Updated: Mar 28, 2022
Sometimes complications can arise during your pregnancy that result in you being hospitalised. Depending on the circumstances and reasons for your admission, the length of your stay can vary from a few days to weeks or even months.
Understandably, this is not at all what you had in mind for your pregnancy journey.
What I would like you to do is to create a cocoon or little love nest for you and your baby to rest and grow in. It may seem like a lot of effort, but it is essential to keep your spirits up and remind yourself of who you are, while you’re away from the comforts of home. To personalise your surroundings, take in some familiar items such as a nice blanket, your own pillow, some photos that you can Blu-Tack to your wall, and a calendar to cross days off. If you have your own room, you can also have an air vaporiser with lavender or calming oils, some fresh flowers and/or a small plant. You’ll be surprised by what a difference these small comforts make to your mood and soul. They have a way of reminding you of who you are and what you are creating and adding to your life.
Depending on what you do for work, you may also be able to keep working from hospital. Do take a laptop or iPad and books to keep you busy. Ensure that you find a balance between creating a daily routine while also adding different things to your timetable. So that you’re not living in Groundhog Day, schedule a connection with the outside world, such as a phone chat or FaceTime with a friend.
If you have other children, make sure that you have some age-appropriate entertainment for them when they come to visit, and try to make FaceTime a daily normality.
For example, when I was pregnant with our second baby, I was admitted to hospital for two weeks. Our first child was still a toddler and I shed many tears over being away from her for the very first time. I did all the things that I had recommended other mothers do, when admitted to hospital.
For my daughter I took in Play-Doh, stickers, crayons, books, watercolour markers and even a portable baby basketball ring. I had a drawer just for her, with snacks, her bib, a change of clothes and everything that she needed. So, when my husband brought her in every day, it was easy for all of us. We Face-Timed every morning and night and when we needed extra time together, I would also FaceTime with her while she played at home.
Try to stay positive and remember to write a list of your hopes for your future and to picture that frequently. If at times you find yourself feeling anxious, saying a few positive affirmations to yourself and your baby may help centre you.
I would say, “All is well, all will be well. We will be a happy family of four, together at home soon. You will be a great addition to our family. You will be kind, healthy and happy and do good things in this world. I can’t wait to meet you. But not yet. We'll get you out when you’re ready. You are not ready yet.”
If you’re not used to meditating, then chances are that you don’t believe in it. I began only after the birth of my daughter. It helped me to unwind and sleep. If you are new to this, I recommend that you try an app called Insight Timer. There you’ll find two meditations that I use frequently. One is called Breathing into sleep by Bethany Auriel-Hagan and the other is Metta (loving kindness) Practice by Whit Hornsberger.
Let me talk you through the Metta one. You simply find a quiet time and place and repeat four sentences: “May I be filled with loving kindness. May I be filled with patient endurance. May I be well, within body and within mind. May I be peaceful and at ease.”
This is what it meant to me:
“May I be filled with loving kindness” – “May I be filled with loving kindness towards myself, my body, this beautiful growing baby, as a mother, partner and person.”
“May be filled with patient endurance” – “May I be filled with the patience for growing, loving and carrying this baby to term safely, and to endure this patiently and happily, trusting that all is well.”
“May I be well within body and within mind” – “May my baby and I be well physically, and mentally calm.”
“May I be patient and at ease” – “I will be patient in trusting this journey, time and process. I’m at ease, calming all thoughts, welcoming this new journey. All is well. All will be well.”
And repeat, "All is well, all will be well."
As you read this, may you find love, peace and patience. You are not alone on this journey. Right now, there are many mothers around the world facing their own bumps along their pregnancy.
I faced mine with vasa previa and I can tell you that everything went well, and we have a beautiful, healthy son named Hudson, whose name means hug, heart, mind, spirit and strong. (#vasapreviasurvivor)
Stay strong mamma, you can do this. One day at a time. Today is a good day, to have a good day and if it wasn't - welcome tomorrow to be better,
Always check with your own Doctor, midwife or healthcare professional prior to following any information here - to ensure it's safe and adequate for you and your situation. This is not a midwife - patient - client relationship.