If you’re a twin mom, you most likely have experienced the unpleasant “vacation” known as bed rest. All of your friends couldn’t stop talking about how lucky you were to be able to just lay in bed binge watching Netflix. In reality, you were having panic attacks that the slightest lower backache was a sign that you were in labor way too early. One aspect of bed rest that you really don’t think about too much when you are in the thick of it is the recovery from it. What really happens when that “vacation” is over?
I was fortunate enough to be on bed rest in the hospital with my twins for four months and was able to deliver them at 37 weeks, avoiding the NICU completely. We were all lucky to make it that far with the odds being stacked against us when I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix at 19 weeks. A ton of positivity and support helped me get to the finish line and stay sane during the process. Making it that far in my pregnancy was the best-case scenario for my twins and their health, but for me it was a different story.
I not only was in recovery mode from my c-section but I had complete muscle atrophy due to being in bed for roughly 23 ½ hours per day (only getting up for necessary bathroom breaks). Being at home with a broken body and two newborns to take care of was not the “life after bed rest” ideal I was dreaming about while in the hospital. My recovery was very difficult and I could not start physical therapy until 6 weeks postpartum. All I had wished while lying in bed for those many months was coming home with my twins and getting to go for walks outside with them in the fresh air that I missed so much. Not a chance! I was lucky if I was able to stand up long enough to change one of their diapers at the changing table.
Regardless of the aftermath I experienced, I kept bringing my attention back to my twins. Bed rest was a sacrifice and now this recovery was one as well. It was all incredibly worth it for these babies to be alive and healthy. Eventually after months of physical therapy, my muscle tone and strength came back. It was all a small price to pay for finally being able to become a mom. Once I was able to, it was the best feeling to get out to experience those walks outside with my twins. The gratification was slightly delayed but like bed rest, completely worth every second waiting for.
If you are a mom currently on home or hospital bed rest or just recovering from it, here are my top three tips for having a successful recovery:
Author Jessica Fisher is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in supporting women on bed rest due to pregnancy complications. She spent 122 days on hospital bed rest while pregnant with her twins and successfully delivered them at full term. The services she provides have been proven to help prolong high-risk pregnancies resulting in healthy, and full term babies. For more information, please visit her website: www.bedrestlifecoach.com and check out her interview with CBS News. Follow Bed Rest Life Coach on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter