3 pregnancies x 3 pre-term labours x building my empire = no fun at all!
But I’ve since learned how to cope with the disruption of a hospital stay to work and taken it in my stride. Here are my Top 5 Tips & Supermamapreneurials For Dealing With Pre-Term Labour While Empire Building.
Tip #1 – Report: Tell Your Doctor and Get to The Hospital
This time around, my contractions started around 10+pm, and they were at first irregular, about 5 to 12 minutes apart. And I kind of knew that these weren’t Braxton Hicks contractions or false labour because I did start to feel physically uncomfortable around 6pm. This is something I picked up about my body in my past 2 pregnancies when labour was imminent. This is also something that has become a warning to me to be prepared for what’s coming.
Supermamapreneurial #1: Be Ready
Ensure hospital bags (pre-birth and post-birth, just in case), including things needed for work e.g. laptop, are packed and ready to go.
I woke up at 4am with intense contractions that were a steady 5 minutes apart and I knew it was time to take action to stop these contractions. Mama is not ready for you yet baby, and you’re not ready for the world either!
Tip #2 – Relax: Focus On Positives
Once you’ve informed the doctor and you’re at the hospital, relax. This might be difficult, but it’s true that fretting about it in your head about all the good and bad possibilities about the pre-term labour, the baby and work won’t help. You’ll only succeed in worrying yourself silly instead of focusing your energies on positive solutions.
Supermamapreneurial #2: Get Productive
While waiting for the nursing staff and doctor to examine me and for the medication to kick in, I like to do something productive like make a few lists of what needs to be taken care of, for work and home. This helps me focus on moving forward, instead of worrying myself in circles.
Tip #3 – Reverse: Your Aversion to Needles
I don’t think there’s anyone who hates needles more than I do. All these pre-term labours and having babies hasn’t changed that, though I must admit I’m less averse to them now than I was 4 years ago.
I realised that the more I built it up in my head that I hated needles, the bigger the issue seemed to be. And because there was no 2 ways about this i.e. the needles were necessary, I decided to just suck it up and stop being a baby about it. Although this does nothing for the pain that comes with all these needles, it has helped to calm my mind whilst going through it.
Supermamapreneurial #3: A calm mind is key for great ideas
I then wouldn’t have to waste time trying to center myself again to focus for work. By the way, once the drip catheter is in your hand (like in the picture), I’ve learned that putting the laptop flat on the table is the best way to go. Don’t put your laptop on an incline because, while it is more ergonomical in the usual situation when you work without the drip in your hand, this angle will cause the drip catheter to poke your vein at an awkward angle and/or wrist and it will be painful.
Tip #4 – Reschedule: Working With Doctor’s Orders
The cardiotocography machine or CTG machine will be part of your life until your baby is born. What it does is it records fetal heartbeats and uterine contractions. It can be a pain because sometimes you’d have to lie still for an hour at a go, but it is reassuring to hear the baby’s heartbeat. And if the medications that the doctor has given are working, it is most calming to watch the monitor assure you that your contractions are going or have gone away.
Supermamapreneurial #4: Work Around It
Since I know I can’t get out of going through multiple CTG sessions, I’ve devised a way to keep up with work and still comply with doctor’s orders. What I like to do is to get the nurses to tell me when each CTG session will be, and I’ll plan my work around it. For example, if I have to be sitting up and typing out stuff, I’ll do that before the CTG session or after. I leave all the thinking work for when I have to lie down during the CTG session. Sometimes I type out ideas when I’m sitting up and then let those ideas simmer whilst I’m lying down.
Tip #5 – Re-training: To Deal With Bedrest
And as expected, my doctor put me on bedrest! This, for me, is worse than being busy because I can’t do most things e.g. can’t drive, can’t go shopping, can’t be on my feet for too long to do stuff, can’t carry the kids, and there’s only so much TV I can watch before it gets boring. There’s no greater pain to me than the loss of my freedom and independence.
Supermamapreneurial #5: Bedrest is the time to get creatively lazy
I’ve realised, that bedrest is the time to get creative and find the laziest way to get something done effectively and efficiently. This is the time to try and do what I can from the comfort of my bed or sofa, without walking around. If the kids want a cuddle, they’ll have to climb up the bed for one. If there are things that need to be bought, I’ll find an online store and get it delivered. If my staff need something, they’ll have to come to me for a consult. Everything revolves around the bed-resting me.
The important thing to keep in mind though, is that being on bedrest means resting also. Be sure to carve out time for rest so you’ll be able to be at your best.
This is an opinion piece based on the author’s experiences. This is not in any way medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical advice.