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Why I'm Resisting Bed Rest

Yesterday I had the distinct, but not new, pleasure of spending my afternoon at labor and delivery. At this point, I’m amazed they don’t see me coming and get my bed set up, but somehow, they don’t. This is my 4th trip this pregnancy and 3rd trip in about a month and a half. Trust me, I am not enjoying this trend.

The first recent trip was for a UTI, the second recent trip was for a day of contractions and today was for more contractions, but this time with the bonus that they were really, seriously painful. Fortunately, all of these visits have ended in the determination that I’m not in pre-term labor, but that my uterus is just really crabby. Today my doctor said that this is not pre-term labor, but it is definitely pre-term contractions. And today they told me the thing I wanted to hear the least: it might be time to consider bed rest.

And then I put my fingers in my ears, hummed to myself and shook my head like a super mature adult.

I can’t do bed rest. I mean, that’s not true, I would amazing at bed rest. I am a lazy homebody who loves nothing more than spending hours on the couch. But right now? I really can’t. I am 7 weeks from being finished with my last clinical affiliation ever. I’m supposed to graduate on May 11th and regardless of whether or not I can attend that ceremony with my classmates (because of the baby), I need to finish my program because the consequences are nothing short of disastrous.

After graduation I have to immediately apply to take my board exams, which are only offered on a few specific dates. There are two dates in July and then not another one until September. While you can get a job before the boards, the pay is typically terrible, you have to continue to be supervised and if you were to fail the boards (fingers crossed), they’ll fire you immediately. It’s not good.

So if I can’t finish my clinical out because of bed rest, I won’t graduate and won’t be able to even register for my boards until after I complete the remaining weeks of unpaid work after the baby. Which means we’ll be paying for childcare without an income to help. Obviously, this is not the end of the world, but the major difference is that we won’t have any of my student loans coming in to help support us and my husband’s (very sad) residency salary won’t cover rent, food, bills and diapers and frankly, I’m kind of attached of all of those things (okay, not yet on the diapers, but you know what I mean).

Obviously a healthy baby comes before everything else, I would never have it any other way. However, considering that even though these contractions make me mutter swear words under my breath and want to lay down and cry, they aren’t softening or shortening my cervix so the risk to the baby is extremely low at this point. If I thought for one minute that staying home in bed would help the baby, I wouldn’t even have to consider it. But since it’s mostly for my comfort at this point, I’m disinclined to do it.

At this point I’m waiting for a call from my OB to discuss her opinion on it, but in the meantime, I’m torn. If it was you, would you push your luck and try to work through it, or would you throw in the towel?

More on Bed Rest:
11 things to do when you’re stuck on bed rest
How to survive bed rest — from someone who’s been there
7 ways to stay fit while on bed rest

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