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house arrest

[Bed] Well, I have finally finished three weeks of "House Arrest".

First let me clarify, that I am NOT on bed rest, just house arrest. I can sit at my computer a few hours a day, recline on the living room sofa (thank god for RCA mini satellite dishes) and basically wander around the house, cook dinner, play with my daughter.

However, I feel that this is harder than bedrest. With bedrest, one knows their limits and can follow them. With house arrest everything is a question. If I can make dinner, then can I do this??? At what point is a pot or roaster too heavy??? Plus sometime I just sit at the window and look out like a prisoner.

These last two weeks have been extremely hard for me mentally. I have taken to snapping at everyone and crying for no good reason. It is like the world is going on without me and I am stuck in limboland. Our new house is under construction, and I have not seen it in 3 weeks, which is making me nuts, since my husband and I designed it and I need to keep up to date, since I was the project manager for it and now I have had to turn it over to someone else at the office and I don't know if I can trust their judgement.

The only times out have been to my weekly movie and dinner, doc approved, (don't waste time or money on Chain Reaction) and for a doc's appointment and a perinatologist appt.

Doc's went extremely well, have only gained 1 lb in the last two weeks which is amazing since I eat nonstop. Blood pressure perfect and NO contractions and uterus is soft and pliable. They now think I will easily make 36 weeks and once I hit 34 I may go back to work and my usual hectic schedule. Since I carried a previous baby to 40 weeks, never going into labor and had a scheduled c ending up with a 10 lb 2 oz baby, they feel 36 weeks, even 38 may happen. Peri said the same thing, both babies are doing great, Baby Girl is measuring in at 32 weeks 5 days and Baby Boy is 31 wks 5 days which is exactly what I was. Baby Girl is bigger. Both weight approx 4 lb 2-4 oz. so if I make 36 weeks, the peri said that they will probably be over 7lb each.

So yes, I know that what I am doing is for the best for my babies, but I am still going nuts...........

Hope this didn't bore anyone. Thanks for listening.

Sorry to hear about you going nuts on house arrest. Without making this into a "I had a worse time than you" post, which I do not want, I just want to add that twelve weeks on complete hospital bedrest asking nurses for a bedpan every time you had to go (and being pregnant you know that is quite often!) was much harder for me than having to be at home on bedrest-- at least I could have not announced to the world that I had to go! I can relate, though, because while in the hospital I developed gestational diabetes, and that was one of the few times I was glad to be in the hospital. Everything I ate was closely monitored and reviewed before I received it, and if my choices were wrong, they were changed. I would have hated to have been at home where the urge to cheat would have been so tempting and with no one to watch me, it would have been very hard. Good luck and when you are going nuts next time, appreciate the privacy of your bathroom and your bath or shower-- I really missed a shower after twelve weeks of sponge baths!

I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with "house arrest". I was put on "house arrest" at 20 weeks because of insulin dependent gestational diabetes and pre-term labor. At 28 weeks I was put on bedrest because of continuing problems with pre-term labor and delivered at 32 weeks.

One of the things I did to keep myself occupied was, of course, use the Internet. Our local library delivered books to people on house arrest and I was able to use the library's online catalog to select books. It was great!

I learned to crochet, I rented movies (hubby would pick them up), and once a week went for a laying-down car ride into the country (okayed by my doctor).

Try to remind yourself exactly what (who) you are doing this for. Read everything you can on twins/childbirth/prematurity. That helped me a lot when my two little angels came early.

Good luck to you and considering calling Sidelines, a group which assists those on "house arrest."

Well I never thought it would happen to me. Went yesterday for my 29 week check up and while everything was great, no contractions, good blood pressure, sugars normal etc.......the doctor found that my uterus was measuring 38 weeks at 29. Oops.

She looked at me and said " the time has come, you are now at home." Luckily for me she said very modified bedrest. More like subline on the couch or a chair with ottoman. Absolutely NO lifting and as little time on my feet as possible. Thank goodness that my cervix is still rock hard and closed tight, but she explained that the Ut. being 38 week sized might think that it is time and go into labor. Our goal is 5 more weeks. Then at 34 weeks I can go back to the office and leave the house.

Lucky for me, my mom was there to explain all this to my husband, who while extremely supportive and helpful would probably think that I am exaggerating about the serious aspect of this and want me at the office helping with our house. (it is under construction as we speak) I am at least allowed to leave the house once a week for a movie and dinner if I want. My mom started asking all sorts of specific questions like "what about driving?" to have the doc say "that involves leaving the house, so NO" "NO errands, NO shopping, NO work." She did say that since I have a computer/cad setup at home I may work a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon, if I rest in between. I am also allowed to go to a tea in my honor this afternoon.

I guess I am just venting since I tend to be a VERY active person always on the go. By 4:30 yesterday I was completely BORED. My husband would call every half hour to say hi and when I told him this he laughed and said that I have a long 5 weeks ahead of me. Thank God for the fax and email.

Anyways I am rambling, sorry, but already I am bored and nuts. Thanks for listening.

My husband thought I should leave work at 30 weeks. He told my doctor at that checkup how tired I was in the evenings, and she gave me a slip stating "patient may begin pregnancy leave now". My boss said something to the effect of "may? Is that what you want to do?" and something about there being a difference between being tired and uncomfortable vs. being in danger. I stayed. At my checkup two weeks later, my husband again said something to my doctor, who said, "I thought we quit work." She then gave me another slip which mentioned multiple pregnancy, high blood pressure and "effective immediately". I quit work. 31 weeks, 5 days, and on the day before my 32nd birthday. Being 32, and having been working full-time for 10 years, my (paid) leave was a blessing. I slept a lot in the mornings (guess I needed it), and went on bedrest at almost 35 weeks because of my blood pressure. My husband was wonderful about getting our son off to school and his various activities, and about preparing meals and cleaning up. I read books and worked on the quilt I was making for the babies, and I slept with my cat curled up on the side of my huge belly while my babies kicked and squirmed. Bliss. I'd love to have some of that sleep and reading time now, but wouldn't trade what I DO have for anything in the world!

So far I have just completed one week of "house arrest". Only 4 more to go. I am now 30 weeks and 1 day.

It has not be easy, since I am a very active person and for some reason nothing sounds appealing about sitting around all day.

For all of you out there who had this similar situation, what about muscle atrophy?? I already feel like my legs and going to mush. My husband who is quite athletic said that this happens rather quickly, but not to worry. I would like some other opinions from those this has happened too.

What about Brain Atrophy??? I feel this happening as well. Nothing is interesting, not even the Olympics, soaps, or the news. I have a huge pile of videos from good tv to trash movies for fun, but I can't get past the first 10 min on anything, even old favorites. Same with reading and few pages and I lose my concentration. I normally read at least two novels a week. I tend to find myself in a half dazed slump. Any advice for this?????

I was on bedrest for 4 months and definitely saw a decrease in muscle tone and strength. I believe it takes about 3 months of inactivity before there's a noticeable difference in strength. The good news is it takes much longer for total atrophy (longer than you'll be pregnant)! :-)

I read a book called "When Pregnancy Isn't Perfect" (Laurie A. Rich) that has a list of isometric exercises to do while on bedrest. I talked to my ob and showed him the book and he approved of my doing them daily. The top two reasons for doing exercises (from my ob and from the above- mentioned book) were to keep circulation going in the lower extremities (prevention of blood clots in the legs and retention of water/swelling of the ankles and legs) and to keep pelvic and upper leg muscles toned for the birth process itself. Also can't hurt just to rid yourself of some of the kinks from lying on your side so much and just passing the time! While in the hospital for weeks 30-34, my ob actually asked a physical therapist come to my room who provided hand weights and another exercise routine.

Check out the book from your library, talk to your ob, ask questions, and good luck! Keep those babies cooking!

After being on bedrest for 18 weeks (including 3 hospital stays) and having a 4-year-old to care for, I am an expert at keeping the brain from turning to mush! I also try to keep myself in good shape, so I spoke to my doctor about doing exercises that put no stress on the cervix and were unlikely to cause contractions. There are many ways to "work out" while laying down. I won't make any suggestions here since I'm not qualified to know what's safe for you, but you might ask your OB. I didn't experience any muscle atrophy.

Also, here are some suggestions based on things I did to keep busy during my pregnancy:
  • Fill out birth announcements (leave names, dates, etc. blank), including addressing envelopes.
  • Fill out and address all birthday and other greeting cards for upcoming events.
  • Use mail-order catalogs to purchase baby supplies and birthday/holiday gifts for friends/family.
  • Update your address book.
  • Have someone bring you the file cabinet/junk drawer/whatever! so you can sift through and organize it.
  • Start your twins' baby books and update your daughter's.
  • Keep a pregnancy journal.
  • Sew, knit, crochet, paint or fabric paint, needlepoint, latchhook, weave, braid, paintstitch, etc.
  • Paint your finger- and toenails (Who cares if no one else sees it?! Your daughter would probably love to share a "day of beauty" with Mommy.).
  • Put all your loose photos into albums.
  • Make lists for other people to do your shopping and other errands (including a wish-list of baby items, especially if you haven't registered somewhere).
  • Read twin-related books (if you haven't already read them all!).
  • Write letters/make phone calls to everyone you never get to talk to.
  • Schedule friends/family members to spend the afternoon visiting you, doing your laundry and making your dinner. (Sounds selfish, but my friends were glad to be doing something really helpful for me. I reciprocated once the shock of parenting twins wore off!)
  • Schedule a facial with a Mary Kay rep (they come to you) -- have a few girlfriends over to join you, if you want.
  • Play Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Go Fish, etc. with your little girl (at least as often as you can stand it!).
  • If you're allowed to ride in the car at all, go to someone else's house and lay on *their* sofa, once in awhile!
I'm sure some of these will not interest you at all, but with all those weeks to kill, you'll be surprised what you'll resort to! Especially as that familiar nesting instinct sets in. I felt really vital when I was organizing things (as listed above). It was nice to end each day knowing I'd accomplished something that would make my life easier after the babies came.

I hope this helps you a little. Hang in there!

I was not put on strict bedrest, but even with being able to walk around and stuff, after I had the girls I had lost the ability to even do one sit-up or crunch and forget about leg lifts. After about a month I had at least regained most of the muscle strength if not the tone.

As for the brain atrophy-I think it's a normal part of being pregnant. My aunt used to read almost a book a day-during her pregnancy she read nothing except for books on babies. When I was pregnant I gave up working on my dissertation because I just couldn't concentrate. It got soooo bad at one point that I couldn't concentrate on The Price Is Right!!! However, I too had no problem reading books on babies and twins. Unfortunately, by my sixth month I was sick of those books too. Try to have as many friends drop in to chat as possible, and use the phone a lot. I found conversation very soothing when I was pregnant, especially if the other person would talk about herself for a while, instead of asking me about the babies.

Good luck.

Congratulations on your first week of bedrest! The first two weeks are by far the hardest. Tomorrow will be six weeks for me (and 30 weeks of pregnancy) with six to go. My OB wants me to make it to 36 weeks. I was SO miserable for the first two weeks--physically, mentally, emotionally..... I couldn't lie still for more than two minutes without having muscle spasms and having to change position, and a general feeling of going totally mad. I had been very active prior to bedrest--hiking, swimming, teaching, working in the garden, writing my dissertation, etc, etc...and it was very hard to get used to not doing any of those things. Also being suddenly and totally dependent on other people for every single thing is very trying.

I think the thing is this: as long as you fight it, you will continue to be miserable. The fact is, you're still working just as hard, if not harder, but by force of circumstance your priorities have changed. The only thing that matters anymore is keeping your babies in utero until your doctor says it's OK for them to come out. Call Sidelines, an organization that offers support to mothers on bedrest. They're very knowledgeable and can match you with a MOT who went through just what you're going through. They'll also send you written material. The thing that finally allowed me to relax and not mind it so much was when I finally got it through my head just how important this bedrest is for my babies. It was also easier to understand after a couple of incidents of me thinking it wouldn't hurt for me to do x or y--and ending up in the hospital. And the good news is that your body will get used to it. I can now lie here for the whole day on my left side without even noticing it, let alone feeling like I'm going to die.

Don't worry about your muscles--they'll come back later. You're putting your energy into something that's much much more important than nice thighs. And it's only for a short time! Maybe the tone goes away quickly, but I think that for an active person it will also come back quickly.

Good luck!

I have seen a physical therapist for my back problems for years. When I asked him about muscle atrophy and bed rest he told me of studies involving football players where they were asked to sit and do nothing for several days. They documented atrophy in these physically fit men after just several days, so you can imagine what will happen to your muscles after weeks of bedrest :-( He recommended that I see a different physical therapist who had training with women on bed rest (and this woman had been on bedrest during one of her pregnancies as well, so she knew about it first-hand). She came over to my house and had me do some very simple leg and arm exercises. I wasn't on official *bed* rest yet, it was more like "couch" rest. After the exercises she would have me monitor (Tokos) for contractions. If there were no contractions, I could continue with the exercises. Well, unfortunately after a few weeks of this, just about any movement would set off my contractions and so I gave up the exercises (for the remaining two months of the pregnancy). After the triplets were born, I was so weak I couldn't do was just two weeks before Christmas and I wanted to do some shopping and when I went to the mall, I could only walk past about 5 or 6 stores (my legs were just too sore to continue!). So the next day my mom took me shopping in a wheelchair!

Because you only have four more weeks to go, you won't, of course, get as weak as I did. But I did want to let you know that even after all this, I felt back to normal (well, *closer* to normal) after about only a month or so. So, I'd suggest exercises if you can find someone to work with you and your dr. approves it. And if not, your muscle tone really will come back.

This is for anyone who is concerned about muscle atrophy during her confinement to bed. I spent five months on total bed rest and this worried me also. For the first few weeks after my initial hospital stay I was very depressed about the possibility of losing the babies, but once I began to stabilize and it looked as though I would be able to carry the babies I found other things to worry about - my body. I was always a very active person and exercised for about 1-1/2 hours a day for 5 days a week. When I became pregnant I cut back quite a bit but complete bedrest was a real shock to my body. I remember after a couple of weeks I started having muscle twitches in my legs (muscles atrophying). I called my dr. and he gave a list of exercises that I could do while lying on my side which included using ankle weights. I was able to do quite a bit of leg exercises actually, as long as there was no pull on my abdomen. The leg twitches immediately went away and I felt so much better. Definitely check with your doctor to see if this is an option for you. It does a lot for your sanity as well. Good luck!

One of the primary purposes of bedrest is to keep you off your feet and inactive, as activity can cause an increase in contractions to occur. It is a very common precaution, especially with women experiencing pre-term labor like it sounds you have been doing. Although with the triplets I was lucky not to have been confined to bed, I was on very limited activity, and told to just sit and "rest" 99% of my day, which I did, and I think it did prolong the pregnancy. I went to 33 weeks of pregnancy (which is average for triplets) and the babies weighed 5 lbs 2 oz, 4 lbs 9 oz, and 3 lbs 12 oz. My OB told me that the "critical" point was 25 weeks for lung development. The medical profession is making progress in saving pre-term babies in leaps and bounds, but why take unnecessary risks?

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