My family sure could use your prayers and sage advice.
My wife is 26 weeks pregnant with our newest son, John. (We have two other living kids and 7 others lost during early pregnancy)
Yesterday she began experiencing contractions. This never has happened to her before with our other kids.
She’s been hospitalized for the last 24 hours and it looks like she will be sent home tomorrow under strict instructions to take medication to supress the contractions and to have “bed rest” – no driving, no cooking, no cleaning, no lifting – basically laying down at all times.
I know we can do this, it will be very tough, but we will give this baby the very best chance.
If any of you have experience with this, I would appreciate your wisdom.
My wife was on partial bedrest for the last 2 months of the child 3 pregnacny. this was due to low embreonic fluid.
Yes it was rough. Two other children at home ( 4 and 2 at the time).
It was only partial, so she could sit up occasionally, and could get up to change a diaper or make a light snack for the kids when I was at work. but much the same restrictions, no driving, no lifting, etc…
The library was our best friend, she caught up on a lot of reading and I worked my butt off. Family was really helpful with our moms coming over occasionally to cook a dinner and stick a few pre-made ones in the freezer.
I made the kids breakfast in the morning, and bag lunches in the 'fridge for during the day (my 4 year old set it out for the 2 year old )
We did have to hire a neighbor’s daughter to come over an assist each day after school until I got home to help with the kids (take them to the park, play with them a bit etc…)
A huge hassel, but what does that really mean when a child is involved.
I am a mother of twins. The moms of twins and supertwins (triplets on up) who have had to go through bed rest are legion. You might find some helpful tips on the mothers of multiples websites and in twin books at the library.
As to practical advice… here are a few you may consider. I’m assuming at least one question will be "How do I do my job and take care of the house & meals?!?
Hire a cleaner every two weeks. If you get behind, that will keep the dirt knocked down to the level that it can’t form a union and take over.
Consider the method of “The Freezer Cooking Manual” from 30 day gourmet by Tara Wohlenhaus and Nanci Slagle. They also have a website, www.30daygourmet.com; password instructions are in the book. The idea is one day of intensive cooking per month, and you fill in the balance with bagged lettuce, etc. Snag one kind-hearted friend to help you through that, and you will be more free to use other offers of help to take the kids out to be loud and run.
Make yourself a list of food choices. Just a reminder of what your options are helps.
As for your wife…
She is the one that will benefit from the bed-rest websites and books for ideas that will work for her. If you can afford it, she might find a laptop and basic cable help pass the time. The library is a good option, both for books and books on tape. She can browse online and give you a list.
I used to call the drug they gave me to ward off contractions “kryptonite”. It was really magnesium sulfate, but anything that relaxes your muscles is going to make you as weak as a cat. Not necessarily tired, but definitely weak.
Ooops… gotta go. My twins need me! You will be in our prayers
I’d suggest calling the Parish Office, and letting them know of the situation - first, for more prayer, and second - there may be groups in the Parish (youth, women’s groups, etc.) who will be happy to pitch in and lend a hand.
My wife had to spend the last few months of our sixth child bedridden due to placenta previa. Two or three times she was hemorrhaging, went to the hospital, and the (pro-life, very competent, Catholic) OBGYN said the baby was too young and wanted to give the baby more time. I thought I was going to lose them both. I learned real fast just how quickly the laundry piled up, and how difficult it is to keep up with basic chores. No longer did I take the “clothers fairy” and “dish fairy” for granted. I feel for you both, and you are in my prayers.
As far as practical advice, it looks like you already got a lot. In our case, my wife’s friends from church must have gotten together and made a schedule because they started showing up almost every day with dinner, on a rotating basis. At one point we had to ask them to stop for a few days so we could clear some of the leftovers. We were so blessed to have such great friends, and they really did make things easier for us. I’m getting watery-eyed just remembering their kindness.
And another thing–make sure that she has plenty of water available at bedside for drinking. Not being as hydrated as one should be can contribute to contractions (and I know, with all the urge to go to the bathroom, there’s a tendency to think “I’ll just drink less so I don’t have to go so much”). I don’t have any practical experience w/ bedrest (even though I’ve got twins), but I know the water issue does make a difference.
Contact the local homeschool group. If you’re lucky, there will be some teens with a need for service hours. Otherwise, their fairly cheap labor and can usually work during school hours. You can probably find more than one to share the load.
Do ask the parish to have someone bring her communion on Sundays. I once brought communion to a mother in these circumstances for a couple of months. Most of those I visit are preparing for death, and are very good at it. However, it was great to prepare for life for a change. All ws well in the end.
And ask the priest to come by and give her the anointing of the sick.
The recently canonized St Gianna Molla is a good patron for problem pregnancies.
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