return of the Prodigal Son (Henri Nouwen)

Kinunot, Kinalas, Kinamot (Luis Ruben M. General, Jose B. Perez, Tito Genova Valiente)

Markings (Dag Hammarskjold)

The Geography of You and Me (Jennifer E. Smith)

8.  A Hard Pillow – The Boppy pillow I used while breastfeeding J is actually one of the most comfortable pillows for me at the moment. Staying on my back for too long causes a lot of lower back pain – pillows and moving to my side every once in a while has helped a lot.

7. A Notebook and Pen – Having a pen (pencil, marker, whatever) and a notebook (my planner too!) to jot down ideas, dreams, things that we need at home (shopping list for Tom, to do list, to pack list) and just to doodle is almost as important as the internet (for me). My penmanship got its much needed practice too. Bed rest allowed me to make handwritten notes to friends (and thanks to my husband, got them mailed out too!).

6. Crafts – Scrapbook-making, Calligraphy, Rubber Stamp Making!

I am honestly very thankful for all this downtime because I was able to catch-up on Javy’s scrapbook. Finally, all the photos I had printed, all the tiny pieces of paper (first airplane ticket, first ultrasound) kept in notebooks, and his first snip of hair – yes, they are now all in the scrapbook!

And Calligraphy! When I was 11 years old, my Tita Ofe got me a beautiful Sheaffer Calligraphy set – I had two fountain pens with three nibs and lots of coloured ink. I loved it! And I practiced all the time – until I discovered the internet. High School happened and I forgot about the pens. Thanks to Craft Carrot and Life After Breakfast, my interest in calligraphy started to come back. I got myself a starter set and have had dirty, ink-stained hands since.

Oh and rubber stamp making! This! This must have been the best thing I learned from Life After Breakfast! Seriously, if you can attend Alessa’s workshops – do it! I’ve had so much fun carving random things from erasers. I’ve made about two dozen stamps while on bed rest – and if I had more rubber, I’d definitely make more. Which reminds me, I ought to order from Craft Carrot soon.

So, on the side table next to our bed, I have the following supplies within reach:


Pencils and a sharpener

Colored Markers

Calligraphy nibs and ink (from Craft Carrot!)

Speedball Carver (from a workshop with Life After Breakfast)



Glue and Tape

Tracing Paper

5. Giant Water Bottles

Whether or not you’re pregnant, you ought to drink a lot of water. So when you’re pregnant and on bed rest – make sure you have a lot of liquid within reach. No walking up and down to grab a glass of water. Have a bottle or two right next to you. My white Sigg bottle has been my best friend. Thanks, Marj!

4. Snack Stash

I’ve got a small bowl of fruits on the little table next to me, cereal, crackers and milk! Okay, I’ve got cookies and some chips too (which I don’t eat often – I swear).

3. Menthol or Eucalyptus Balm

Human Nature’s Balm for All Seasons is my ultimate favorite. It helps when I start feeling nauseus and it eases the pain on my neck, back, legs (everywhere). I grew up with Vicks (which I still love), but with Human Nature’s Balm, I feel much safer (for me, for baby and for J too).

2. Family and Friends

How can one survive without family and friends? Huge shout-out to my husband that does EVERYTHING for me and for J too. Being on bed rest means you are utterly dependent on other people – it is humbling, frustrating and becomes a moment for peace and actual rest only when you’ve accepted the dependence that comes with it. I am very grateful that we have family right here that help out with Javy (he sleeps with his grandparents so that I don’t get kicked or climbed on). And my wonderful nephews that keep me company and very entertained with their new tricks and stories. Thanks to the internet and mobile phones, I can talk to my parents, my brothers and everyone else!

Again, thank you internet for allowing me to keep in touch with the people I love.

1. Prayer

Nothing like a scare like this to keep you focused on what matters. God matters. The Rosary has been my weapon of choice as well – with each bead dedicated to our little one. Every, seemingly mundane, moment matters – every step, every movement. I am so thankful that we have reached 33 weeks (7 more to go!) and that we have had no more bleeding for a while now.

There are many other things that can help you survive your bed rest experience:

Sew, Crochet or Knit – Check out the Gantsilyo Guru’s Selections (if you aren’t on bed rest, take her workshops!)

Watch television or movies – We chose not to have a television in our bedroom when we got married so I ended up not having the chance to watch TV all this time. For some strange reason, I’m not too into watching movies either right now.

Listen to music or podcasts

Here are a few links that you can check out to help you on your bed rest:

Bed Rest: 19 Survival Supplies by Parents.Com

How to Survive Bed Rest by Modern Mom