I'll just come right out and say it: bed rest is the worst. I mean, who wants to lay around in bed all day, for weeks on end? I know it sounds magical at first, but I assure you it's not. Not even close. After all, bed rest isn't a sign things are "fine" with your pregnancy. You’re put on bed rest because you have high blood pressure, cervical effacement, vaginal bleeding, or preterm labor. In other words, you're stressed, and thanks to the stress you’ll probably have fights with your partner while you’re on bedrest. Because, you know, they’re there and you’ve gotta fight with someone, right?
My second pregnancy was labeled high-risk after we lost our first daughter to prematurity. I had my cervix checked on a weekly basis (which is about as fun as it sounds, for the record) so my doctors could make sure it wasn't shortening before it should. Sure enough, at around 21 weeks (which was around the same gestation that I lost my previous baby), my cervix began to shorten to a size that was nothing short of worrisome. I was taken to the hospital for an emergency cerclage, and placed on bed rest immediately after.
My husband was fairly patient, but even on our best days our relationship felt somewhat strained. We struggled to keep from snapping at each other, especially since the reality of my second pregnancy was inescapable. We’re in a much better place as a couple these days, especially now that our son is a happy, vibrant, healthy 3-year-old, but we put in the work to get where we are now. So if you’re on bed rest right now and your relationship is suffering for it, know that it's absolutely possible for you and your partner to rebound. In the meantime, find some solace in the fact that if you're having the following arguments with your partner, you're not alone:
When You Want To Move Around But Your Partner Is Paranoid
This wasn’t just a fight with my partner, but a fight with nearly every single one of my family members. Yes, I was on bed rest, but I also knew the risk wasn’t too high if I got out of bed to grab the remote off the table. My partner didn’t always see it that way, though, mostly because he had an extreme fear of experiencing another loss. It's understandable, to be sure, but still.
When You Want To Get Up But Your Partner Doesn’t Notice Or Help
That said, sometimes I just needed someone to come help me up. That someone was my partner, who would often space out to a baseball game (or whatever) on his phone. That’s when I’d lose my temper a bit.
When Your Bed Starts Sagging On One Side
My partner still teases me about our lopsided bed. Back then, though, he wasn’t exactly thrilled that our relatively new mattress was sinking on one end.
Note to all you bed-rest mamas out there: have your partner flip the mattress often!
When Your Partner Starts Getting Tired Of Not Having Any Help
OK, my partner didn’t exactly get mad at me about this or anything. He understood that what I was doing (which was, well, nothing) was important for my health and the continued health of our baby-to-be. But I could tell when he would get annoyed at having to do all the cleaning and laundry and grocery shopping and, well, you get the point. I wasn’t about to let those passive aggressive hints go unnoticed.
When Your Partner Is Fed Up With Having To Tend To Your Every Need
Being on bed rest means you have to be a bit needy, and being pregnant means you're probably a tad forgetful. So I often sent my husband out to get me things, only to accidentally forget a crucial item and and ask him to go again. This happened a lot. No, he wasn’t thrilled.
When You're Constantly Anxious About The Baby & Your Partner Wants To Be Positive
Being on bed rest can really do a number on your nerves. As a high-risk mama, you’re going to be dwelling on how safe your baby is and/or will continue to be. You’ll worry plenty, and then you’ll talk your partner’s ear off about every single one of those worries until it all starts to be a little too much. But you can’t both be stressed, because someone needs to play cheerleader, right? Still, your partner won’t always be thrilled about it.
When You're Relaxed & Your Partner Thinks You Don't Care Enough
That said, some bed-rest mamas aren’t as anxious as others. In fact, they might not seem worried at all. So if your partner is the worry-wart, but you're as cool as a cucumber, this might cause some friction.
When Sex Is A Distant Memory
Unless you went into the marriage with a clear no sex rule (which is cool for some folks), you might start getting on each other’s nerves when sex is off the table. Before you know it anything and everything annoys you, but you'll both get through it. Promise.
When Affection Goes Out The Window, Too
Not surprisingly, when sex becomes obsolete so does a lot of affection. Sure, you might manage a midnight snuggle from time to time, especially if it’s cold, but you’ll end up feeling fairly distant from your partner (to the point that you’ll wonder how on earth you ever managed to even make a baby to begin with). But again, it’s only temporary.