The Blast Dec. 2021 Issue No. 5
It is so hard to believe it is already December. Better BedRest is going into our 29th year! We have so much to be proud of and still so much more to do. What can you do to help? Go to www.betterbedrest.org and tap that donate button. Every penny helps. Our Maternal Assistance fund has helped so many during a very scary time. You can also send a check to BBR, PO Box 2625, Windermere, FL 34786. Lastly, make us your designated charity on Amazon Smile! Open the app and find “Settings”. Tap on AmazonSmile and follow the onscreen instructions.
In this issue, you will hear from Akiva Katz who was part of the 211 Maryland staff
-Message from Maryland 211
Guest Contributor – Akiva Katz
Crafting on Bed Rest
assisting Better BedRest callers! Check out our tips for things to do on bed rest that are crafty and hear from one of many callers talk about how BBR helped them.
From the entire Better BedRest family, we want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday and may the coming year be one of good health and happiness. We are so grateful for your support.
Founder, Better BedRest
My name is Judith Osbourne. In February 2010, I found out that I was pregnant. I was
living in Baltimore City at the time. I was 29 years old and I was excitingly happy to find out that I was having my first baby. It did not take long to find out that my pregnancy was high risk. It was then that I learned what a “mucus plug” was and the definition of the term “High Risk Prepregnancy.”
I started complaining to the doctor of the cramps I was experiencing. The doctor told me after an examination that I was already dilated one centimeter at one month pregnant, thus she placed me on bed rest. I also learned that I had gestational diabetes and preeclampsia a few months later. When I got to six months pregnant, I thought the baby was moving a lot, but
the movements were contractions. I went to the office for a prenatal visit which resulted in me having to be admitted to the hospital. While in the hospital, I was on strict bed rest. I had to do everything and anything in the bed without any exceptions. This wasn’t how I envision my pregnancy, so it was very emotional for me. It was then at one of my darkest moment I turned to face a wall with a poster that read “Better Bedrest (BBR).” After calling the number from the poster and speaking to a very soft spoken lady, who assured me that I wasn’t alone. Knowing that I could speak to a live person who could relate was a blessing.
After a month of being hospitalized and months of not working, I was needing all sorts of help. BBR gave me a grant of $500, for my bills. I honestly believed that God sent BBR. They were there for me not only financially, but having the support, and knowing that there is someone who understood what I was going through made it easier for me. I delivered Ava at 34 weeks and she only stayed two extra nights in the hospital because of jaundice. BBR, you helped make it possible and I will forever say THANK YOU a million. I will forever love you all.
MESSAGE from 211
What is it like speaking to a BBR caller?
Although every pregnancy is different, there were a few experiences common to almost all the conversations that I had during my time with Better Bed Rest. One of these was the high expectations that are placed on pregnant women. Many expressed feelings of shame when they needed more rest, or because they had to take time off of work. They reported feeling like they had to do everything they’d done before they were pregnant, despite experiencing a serious medical condition! Women with children were often expected by their partners to continue playing the same roles they had played before they were ordered to bed rest. So one of the things that I found myself doing, besides searching for resources and making referrals, was discussing how it felt to be less capable than before. No one likes to feel less able, especially when the people around us don’t recognize that it is actually the person on bed rest who needs more support! In some cases, I was able to help some women plan conversations with their partners, children, and doctors in which they could explain their need for increased support during this time. This often helped increase a sense of self efficacy and control that was lost while required to be on bed rest.
Since the Better Bed Rest program is designed for women who’ve lost income, I also heard a lot about financial struggles. Many women were frustrated, understandably, that it felt like there were few resources to assist them in this time of need. Specialized medical care, on top of normal monthly bills, really adds up when you aren’t able to work. A further complicating factor was that in two income households, sometimes the other earner also lost their job due to Covid-19, and many jurisdictions were slow to provide unemployment benefits and financial assistance to those impacted. Sadly, many programs were forced to shut their doors due to the pandemic as well. I found it challenging to sit with feelings of being powerlessness to help, but found that sitting with someone else made a bigger impact for them than I had thought. It led to fruitful conversations about plans for after delivery, and hopes for the future. I was able to help one woman find agencies that would help her finish her degree online while she was on bed rest.
My time with Better BedRest was, to say the least, immensely educational. As a man, I’ll never be pregnant, yet all of the sudden I found myself asking women about medical conditions that I wasn’t sure how to pronounce. So, I had to do some learning about pregnancy, and about the numerous complications that can arise. Together with my supervisors at 2-1-1, as well as the Better BedRest administrators, we were able to show up for women who needed us, and I am grateful to have had this opportunity.
Akiva Katz, MSW Candidate
Crafting on Bed Rest
Being told that you have to be on bed rest for the duration of your pregnancy is daunting. You may feel scared, frustrated, lonely and very, very bored. Engaging in craft projects is one way to entertain yourself and create something nice for you or your new baby. Two very popular needlecrafts are knitting and crocheting. If you don’t know how to knit or crochet, there are many tutorial videos on www.youtube.com that can walk you through the steps to learn the crafts. If you’re not up for learning one of these crafts, I suggest trying the Knifty Knitter.
This loom is fun and very simple to use and can be purchased online or at most craft stores that sell yarn. The repetitive motion used to create with this loom is quite soothing and relaxing. Go with the round loom starter kit first (usually around $15). There are many shapes and varieties of looms to choose from when you become a super Knifty Knitter!
Of course, there are many other crafts you could enjoy while on bed rest such as scrapbooking, adult coloring books, embroidery or cross stitch, origami, or jewelry making to name a few. A good resource for crafting is www.pinterest.comwhere you can find a multitude project ideas and tutorials.
Also, for other ideas for surviving bed rest visit the BBR resource page: https://betterbedrest.org/resources/