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StorkNet's Week By Week Guide to Pregnancy

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Home and Family

Meals and shopping for you and family

I had a mini-fridge by the bed and each evening, DH would fix me a sandwich, salad, and fill up a water pitcher for me. With the fridge, I could keep healthy snacks, yogurt, milk, carrots, etc by the bed. Get a thermos/caraffe (sp?) to keep hot water by the bed so you can have tea, soup, etc. We had one that kept water hot from morning until DH got home from work. ~Julie

For daily meals use a little cooler that your husband or family has packed the night before for you with healthy meals and drinks. ~JaJa

I avoided heartburn by eating small amounts and tried to sit up after eating. ~Ann

I asked family members to make extra for us when cooking dinner so we could have it already made in the refrigerator and easy to warm up. I also wrote up a prefab shopping list with everything that I had in the house and left it on the fridge. When we ran out of something, my husband would just check it off, and when he went to the store he knew exactly what to buy. ~TeeSay

My husband would bring a hot breakfast every morning; pack a cooler for lunch (thermos for soup/tea); dinner would go into the crockpot so it was ready when he got home. We also took advantage of the convenience meals in the store (freezer to microwave). When friends ask what they can do, ask them to throw together a casserole for the freezer. If you don't use it right away, it's there when you bring the baby home. ~Jacki

Use paper plates and cups. This is a temporary situation well worth fewer dishes. Be sure to let people know your food likes and dislikes. They probably want to know and it will make it easier on you in the long run if you are honest about your appetite or preferences. Keep cash on hand so you can reimburse those who shop for you. They will ask you again what you need from the store when they are going if they know you can reimburse them immediately. And when they ask, give them your list! ~Sue

I made a chart on the computer (and printed it out) of all the different things that helpers could do, and whenever it was done, I would write their name and the date by it. Then, when someone asked what they could do, I could give them options, and also kept up with how long it had been since the bathroom had been cleaned, etc. It was also great to be able to write thank you notes later and say "Thanks for the fried chicken, cleaning the bathroom, and taking Andrew to t-ball practice" or whatever they had done. ~Suzanne

Family members and children; birthdays and holidays

Take the opportunity to do special things for your children and/or husband. I made homemade cards for my husband, something that I wish I had time to do now! Tell your family often how much you appreciate them. Bedrest is hard on everyone! ~Julie

My mother picked up my three year old each weekday for a few hours and brought him home tired for an afternoon nap. It was a lifesaver! ~Carolyn

We homeschool, and during my last pregnancy, my children were in grades kindergarten and first grade. I brought our school books to bed and taught from there. Actually, it helped our school days to be more laid back and less stressful. The times we weren't doing school, they could bring in their toys and I could watch and supervise them from the bed. We never had help to come in since neither of our families were available. Now that the twins are on the way and I sometimes spend a lot of hours resting in bed again, I teach my youngest (second grade) from bed. ~Michelle

I think my kids pick up on when I am stressed. So, I would recommend not focusing on the things you aren't able to do at this time and really concentrate on those things you can do! My kids are generally fine as long as I'm fine. Be creative! You'd be surprised how you can adapt party ideas to suit your needs. These holidays could turn out to be ones your older children remember the most because you had to be more creative. ~ Michelle

Spending time with a toddler is a must whether or not you are bedresting. When I was on bedrest, I kept a basket of my 3 year old daughter's favorite toys and activities next to me. We colored, painted, did puzzles, read books, watched movies, cuddled, played games, play doh, and even made up games like couch basketball (trying to throw stuffed animals or socks into a box or basket from the couch). She even helped with household chores which made her feel like a big girl. She would dust or help clean out the fridge/freezer by having Daddy put questionable items in her little shopping cart. Then she would bring them to me for a garbage verdict or not. Then she'd take them back to Daddy with the report. By spending quality time with her from the couch, she accepted mommy's inability to get up much better. ~ Teresa

When I was on bedrest I stayed on the couch because it helped to prop me up on my side. My two boys each had a basket of their favorite quiet toys and videos. They also had their crayon box and marker box with coloring books. Anything that needed to be supervised was kept near the couch and they used these items on the coffee table in front of me. This table also served as my breakfast, lunch, and dinner table. By staying on the couch, I could also supervise the answering of the front door and the telephone. My 4 year old took care of me and our 2 year old for those two and a half months by getting healthy fingerfoods left in the fridge by Dad, and by doing all of the leg-work for our supervised activities. He is now turning 10 and is by far the most mature and reliable 10 year old I have ever met! Children love to be helpful, and thrive on it. ~ Sandy

I was on bedrest thru Thanksgiving and up to Christmas. My best advice is let everyone else do everything! I did a lot of catalog and internet shopping. My DH organized a tree decorating party - I just sat back and watched everyone else do the work. My MIL fixed Thanksgiving dinner that we ordered from the deli and I fixed Christmas dinner that we ordered from the deli. I was able to do all the Christmas cards and birth announcements while I was in bed, and write thank you notes for baby gifts. I was very sad about missing out on the Holidays, but it ended up not being that bad at all! ~SpringsGal

The Holidays Are Still a Time of Fun and Cheer--Even on Prescribed Bedrest
Prescribed bed rest needn't isolate expectant mothers in their bedrooms or to one easy chair in the family room. With a little creativity, moms on prescribed bed rest can add meaning and joy to the holiday season not only for themselves but also for friends, family and the new little one on the way. Read this article by Darline Turner-Lee.

Housework and running the household from bed

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Make lists! Husbands and other helpers do best with lists. Heaven knows you will have time to write them. Make them as clear as possible and try hard not to sweat the small stuff. Be sure to say 'thank you.' It goes a long way. ~ Resa

All older children can help, as can your hubby when he gets home from work. I even help from bed with folding laundry that is brought to me, or things like doing the bills in bed. I try to not put too much responsibility on the kids though, so some things I just relax about and let go. The housework will eventually get done; it's not really something I would get stressed about as long as a room (living room) was kept picked up for unexpected company. ~Michelle

Accept all help that is offered and be very specific about what you want the person to do. Give each person a job such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, child care. Spend some time planning projects for each of these people. I had a very supportive family. My mom hired a cleaning lady to come over and clean up for me. ~Bethany

Print this out and go over this list with your significant other so you both understand how important teamwork is. ~StorkNet

Preparing the house for a new infant

I did all my shopping for the nursery and layette online. Most of the time I used eBay, because it was fun and helped pass the time. ~Julie

I used my husband a lot on this. He didn't mind since this is a journey we prepared for together. Older kids can help and I think needing them has helped mine feel more involved. I know it has made my almost 13 year old son feel more manly to be needed in the setting up of cribs and arranging of furniture. I, of course, couldn't help my husband do all that heavy lifting, so my oldest son saw himself as a part of this whole adventure! ~Michelle

Make very detailed lists about items needed for the baby, including product names/descriptions. Have your husband or MIL/SIL/sister/mother help with the shopping. They'll feel included and like they are really sharing the experience with you. This way you'll also feel a part of preparing for baby. It's hard when you can't go out and do your own shopping. ~Jacki

I was lucky and had my Mom and sister come in to help me get the nursery organized. But really the only things I needed right away were the bassinet up and the baby clothes washed. Everything else was really not necessary until after the baby arrived. ~SpringsGal

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