Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bed Rest- An Honest Opionion



Look at this face. This is the face of my sweet baby who almost wasn't. I strongly feel that the only reason that he is still here with us is because my OB had placed me on bed rest starting at 13 weeks pregnant and ending at 36 weeks (when full lung development is achieved) after I hemorrhaged, had clots, blood pooling in the lining of my uterus and Placenta Previa.

I was recently interviewed for an article on bed rest that the Chicago Tribune was doing ( http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-bed-rest-20110129,0,6131409.story). The reporter read my blog ("My Book's Cover") about the financial aftermath of bed rest and got in touch with me through a few of the amazing bed rest support sites that knew of me and my story(Keepemcookin.com & BetterBedRest.org).

I was excited because this could be my chance to help the bed rest community and spread some awareness about the trials of bed rest but also the rewards. Now, I'm not naive and I went into the interview knowing that they may just use one sentence of our interview. (Margaret says "Bed rest sucks". The end) But when I read the article I was really displeased. Despite the things we spoke about and despite the reporter interviewing the amazing people at KeepEmCookin.com & BetterBedRest.org, she chose to steer the article towards information she accumulated that stated that bed rest was an archaic practice and that it really doesn't help mothers stay pregnant.

I beg to differ. Do I believe it should be "systematically" prescribed as it alluded to in her article? No. But when needed, it is the difference between life and death for a child. In my case, several of the conditions I was dealing with could have proved fatal to my baby (and potentially me) had I not been in bed. Placenta Previa is where the placenta attaches on top of the cervix and can cause preterm delivery due to the pressure the baby puts on the placenta & cervix as it grows. The blood pooling in the lining of my uterus could have caused premature rupture of the membranes (water to break) before 24 weeks. This would have been a death sentence for my baby.

Bed rest was vital to my son's survival. Was it hard on me as a mother? Absolutely. It was, in fact, the worst time of my life. But as mothers it's the choice we make for our children and our families. I think the best thing we can do for bed rest mommies is put resources in their hands. There is support out there. My OB did an excellent job taking care of me and my baby through weekly visits and regular ultrasounds. But the one thing he could have done to make bed rest easier would have been to put resources in my hand. To tell me about support groups like KeepEmCookin.com & Sidelines. To get me in touch with BetterBedRest.org which helps women attain grants to help with bills & such while they are out of work. Having these resources right away would have saved me some tears!

Now, I understand that these articles are meant to stir up debate and reporters look for the controversy in each story. But my concern is that articles like this will discourage women from following their doctor's orders and will result in dire consequences for the pregnancy. It may also discourage moms from looking for these resources. The truth is that bed rest works. I and my son are proof as are thousands of women out there each year. And to even insinuate that bed rest is not needed is dangerous. Since prenatal medicine has evolved, and that includes the prescription of bed rest, the infant and mother mortality rates have dropped drastically. We know how to take care of expectant mothers and their children. And as a mother who had to make the choice to be on bed rest (And it is a choice. No one can force bed rest.) even though it meant that I would lose my job, not be able to care for my other children, and my overall health would be under scrutiny for the next 6-7 months- I can say that I wouldn't change it. The reporter asked me if I think that things would have turned out fine if I hadn't stayed on bed rest and I told her I don't even let my mind go there. In my time on bed rest I met many mothers who never met their babies or only got to hold them for a few hours or days. So I won't question it. Because my son is here. He is healthy and he is alive.

12 comments:

  1. Yet another sad example of media bias <>. If there's a comment section on the CT article website, you should copy and paste this whole blog there!!

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  2. Yaaay Margaret! You never disappoint! I read the article and then as a result I also emailed them as to my dismay! I was disgusted as to how she twisted your words and writing talent to their benefit and used your difficulty to refute the possible necessity of bedrest case in point Quinlan whom I got to lug and hug and kiss and enjoy in my arms yesterday and forever in my heart! I was having a really tough day and both Quinlan and Kaiden and of course Tieran all helped make my day so much better and also your infinate wisdom too! Thank you and wanted to let you know that I voiced my opinion to them on your wonderful family's behalf and thank you for your fantastic blog which I enjoy and look forward to every week! You know who I am because I came over to see you yesterday Sat 1/29/11. You are precious in every way to me!

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  3. I don't understand media bias. It's just wrong on so many fronts. That is an absolutely gorgeous picture of your sweet baby who almost wasn't. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family.

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  4. Thanks so much for your wonderful follow-up on what turned out to be a dangerous and irresponsible article. I have been, as you obviously were, duped by a friendly reporter who took my words out of context and spun them to suit his/her agenda. Hopefully those of us in the high risk pregnancy community can dispel rumors and avoid the disasters that may result. Keep up the good work!
    Candace Hurley, Sidelines Founder,
    Executive Director

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  5. I couldn't have said it better. I am proud of you for stepping out and writing this blog, so that women WILL know how vital and life-saving bedrest can be to mothers and their babies. -Michelle, Sawyer's mom.

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  6. I felt that this reporter wrote well and truthfully about the debate of bedrest related to preterm cramping and cervix issures. Being in the medical field, I have heard these concerns voiced. However, the reporter failed to include ALL of the medical conditions that warranted complete bedrest, and that is what made her article dangerous. An expectant mother or family member of someone with Margaret's previous diagnosis could read these words and decide to disregard her physician's advice. Shame on this reporter!!!

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  7. I agree with posting you blog online in connection to the article. I would also suggest writing a ltter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune. Quinlin is a joy & having lost 2 babies myself I know that Margaret's choice to go on bedrest should not even be questioned! Who cares about the "What if's" that this reporter sets a tone for. Parents should do whatever they feel is best for their family. PERIOD.

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  8. It's a shame that often "controversy" will take precedence over fact- based, informative, and potentially helpful reporting.
    Kudos to you for speaking out about how disappointed you are in the article.

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  9. It's been pretty busy since this article and my subsequent response came out. I wanted to thank each one of you for your support and readership! This is a subject that's very dear to me and it's nice to know that it also matters to so many other people! You are all awesome!

    Margaret

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  10. I love this post - thank you for keeping it up. It's perfectly fine, and normal, to really note like thing sometimes.
    platform beds

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  11. I stumbled across this article/blog as I am in need of support. I have been admitted to the hospital for the second time for preterm labor since being put on bed rest. My husband just left and I don't know where to get the strength to endure this again. I was here for only a week, but what seemed like a lifetime last time. I am about to check out the websites you have listed in your blog, so thank you for sharing.

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    1. Stephanie- I'm so sorry that I'm so behind on replying. I hope you are doing well. I'd love an update! Did you find some good support on the web sites I suggested? I'm sending love and hugs! Let me know how the pregnancy has been!

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