Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bedrest Essentials

Last week I wrote about things that were helpful to us during Virginia's NICU stay.  Today Ill write about the things that saved my sanity during bedrest.  Ill eventually get to writing about post NICU essentials, pumping for a preemie essentials, PT/OT essentials etc.  Its easy to find lists of "what to register for" or "what to pack in your hospital bag" or "newborn essentials" but I haven't come across many recommendation lists that are applicable to bedrest, NICU stays, or life after NICU.  Hopefully someone finds this series helpful.

Not many people anticipate bedrest and can prepare.  If you have a friend or a family member that is suddenly faced with bedrest and you want to help, here are some of the things that helped me through my month of varying degrees of bedrest (home bedrest, hospital bedrest, strict hospital bedrest, and hell-ish strict hospital bedrest.)

Communication & Visitors-  the number 1 thing that helped me were the calls, emails, notes, skype dates, text messages, & VISITS from friends and family.  Many of my friends and family members also knew the times and days that Heath wouldn't be at the hospital with me and were especially conscious to call, skype, or visit with me at those times.  Only positive attitudes were allowed and my heart swelled with so much hope and love from all the support.

Entertainment- I read, watched TV, browsed the internet and did work but I also appreciated the all the books and magazines that I received.  Upcycled & random magazines were best because that ensured that I didn't receive 4 copies of the current issue of US weekly :) I very quickly got up to speed with pop culture!

Food- The food at YNHH was really pretty good.  I ordered the same rotation of items each day even though there was a 4 page menu of options.  What can I say, I was living on routine and I was prepared for a long stay and wanted to pace myself.  The fruit selection on the hospital menu was pretty blah so I really appreciated the edible arrangement that a group of friends sent.

Water Bottle- My camelback water bottle was a lifesaver because I could drink from it while laying down.  I had to drink several bottles of water each day to convince the docs from keeping me off of IV fluids and the camelback bottle made it much easier to do so.  

Manicure set - my nails grew quickly when I was pregnant and because I was laying in bed all day having a manicure set became a welcome activity.  I have never had such great nails as that month on bedrest. 

Nice Toiletries-  When you are only allowed to have a 2 minute shower every 3 days or (gasp) only a sponge bath, some nice toiletries (leftover L'Occitane samples from a hotel stay were my choice) goes a looooooong way.  Hospital supplied toiletries include one bottle that is shampoo/conditioner/body wash/deodorant in one and smells like, well, a hospital.  

lululemon headband- see above for a description of my shower privileges.  My hair looked like hell 97% of the time and these headbands were able to tame the mess without giving me a headache.

The hospital is SO dry and chapstick is a must.  This Nivea chapstick was my favorite.

My Pi Phi friends may be the only ones to appreciate this.  I got a special "wish cookie" while in the hospital and not only was it delicious but made me so happy.  I twirled my finger under that cookie and made alot of wishes for the 36 or so hours that the cookie lasted :)

Games- I probably had 20-ish words with friends games going at any one time.  It was surprisingly fun and seriously helped pass the time.

Clothes and Linens- Hospital pillows are similar to sleeping with a gallon ziploc bag filled with packing peanuts.  My pillow from home (with a non-white pillowcase) was an absolute essential.  I chose to wear hospital gowns and use the hospital towels & linens.  It would have been really nice to be in my own clothes and to have a towel that was larger than a receiving blanket but I didn't want to put anymore responsibility on Heath by burdening him with laundry.   If  you know someone on bedrest, helping with household chores such as laundry, walking the dog, helping with other children, or running an errand  is so helpful. 

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