Bedrest During a Twin Pregnancy

Just because you’re pregnant with twins doesn’t mean you’re bound for bedrest. But, if your medical care provider determines that’s what best for you and your babies- you’ll want to be prepared. What are the different levels of restrictions for bedrest? What’s the different between resting at a hospital and resting at home? Plus, the big question… what do you do with all your free time? Our panel of twins moms share their firsthand experience!

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Twin Talks
Bedrest During a Twin Pregnancy

[00:00:00]

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, we have a special announcement before we start the show. New Mommy Media, the parent company of Twin Talks, is looking for moms and dads to join the new sales team and sell advertising on our shows. This is a great opportunity for parents who are looking for a job where they can work from home and still be able to spend time with their twins. Visit www.newmommymedia.com/jobs for details.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: According to recent studies, bed rest isn’t a proven remedy for preventing pregnancy complications or pre termed birth and is being recommended less frequently. However bed rest is sometimes prescribed as a safe guard between pregnancies. If you’ve been prescribed bed rest, do you know how to keep your sanity and still organize in the time ahead? Our expert panellists are here to share their secrets. This is Twin Talks, episode 26.

[Theme Music/Intro]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin Talks, broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting new parents of twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. Have you heard about the Twin Talks club were members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribed to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the lasts episodes available. And another way for you to stay connected is by downloading the free Twin Talks app. It’s available in the Android and ITunes market place. So before we get started, we got our panellists here in the studio. Let’s do some introductions.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I’m Mishell. I’m 34 years old and I’m a part time teacher and a full time mommy of boy girl twins, Sunny and Matthew who just turned two a few weeks ago.

BRENDA RUHL: I’m Brenda. I’m 49. I’m an accountant. I work full time and I have 3 boys. My oldest is 13 and my twins identical twins are 11.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Hi, I’m Karolina Rangel and I am 39 years old and I have two girls, girl girl identical twins and I’m a stay at home mom.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright and Shelly.

SHELLY STEELY: Hi, I’m Shelly Steele. I’m 30. I’m a high school teacher and I’m also the producer here at Twin Talks. I have two children, identical boys who will be two in July and I’m currently pregnant with a singleton due in August. Before we get started, I just want to give you guys some information about ways to stay connected with Twin Talks especially if you’re at home. We have a Facebook page. You can like and follow us on Facebook. You can follow us on Twitter and then to become part of the conversation from the comfort of your home, you can use #twintalksvp to be a virtual panellist and participate in our discussions.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright and I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald and I’ve got identical twin girls who are four and a half. And I also got a singleton girl who is 18 months old and finally sleeping through the night so I’m just happy.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Melissa from Chicago, she tells us I hate taking this chalky calcium tablets with my prenatal vitamins. Do you have any other suggestions for getting enough calcium?

LINDSAY STENOVEC: Hello. I’m Lindsay Stenovec a registered dietician nutritionist in San Diego California and owner of www.nutritioninsticts.com . Folic acid is incredibly important during pregnancy due to its role in DNA synthesis and cell division. Before I answer your question I think it’s worth mentioning that a woman has to need to consume adequate folate prior to conception to allow folate to be available during the first five weeks and so of pregnancy when the baby’s nervous system is developing and the cell replicating rapidly.

Luckily in United States grain like pasta and bread are fortified by folate which is helpful in meeting your needs both prior and throughout pregnancy. And then to continue meeting your needs during pregnancy, you can get folate from a variety of sources. Lentil are actually one of the best natural sources. One cut provides over 300 micrograms which meets over half of the required 600 micrograms per day that you’ll need during your pregnancy. Other great natural sources of folate include lentil, peanuts, asparagus, spinach, corn, kiwi and orange juice. I also recommend taking the prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy just as a backup. Thanks.

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Today’s topic is surviving bed rest during twin pregnancy. Today we’re talking with our expert panellists who had survived bed rest and are here to help us strategize for any future bed rest prescriptions. So thanks for joining us. When did your doctor prescribe bed rest and what was the reason behind that?

MISHELL RUDDEN: I started having going into preterm labor at about 14-15 weeks or so 16 and so my doctor immediately said this is a very strong likelihood that you’re going to go in bed rest very soon. By 18 weeks I was already done and was going into labor at work.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I have to go and print something on the printer and have to stand there for 15 minutes to wait until they would stop.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you’re having contractions.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I was having contractions at like 16 weeks.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

MISHELL RUDDEN: By 18 weeks it was like if you want to have these kids then you need to stop doing everything.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

MISHELL RUDDEN: And you need to go to the bed and stay there until you deliver. So went on bed rest at 18 and delivered at 32. So I was on 16 weeks of bed rest.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: 16 weeks on a bed rest. Wow. Did I did the math right?

MISHELL RUDDEN: 14 weeks. 14 weeks of bed rest yeah.

BRENDA RUHL: I’ve got a similar situation but now quite so soon. We already had a couple of previous pregnancy losses so we were on high alert to going into the whole pregnancy and then around 23-24 weeks the contraction started. By 25 my doctor said you’re done, you’re on bed rest and go home and relax because if that’s what you call it. And I delivered at 35 weeks so they made it 10 more weeks after that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. That’s great.

BRENDA RUHL: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.

KAROLINA RANGEL: I was very lucky. Actually they thought everything was going fine and then all of a sudden at 32 weeks or 31 weeks they were looking at the ultrasound and stress test and they were thinking that they weren’t growing as much as they should be growing within the 2 week time period and so they had me actually admitted to the hospital bed rest and on for a week and then another week after that and then two weeks after that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you’ve pass the critical point.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But this is just more about like hey let’s see if we can keep them in…

KAROLINA RANGEL: Right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: A little longer.

KAROLINA RANGEL: It’s just a little bit longer and enough time to give them the storage shots and to make sure that we’re doing everything we can until they come out.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you did the hospital bed rest.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And then I think now Brenda and Mishell was did you…

BRENDA RUHL: I was home…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: At home.

BRENDA RUHL: Until a few days before I delivered and one of the things is that I already had a child and never had any complications with him other than gestational diabetes but as far as preterm labor and all that no issues whatsoever to the point where they had to induce me because my D-day came and went.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

BRENDA RUHL: And they said you know nothing is happening here so we need to make and it was so foreign to me the second time around that I didn’t even know there were contractions because I never really went through all of that and I would tell my doctors like it is really firm when I touch in here and it’s get kind of like really tight and she said that’s contraction. You need to we need to deal with this because that’s not supposed to be happening this early so.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah I was at home as well.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You’re at home as well.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I did get threatened. I have to go to the hospital a couple of times when I went in into triage and they were telling me you know we’ve got to get this together. We got to get this contractions slow down and we’re going to check you in and…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh! Did you have an option in when you went to the hospital there’s…

MISHELL RUDDEN: I didn’t have an option.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

MISHELL RUDDEN: She said, doctor said okay you need to go home, pack your bags and come back and see me in a couple of hours.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s like okay.

MISHELL RUDDEN: And that was it.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That was it.

MISHELL RUDDEN: But they didn’t have any room so we are in the delivery area for that whole time period.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Then that must have been really strange that you’re surrounded by women having their babies.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Oh it was terrible.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And so you’re hearing everything that’s going on and…

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yup all the moaning, all the and you had to I mean they had to like the stress test and they’re actually monitoring both babies at all times.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah me too.

MISHELL RUDDEN: So you could not actually move.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You were hooked up.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I was hooked up and your legs were hooked up and with compression you know your leg compression I don’t know…

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah to prevent blood clots.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Exactly.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh right the thing it…

MISHELL RUDDEN: To make sure…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It squeezes and yeah.

MISHELL RUDDEN: It squeezes and let’s go yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you’re in the bed completely the whole entire time laying…

MISHELL RUDDEN: Right.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Horizontal.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Right.

BRENDA RUHL: For weeks?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: My gosh.

MISHELL RUDDEN: They are up to a week and then they let me go and then they said another two weeks.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So for but 3 weeks.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah completely inactivity.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How about if okay for Brenda and Mishell, what was the level of restriction for your home bed rest? I mean what…

BRENDA RUHL: Mine was full restriction.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.

BRENDA RUHL: If I got up to if I took a shower, I couldn’t dry my hair because that was too much activity and I knew that. It was that was it was self-imposed but was also doctor imposed but I knew I just listened to my body and you know by again take a shower get out and say okay I am going to spend another 10 minutes in doing my breathing exercises to get them to stop contracting because I’ve been standing on my feet for five minutes so and other than that I was in bed all day and I had two non-stress test a week and one ultrasound a week I think it might have been backwards but I had lots of appointments every week so I had someone take me to that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you can drive?

BRENDA RUHL: Oh god no.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

BRENDA RUHL: Not at all. No. It was really very strange driving and after recovering after they were born. So I haven’t driven for probably good 4 or 5 months at that point and that was so freaking. To get to the car by myself for the first time and go somewhere by myself to do what I wanted to do is wonderful.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

BRENDA RUHL: But yeah no it was very strict bed rest. I had a mini fridge in my room. My meals were brought to me. We have a two story home so going up and downstairs that was absolutely out of the question unless I was going into an appointment. I couldn’t just go downstairs and get something from the kitchen. So It was very strict.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you are on a horizontal as well.

BRENDA RUHL: Yes and medicated.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And medicated wow.

BRENDA RUHL: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And Mishell how about you?

MISHELL RUDDEN: Mine was more of a modified bed rest but I was under doctor’s orders to be in bed unless I was taking a shower. She allowed me to drive myself to my own appointments although towards the end that became more difficult since I’m only 5’1. I couldn’t really reach the pedals with my belly being full of twins.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

MISHELL RUDDEN: But yeah it was more modified. We got all three levels in here it sounds like but will agree with Brenda though on the self-imposed restrictions. I could tell if I took a shower, I mean that was it for the rest of the day probably you know and eve as far as cooking and stuff goes I wanted to be able to still try and cook myself meals but I couldn’t stand on my feet long enough to chop vegetables and even sitting I think would cause.

BRENDA RUHL: I eventually got a shower chair to put in their because I couldn’t even stand on my feet.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I did that as well. Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s true I mean if you are in the shower even for 10 minutes I mean you know standing there and just you know the whole weight.

MISHELL RUDDEN: All that weight on your cervix that was that could have been devastating. That was very dangerous position to be in.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow. That’s and you are not taking a bath I mean there probably it is still in getting in and out of the tub.

BRENDA RUHL: Well good luck getting that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: When you heard that you’re going to go in bed rest and I’m thinking also for Karolina you know what was your biggest concern about you know oh my gosh you’re going to be in the hospital.

KAROLINA RANGEL: I wasn’t ready at home. That was my biggest concern. What I was going to do. I wasn’t fully ready to have it happen yet. Because I have no indications that anything was going to happen early in my pregnancy. Nothing…

MISHELL RUDDEN: You didn’t setup. You didn’t have clothes.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah so I didn’t have half of that stuff setup yet. I had friends help and family actually come by and help and put it all up together. I mean I have…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Half of it done?

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah. But I was really worried about the rest of it.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So it’s more about, it wasn’t so much about your health I mean you felt like you’re in good hands but just like oh my gosh…

KAROLINA RANGEL: I was sure I was in good hands. I was sure I was in good hands. The only thing that scares me was being in on bed rest and listening to all these women give birth.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I don’t think I could. Yeah I don’t think I can handle that. I probably have to get earplugs.

KAROLINA RANGEL: I wasn’t medicated so I was fine. So you’re all listening to all these women and I’m just like oh my gosh that’s going to be me.

SHELLY STEELY: Wow.

MISHELL RUDDEN: It’s like watching a baby story live.

KAROLINA RANGEL: I know.

BRENDA RUHL: Because my twins are so much older that’s all I had to do was watch a baby story.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yes.

BRENDA RUHL: I didn’t have a laptop. I had my desktop computer but again so many online resources weren’t available back then. They weren’t in 2002. So again I watch you know again I went from a dating story to a wedding story to a baby story so I saw the whole [inaudible]. All day long and it’s really all I got to do. So…

KAROLINA RANGEL: And a bed rest must be a little bit easier for us that would Netflix who look like I mean…

BRENDA RUHL: Oh yeah. There’s always something to watch right.

KAROLINA RANGEL: My iPad was always attach to me.

BRENDA RUHL: Yeah because they also tell you bed rest means horizontal. You’re not supposed to be sitting up in bed either because you really defeating the purpose of bed rest. Because I again you got all the weight and pressure on your cervix and so and to do be horizontal and you know try to really anything else is just not is not conducive with either any activity. Even reading is difficult.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

BRENDA RUHL: From that position.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So know I take it that you guys you know didn’t do any form of work so when you’re doctor ordered you to do bed rest I mean your work stop. Did you go into disability or how did that work?

KAROLINA RANGEL: Mine was mandatory.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BRENDA RUHL: Because and even work they had I was on disability so I was not allowed to work because of the liability and they even had in summer time they had an annual picnic and I was told very sensitively by my boss at the time that me know you love to attend this, you’re very social at work and all that but we can’t let you come to this. Even though when you are in a wheel chair, you’re probably fine but our liability because this is a work mandated event, you can’t attend it if you’re in the disability because the liability is just too high. So I wasn’t even supposed to be answering email.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Really. Wow.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah I kind of freak out about leaving work. I wasn’t expecting it to happen quite so soon and with me being a teacher I had found a substitute that I was planning on using but I hadn’t done all the preparation for her to come and everyone kept telling me you shouldn’t be so worried about it. She’s a retired teacher. She’s got it all under control. But you know it’s just one of those things that it’s hard to release control and…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yeah.

MISHELL RUDDEN: But similar situation with my boss she was like this isn’t your choice you need to go home and take care of yourself. We can’t even have you here. I was able to go in once because my student’s had planned a shower for me and so I was able to go in and attend that with the help of a bunch of people.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh that’s nice. We know it’s great to it sounds like I mean your employers were very supportive of that. I mean as soon as you hear stories about employers that are just they just don’t get it. They don’t understand the medical necessity and it’s like really bed rest are you going to take a vacation?

MISHELL RUDDEN: My boss was very very kind about it definitely but I had to use all my sick time. So that part was kind of tough because I had had over 10 weeks of sick time saved up from working from the district for so long and being on bed rest I ate up every single hour of that. So…

BRENDA RUHL: And I was fortunate because I didn’t have to use sick time because our my company offered a disability insurance program were it was covered by that and I didn’t use my sick time until after I delivered and I use that for my regular maternity leave. So that was fortunate. But if you’ve got the opportunity, you are fortunate to have a sort of coverage. It’s a decision that everyone has to make. You really have to think of what is the benefit what you care about the long term that I got those reports done or whichever or did I do the best I could to have a healthy pregnancy for my twins. You really have to make some good decision.

SHELLY STEELY: I think it’s a good reminder to look into your policies when you find out that your pregnant because I mean no one expects to go you know on a bed rest on 18 weeks or 25 weeks of even 32 weeks just to be aware of what time you have available, how you can use it, what your disability insurance is to kind of make up the contingency plan I think.

KAROLINA RANGEL: I think I look at all of those plans when you know I had to make sure that I was covered and all because I was working at that time. And I also was needing to know that I was going to have enough time with the girls and I actually decided to stay home because I didn’t think I was going to have enough time because the short amount of disability you get from the state you know so that’s made my decision.

BRENDA RUHL: And with mine again, looking at all the different policies and all the different coverage that you have, my medical was not an issue at all, my actual pay wasn’t an issue because I’ve lots of coverage for that. The one thing that I lost for one week because I was on bed rest for so long it went to short term disability…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

BRENDA RUHL: To longer term disability. I lost my dental coverage.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh.

BRENDA RUHL: And so for one week I had no dental coverage and I finally had to deliver about a week after that point because things just started to go south but and horrible timing my I had a toddler also and he was very excited to come and have me read one book one day and so he jumps into my bed and took a flying toward me and we landed tooth to tooth.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: No.

BRENDA RUHL: He chipped a corner of my tooth and it was the week, it was a holiday weekend and I had just lost my dental coverage. And so I called my dentist and left him an emergency message and I’ve been with them for 20 years and he said don’t worry about it. Come on in tomorrow on your way to your check up, you know rolling in your chair and come in and we’ll get you fix up. Don’t worry about the coverage at all. We know you and we’ll take care of you. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh that’s great.

BRENDA RUHL: But and a week later I had my coverage back so that was good.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It sounds like the providers are very accommodating.

BRENDA RUHL: Yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: When we come back we’re going to talk about how to manage the day to day life when you’re on bed rest.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright welcome back. Today we’re talking about our expert panellist about how to keep things running smoothly at home when you’re on bed rest. So what did a typical a daily schedule looks like for you with this kind of this varying bed rest? So I know maybe Brenda since you are [inaudible]

BRENDA RUHL: You know again I had a very young toddler at that time and in the morning my husband, he was in charge of the toddler, that was I couldn’t. I couldn’t get him to preschool. I couldn’t feed him. Again I was for whatever I could do in that bed reading books some things like that.

So it was sort of not supervise but sort of being aware of what was going on but then as they got out of the house and once they left again I had a mini fridge and a microwave in the room. I kept as much food for my particular and nutritional needs because I had gestational diabetes in the fridge with. I had my medications.

I had lots and lots of water. So I made sure that whoever was helping me during the week we had all of those things for me and then after that it was a lot of boredom quite frankly and again I think it’s so much better today that there are so many more resources for education materials, for entertainment, for socialization online with the other moms and I wish I had that available to me back then and I think people now are really fortunate but otherwise it was just. If I had an appointment that day I’ll grab again a quick shower, without drying my hair, but otherwise not a lot going on.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now I know okay you describe yourself as type A personality so I’m imagining do you actually do a little schedule for yourself or you know I mean how do you plan the day?

BRENDA RUHL: Again I had my TV shows and that was really all I had so I knew it’s like 10:30 its time to get ready for you know a dating story or whatever it was that day or . . .

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: See it’s something to look forward to.

BRENDA RUHL: I did. I did and then when it got to be in a certain episodes of which ones I go now that means in about an hour the people you know my son is going to start coming home from preschool and the house is going to start to get active again and all of that so there’s a little bit to look forward to but it wasn’t the most fun experience because I was also very sick.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BRENDA RUHL: That’s the other thing. It’s wasn’t like [inaudible] forward to you know taking vacation earlier and it’s not a vacation. It’s a you know your gestating and your body is doing a lot of things and depending on your personal condition they can and can’t be the most pleasant experience. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And so yeah.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I’m a very scheduled oriented person as well like there’s really so much you can’t plan like Brenda’s thing. You don’t feel well so you’re due day might consist of coming in and out of sleep in various times or you know whatever happens with you but I would also like to say that it is true. With just having been on bed rest a couple of years ago all the resources that I had online and everything else was so fantastic.

I spent so much time chatting with my online twin mommy to be friends and that really kept me feeling because I am a very social person. That kept me feeling in touch. And I also had a couple of girlfriends that were out of work at that time unfortunately for them fortunately for me. Because we wouldn’t have you know weekly dates where they’ve come over and just chat or bring lunch…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh how cool.

MISHELL RUDDEN: And bring things like that. So that was definitely a lifesaver as well.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So having the friends come over and I think come over in person it does make a difference. I mean Facebook is great. What was life like before Facebook? But I mean it’s still not the same as yeah having somebody hang out with you for a little bit every day.

MISHELL RUDDEN: That was really nice having friends to come over to.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Did you have that yeah on a regular basis?

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah that was really nice.

BRENDA RUHL: And my friends were all like working moms. So who also we also had our kids first round together and then the second round together. So they all had toddlers. They were working moms and then they were also pregnant but they were still working the when I was on bed rest with my twins. So I didn’t get social interaction. It was very difficult because again I was also a very social person. So it was really the isolation was really…

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah I just remember being desperate for my husband to come home at the end of the day like no do not get gas, no happy hour just come home just straight home.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well now how did you guys manage the day to day I mean like the chores aspect? I mean you know your husband do they help out or do when your friends where visiting do they offered you know do the laundry for you? How do that work?

BRENDA RUHL: Not as much got done.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Yeah definitely didn’t get as much done but not as much got mess up…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

MISHELL RUDDEN: At least in my house.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh it’s true. It’s true.

MISHELL RUDDEN: You’re already with a toddler but for me I was just lying in bed. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So it’s pretty much just you at home and then I think and Brenda you had your food but then you got your little you know little one.

BRENDA RUHL: And again I couldn’t make meals for him. I couldn’t do any cleaning. When my mom would come for somebody to take me to my appointments, she would do a little bit at home but really it was you know my husband has to take the brunt of that which is why it didn’t get as much done.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So and yeah.

KAROLINA RANGEL: And for me my husband would come to the hospital after work and camp out the night and then go to work in the morning you know.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So he slept at the hospital…

KAROLINA RANGEL: Oh yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: In one of those pull out beds?

KAROLINA RANGEL: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Poor baby.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh god I don’t know. I guess you got the hospital bed not that it’s not much more…

MISHELL RUDDEN: You got the easy end doesn’t it like…

KAROLINA RANGEL: So there wasn’t really a mess at home.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I mean did laundry done at all during that period? I mean or it did wasn’t just the you know let’s take things to the professional laundry tub place.

KAROLINA RANGEL: Again there wasn’t much laundry to do. I was living in the same pair of sweat for days and nights. . .

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How did you guys stay organize? I mean you know so I think Brenda you mentioned you had your stuff kind of next to you.

BRENDA RUHL: Yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I mean do you have laptops or you know computer stuff or you know how did you you know keep organize?

BRENDA RUHL: I had a laptop, my kindle, the phone. I mean we were ready, books on the desk you know, books on tape or whatever. I was ready snacks because not all snacks in the hospital are great.

MS: Oh yeah.

BRENDA RUHL: For gestational diabetes right? I mean so you to kind of bring your own or get your own snacks. It was exciting. I’ve got to read all those twin books I never got to read before while I was working and busy. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you got a little library.

BRENDA RUHL: Yup that was it.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I had it very similar to nursing the twins once they were born. We had the TV tray setup and put the snacks and the water and the IPad. I mean that just continued on after they were born. That TV tray got it’s use for sure.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Exactly.

BRENDA RUHL: And then the mini fridge and the microwave same thing after the twins were born once we started bottle feeding it was they were right there so they I still had the mini fridge upstairs. We’ve never took it down. So…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you’re bed rest nest became the breastfeeding nest. Yeah I think and I mean when I was you know breastfeeding it’s like you know having the nuts and then the fruits and the bottled water and I mean because I mean if you physically can’t more and you literally it’s like you can’t get up and…

BRENDA RUHL: Yeah.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You need a little bell. I mean…

BRENDA RUHL: I know. And I had because again my gestational diabetes, I had a fridge full of glucono drink in there. Because I you have to eat every couple of hours. You can’t have that blood sugar fluctuations again so having something right next to me that I barely even get out of bed to reach was critical.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And did you have only had to measure your blood glucose so you have to had...

BRENDA RUHL: I did so I have that as well my glucose meter and my test strips and all of that. Again my medications that I was on that were trying to make that contraction subside a little bit not quite so successfully towards the end but, but yeah all that have to be available.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow. And so we talk about the kind of be entertainment books and having Facebook and email. I mean you know what about I mean what’s got you staying connected you know with the friends and family if there was anything else that kind of keeps you sort of mentally and emotionally active? I mean if you are being totally alone so much.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I spend a lot of time calculating and decision making for as far as my job when the twins were to come because we still haven’t made a decision at that point as far as if we would do day care, how much day care we would do? So I had every single scenario worked out as far as if I work one day a week, if I work two days a week, if we get a nanny, if we go to an in home day care, that type of thing so it’s kind of nice to have that kind of preparation. It gives me something to keep my mind stimulated and feel useful while still in bed.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And I see Brenda is nodding too.

BRENDA RUHL: No I just think that’s really interesting because at some points, all you have is time to think because there is just you know you can again only have sometimes you get you had too much of the online chat rooms and the Facebook and the watching TV and all of that stuff and then you are just lost in your own thoughts and you can yeah all you do was organize in your head.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow so you can plan out [inaudible 00:28:36] I mean in your head I mean the you know your child’s educational plan, view the whole schedules you know map out you know the to do list and task list for everybody.

BRENDA RUHL: For everybody else to do.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah

BRENDA RUHL: It was a great excuse to boss my husband around with setting up the nursery and everything. No I can’t move you put this there.

SHELLY STEELY: With all that time to kind of let your mind wonder were you able to plan for what was going to happen when you brought your twins home because I know again not having any bed rest for me my biggest stress was what am I going to do with these kids. Will you be able to use resources and talk to people or was it more just like stressing out about it?

KAROLINA RANGEL: I mean for I knew my girls are going into the NICU right away. So I got to visit the NICU, got to see and we also decided that we were going to stay home a month together with the girls. That was ours.

MISHELL RUDDEN: And with mine because it was home bed rest, home bed rest, home bed rest we thought we were going to progress all the way through that and then at the very end boom guess what you are coming in. In a few days later boom you’re having the kids and we were again only 32 weeks long at that point. I hadn’t really anticipated that much NICU time so what I envision would be what it was going to be like after when the twins were born and having had a singleton pregnancy were after delivery things were fairly routine after that. That’s sort of what I have envisioned and so whatever planning I have done on my head, it’s not really happening anyways. So…

BRENDA RUHL: I definitely spent a lot of time just researching things that I could do to keep them healthier in the meantime. I wouldn’t say that so much of planning for once they come other than the job stuff as I’ve mentioned. My husband also decided that was a good time to change companies so he actually started a new job three weeks before they were born so I think there was a lot of career stuff for both of us that was kind of occupying our time that we were trying to get ironed out before the twins got there.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So that’s great yeah I guess that’s great. Planning is always good. You know I was also wondering you know we kind of talk about having friends coming over and family. I mean did you feel like you you know had good emotional support during that time?

BRENDA RUHL: I wish I have had a lot more. I think if you have the resources, you use them and don’t be afraid to ask people…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

BRENDA RUHL: Because people can be too polite and everyone will offer help but you need to say please come over these week because people say oh let me know if you want me to come over and you have to let them know. Because again it can be very, very isolating and you know I saw my mom a couple of times a week.

I saw my husband everyday but other than that I didn’t see people and again a lot of my friends had very busy schedules but there were a couple of times that my friends who after they had their babies and their still on maternity leave, they took me to some of my appointments because it was so overwhelming for my mom to be doing all of that.

They said let’s help out a little bit and give her a little break and so they were they you know they would have to take a break from being with me taking an NST and then they have to go breastfeed. And so we you know it was a little bit more of help but used people as best as you can and don’t be afraid to be a little bit more vocal and you’re not being polite because people want to help and you need to give them that open door.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s a great point because I can imagine you know some people would say well I don’t want to be intrusive. I don’t want to be evasive. I mean you know maybe if you’re not feeling so well I don’t want to come over and hang out too long. So that’s great that you can tell them no I really do want you to come over and…

BRENDA RUHL: You make the appointment.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah.

BRENDA RUHL: And have them come.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s a really great advice. Well I want to say hey thanks so much for everyone for joining us today and for more information about managing your bed rest with the twin pregnancy or for more information about any of our speakers and panellists, visit our episode page on our website. And this conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks club. And after the show our panellists will talk about their recommendation for someone who is going to go on bed rest and is there any preparation. For more information about the Twin Talks club, visit our website www.twintalks.com .

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Do you have any breast feeding oops and funny stories about nursing in public that you can share?

SHELLY STEELY: So this is Shelly. I have one particular example so feeding twins out and about is hard and then having twins out and about, people stare. So one particular time we had stop to the mall. We were going out to visit some friends in LA and we had to stop. We wanted to get the kids changed and fed and ready before we got to where we were going. So we went to a [inaudible].

They’re having a nice or maybe it was a blooming some nice department store because they have that big lounge area. So what I did is that I had my husband stand outside with one of the babies because he can’t go to the woman’s rest room and then I took the other one inside. Well a woman was walking in and she walked passed my husband and they guess oh you know what a cute baby you know etc and then she walked in and saw me nursing the other baby on the chair and she literally did an actual double take looks at my husband, looks back at me, looks at the baby.

She goes oh my gosh they must be twins and of course the baby who was nursing it was like peak distractible point unlatches and turns to stare at her. So now I’m like completely expose…

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh

SHELLY STEELY: And leaking milk.

BRENDA RUHL: Oh my gosh.

SHELLY STEELY: And my baby was staring at her and she looks at me and she says oh he must be done. Should I get the other one? No he’s not done. Now we’ve lost him completely. I couldn’t get him back at all and so I’m like well I guess so and I start to pull up my shirt and then she starts talking to me what’s it like to have twins? Are they identical? They look the same. They must be. I’m sitting here and I’m like half exposed and the baby was not done eating and my husband waiting out in there and it was just like oh my goodness are you kidding?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s so interesting that she was volunteering to help. I mean…

SHELLY STEELY: I got that a lot. Actually when nursing especially people seem to think that you need an extra hand and I mean I appreciate it, really I do. I have more strangers offer to hold my children when i really knew what to do with.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.

SHELLY STEELY: I guess people see you holding two babies and they think immediately that you must need some sort of help and it’s like well thank you but I don’t know you you know and I’m half naked so I’m actually just going to take my baby if you could leave.

[Theme Music]¬¬¬

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Our show The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on-the-go.

This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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