Making Bed Rest Bearable

North Texas hospital keeps soon-to-be moms on bed rest entertained

Nurses at a North Texas hospital are helping make the stay in bed a little more pleasant for moms-to-be who are on bed rest.

Texas Health Harris Methodist HEB Hospital serves as the temporary home to future mothers such as Missy Cheatham.

Pregnant with twin girls, Cheatham went to her doctor for what she thought was a routine exam six weeks ago -- and hasn't returned home since.

"Didn't have a thing packed," she said Thursday. "Wasn't remotely ready for this. Hadn't wrapped up anything at work."

Her doctor decided her pregnancy was so high-risk she had to be confined to bed rest immediately. She went straight into the hospital.

"You are in the same room the entire time, so that's been interesting," she said.

Doctors call it "bed rest."

Some women might call it "prison" -- the same view out the same window for weeks on end.

"The sad thing is, some of these women who don't usually have depression issues get depressed," said Angelle Kolle, a nurse who works in the women's center. "Your days become nights. Your nights become days. You're in the same bed all the time."

Cheatham, 29, of Euless, spends hours connecting with friends on her laptop.

"I didn't do much with Facebook before," she said. "But now I'm on Facebook a lot."

Kolle and other nurses wanted a way to keep women on bed rest from going stir-crazy.

"We thought, 'What can we do?'" she said.

They called their idea "Mommies in Waiting."

Nurses plan a daily activity Monday through Friday. One day, the patients make blankets or baby clothes. Another day, they get massages. There's even a movie night.

"It's really fun," Cheatham said. "This program has been really nice because it gives you activities to look forward to and break up your days."

The mothers -- all on bed rest -- get a chance to get together in the same room, compare stories and realize they are not alone.

"They're lonely," Kolle said. "They just want someone to talk to, especially if they're social."

It's a way to help pass the time and make weeks of bed rest a little more pleasant.

Cheatham isn't scheduled to give birth for at least another two weeks. Eventually, she plans on returning to her job as an accountant at a Dallas construction company.

"I've been here six weeks, so another two weeks is nothing," she said.

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