Author Topic: Men: What advice do you have for other men with wives/girlfriends on bed rest?  (Read 11811 times)

Angela

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What is the most important thing a man can do for his partner if she is on pregnancy bed rest?
How are you handling the housework?
What help do you have? Family? Nanny?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2009 at 12:35 AM by Angela »

lilcapdad

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I won't say it has been easy. My amazing wife (lilcapmom) has been in the hospital for almost 3 weeks now. Luckily we don't have any other kids to worry about taking care of right now. (Not counting the 2 dogs and 1 cat who feel the need to eat every day...) Both of our jobs have been fantastic with allowing us the flexibility to telecommute right now. And luckily the hospital has Wi-Fi so that's awesome.

That having been said, lilcapom is a busybody. She likes to be in a constant state of movement. So this bedrest has been a special level of hell for her. I have tried my best to make the hospital room as comfy as possible.

Here is a list of ideas for dads out there. (I have implemented these with different levels of success.)

1. Nintendo DS <-- This is a MUST! There are so many games out there that are catering to adults now, that you aren't going to be stuck with some kiddie title. If momma likes mysteries, then there are several titles to enjoy. Not to mention all of the brain-teaser/puzzle variety games.(Professor Layton & The Curious Village, etc. ) I also got one for myself and we can play several games together even with owning only one copy of the game. (Clubhouse Games, MySims Racing, etc.) So much easier than trying to play games on her little rolling table top.

2. Food <-- Comfort food. Home-cooked food. Whatever her favorite food is. Hospital food is decent at best.

3. Comfort Food <-- I listed it again, because nothing beats the melancholy monster quite like some ice cream. ( I picked up a bag of Dibs and they keep them in the freezer in the ward. That way when she's got a hankering in the middle of the night...BAM have some ice cream!)

4. Vanity-type products: Laid up in a hospital can be enough to make any woman feel less than beautiful!
        a. Scented lotions
        b. Hair ties
        c. Room Spray (run this by the nurse first)
There's more you can do, this is just a list of examples. You know what your lady likes. Make it happen! (You'll get some brownie points with the nursing staff as well. They are used to seeing clueless husbands not taking care of mom's very well.)

5. Arrange for a nail technician or hair-dresser to come in. I talked to the lady who cuts our hair and she was more than happy to come in and give lilcapmom a haircut. She was SO excited! It really raised her mood for a couple of days afterwards. You can NOT put a price on that smile...

6. Take care of the nurses who are taking care of your family! I cannot stress this enough! I watched the entire floor light up when I spent $5.99 on a dozen assorted doughnuts and brought them in for breakfast for our nurses. Trust me, if you show them how much you appreciate everything they do, they will work that much harder to make sure that your stay is enjoyable. You may call it bribery...I call it Goodwill Insurance. Nurses get sh-- on enough in their job. They do NOT need anyone to make it worse. So do them a solid! You'd be surprised what a dozen doughnuts, plate of cookies, a hot pizza, bag of icecream snacks...etc will do for floor morale. You will NOT regret it, I promise!

7. If you wife is on the pity pot...LET HER! She's going to be upset and moody...Hell, she's pregnant and now has NO independence. lilcapmom cried one night because she didn't want to have to hit the nurse button just to plug her Nintendo DS in. Bedrest is NOT a vacation any more than a prison sentence it. Being treated like an invalid has a way of demoralizing a person. This is YOUR time to shine dad! Be the man that every woman wishes she had. (You will get a good return on this investment in the future. If you act like an ass now...you will NEVER live it down. "Remember when I was pregnant with YOUR child and you yelled at me in the hospital?" Yeah, they don't make diamonds big enough, that aren't cursed, to cover that up.) What I'm trying to say is that even if you think she's being irrational, chances are she thinks it too...but is powerless to do anything about it. Just hold her and make sure you have tissues for her.

8. Do NOT complain about what a burden you think this is on you. She's going to feel badly enough about not being able to do the normal things in life. She does NOT need to feel like she's inconveniencing you in any way. I don't care if you are only getting 2 hours of sleep a night, you can't let her know how tired you are. She already feels guilty, and pregnancy-induce guilt is ten times worse than any other kind. Steer clear of it at all costs! If her bedrest happens during the 'nesting' phase, be prepared for her to be upset about not being able to help finish the baby's room.

9. Take some time to give yourself a break as well. Man, you are going to run your butt off and be asked to handle things that you weren't expecting. Make sure that you aren't running yourself into the ground needlessly. If the kitchen goes to hell while she's in the hospital that's fine as long as it gets cleaned by the time she gets home. That hour you were going to use to clean the kitchen, have a beer and relax a little. No one in their right mind could hold it against you.

10. Make sure there is a support net of some sort. Give her options of people she can vent to. That way you won't be the focal point of ALL of her frustrations. This will lead to fewer hurt feelings and much less animosity. You also need to vent about things as well. Call a buddy or a family member who will just listen to you. I swear, my mom could charge by the hour for this service. She is AWESOME. I highly recommend it. You can't vent on each other otherwise you WILL end up in an argument. And you do not want to be THAT guy!

There's a ton more things you can do. This is just a starter list. Mostly just remember that what she is doing right now, is possibly the single most important moment in your child's life. Bedrest is given for a reason. And momma is going to need every ounce of support you can give her right now. Even it that means nightly foot rubs, rubbing her tummy with tummy butter, rubbing her back or shoulders, or just letting her cry on you...you do it.

Also, bring in some books for the baby too! Read your baby a bedtime story. You need to get your child acclimated to your voice. The nurses in the Neonatal ICU can tell the dad's who have talked to their child during pregnancy, because the children react to daddy's voice in a VERY positive way! So reading stories are a MUST! (I have only missed 3 nights since we found out we were pregnant.)

Now go out there and be the best damned daddy you can be! It starts way earlier than the day they come out...

-Lilcapdad
       

hautesinglemama

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Lilcapdad? You. Are. Amazing.

My husband had an affair while I was on hospital bed rest. I wish he had been half the man you seem to be!

babygMom

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Great insight! I'm willing to bet most men taking care of their lovely lady on bedrest are so busy they don't have time to A) get on a forum like this and B) stop and take a breather.

And, men may think they are alone in this when really there are many many many more guys just like them with wives just like us :)

My husband has been my superhero but I think I'll show him this, too, to get another guy's perspective. We don't have any friends or family who have had to take on bedrest so it helps to hear from someone else living it.
Infertility defeated with Natural Family Planning - Creighton Model and NaProTECHNOLOGY (fertilitycare.ca).
Duedate Sept 18th for our first baby.
On moderate bedrest for short cervix.

Angela

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BabygMom,

Lilicapdad wrote that post almost two years ago, and guess what? His wife, Lilicapmom, is back on the forum, expecting Baby #2! Unfortunately, she's on bed rest again.  :(  But, they did get Baby #1 to full term.

I'm not the first to say this, but when Mom is on bed rest, the whole family is on bed rest. Please do show this post to your husband. Bed rest dads need support too!

babygMom

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Angela - thanks! I obviously did not pay attention to the date of the post lol Timeless points and advice though :)
Infertility defeated with Natural Family Planning - Creighton Model and NaProTECHNOLOGY (fertilitycare.ca).
Duedate Sept 18th for our first baby.
On moderate bedrest for short cervix.

Jenamie

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I say this should be bumped every few months just because! wow hope baby number 2 went fine/is going fine too!


Angela

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Jenamie,

Baby #2 arrived at 39 weeks! And I think A LOT of that had to do with the great support Mom received from Dad. I LOVE the post "lilicapdad" wrote!