Let’s talk about what people think of when they hear the term “bed rest.”
1. Lazing around all day, uninterrupted.
2. People to wait on you and bring you food.
3. Not having to run any errands or take care of any domestic activities.
4. Getting out of work for awhile.
5. Time away from existing children who run around the house, screaming.
6. A fancy-free vacation for the last bit of pregnancy.
7. A time where your husband/boyfriend/SO/whatever will bring you things that you need to keep you entertained.
8. A bunch of free time where you can catch up on reading and trashy television.
9. A time when you have the ability to nap any time you want.
10. In general, a total holiday at which you will look upon fondly later in life, longing to have it happen again.
Now let’s talk about what bed rest actually is, because this seems to be a common misconception.
1. Being prisoner to a bed…24 hours a day…no questions asked.
2. You have to rely on others for everything, including something as simple as water. That means you have to call a nurse, wait for them to finish with other patients, and then wait for them to get you whatever you need.
3. Not being able to get out of bed, even for something as simple as getting the mail. You start to miss doing housework after about two days of bed rest.
4. Getting out of work/school for awhile. Yes, this is a novelty for a hot minute; however, most people don’t understand exactly how boring this gets.
5. Even if they scream 24 hours a day, you WILL start to miss your children. I don’t have any existing children…and I’m actually starting to miss the noise of screaming drunk kids on campus.
6. The whole “vacation” mentality lasts for about 48 hours. After that, having to stay in bed all the time is a pain in the ass…not only figuratively, but literally as well. You will develop a soreness that is indescribable, starting around day five. It will momentarily get better, only to become excruciating around day 15…and you can’t do anything to make it go away.
7. Having your husband/boyfriend/SO/whatever bring you things is somewhat entertaining…for a day. After that you get pissed that (a) you can’t do it for yourself, (b) you have to ask for everything, one item at a time, describe where it may or may not be located, and have it brought to you. This is the most inefficient way of doing things. Ever.
8. The reading is fantastic…for a week. What you don’t understand is that when you lie down in basically one position for that long, you get excruciating headaches from all of the fluid collecting in one spot of your head. This makes reading painful, if possible at all. Also, unless you have unlimited funds, you will run out of books in a week if you read any faster than the speed of an eight year old.
9. Yes, you have the ability to nap any time you want. Unfortunately, after a couple days, you don’t *want* to anymore. If the only thing you can do is nap, napping loses its luster very quickly. Also, the more you nap, the more tired you are, and the more it throws off your circadian rhythms, making it so you’re barely aware of where you are and what day it is.
10. There is one good thing that will come out of this: a healthy baby. Other than that, you will not look back fondly on bed rest. You will not long to be on bed rest again. Being on bed rest is the same thing as being an invalid, and anyone who wishes for that has a few screws loose (or Munchausen).
So here is my clarification: when most people hear the term “bed rest,” what they actually hear is “being lazy for the day.” Almost everyone can remember a time when they got sick and were “in bed for a week.” But you weren’t actually IN BED for the week, were you? You got up to go to the bathroom, take showers, walk to the kitchen for some juice or food, walk to the living room to watch television, go take a bath…in fact, if you weren’t a young child when this happened, you probably even drove to WalGreens to pick up some TheraFlu or cough drops. THAT is not bed rest. That is being sick and/or lazy for the week.
Sure, after I have the baby I might miss being able to take a nap and spend the afternoon watching Law & Order; however, I will NEVER miss being a prisoner in a bed where I have to rely on everyone else for everything I need. After I get out of here, you can pretty much bet that I’ll be one of the most active people on the planet.