An appreciation for Agency: Bed Rest vs. House Arrest

Somedays being on bed rest feels like house arrest.

Here is what Wiki defines “Bed Rest” and “House Arrest” as:

Bed rest is a medical treatment involving a period of consistent (day and night) recumbence in bed. It is used as a treatment for an illness or medical condition, especially when prescribed or chosen rather than resulting from severe prostration or imminent death. Even though most patients in hospitals spend most of their time in the hospital beds, bed rest more often refers to an extended period of recumbence at home. Some clinicians now regard bed rest as being at best neutral to outcome, and in some cases potentially harmful to patients.[1]

House Arrest: In justice and law, house arrest is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all. House arrest is a lenient alternative to prison time or juvenile-detention time.

While house arrest can be applied to common criminal cases when prison does not seem an appropriate measure, the term is often applied to the use of house confinement as a measure of repression by authoritarian governments against political dissidents. In that case, typically, the person under house arrest does not have access to means of communication. If electronic communication is allowed, conversations will most likely be monitored. With certain units, the conversations of criminals can be directly monitored via the unit itself.

They sound pretty similar to me. One is medical and one is judicial. Bed rest might not be jail, but it’s very confining. No electronic motoring just the life or death of your child.

But what it really comes down to is agency and that it’s being taken away from you. It’s hard when a doctor tells you that you need to be on bedrest. I wasn’t sure what to expect when put on bed rest five weeks ago.

Now let’s be honest here, I’m 33 weeks pregnant there is two feet of snow outside and I really wouldn’t be out and about doing a whole lot. But it’s more the fact that the choice isn’t mine, that that choice has been made for me.

The concept of agency or free will has been to topic of my research today. I’m LDS and believe that “In the premortal life, Heavenly Father presented His plan, which included the principle of agency. Lucifer rebelled and “sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3).”

I like what Thomas S. Monson says about agency being a gift from God “We brought with us that great gift from God—our agency. Said the prophet Wilford Woodruff: “God has given unto all of His children … individual agency.”

The last weeks on bed rest have made me appreciate that we do have agency. I have a new appreciation for agency and making my own choices. Funny how in life things have to be taken away from us to appreciate them, doesn’t it?

It’s also made me ralize that even though I need to be resting with my feet up that I DO STILL HAVE AGENCY. I have a choice to make every. I can choose how I respond to bed rest. Am I bitter about it or do I feel blessed? Some moments I get blue and feel like I’m missing out on adventures, like on Friday when Jon took our son to see Santa. But 90% of the time I feel blessed that we have great doctors that are monitoring us and have plan in place.

I will gladly be on bed rest for another 7 weeks if it means the health of our daughter. Plus, I bet people on house arrest don’t get to snuggle with their 3 year old son and watch cartoons on a daily basis :)

What are your thoughts on agency? Am I way off?



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Go Adventure Mom’s found, Kathy Dalton, launched Go Adventure Mom in 2012 in an effort to bring women together that love travel and the outdoors. As a former ski instructor, Kathy has taken her love for outdoor recreation and through the power of social media has created a platform to share her passion with the world. As a mom of three, Kathy loves to share her family adventures in Utah, cross-country skiing up Millcreek Canyon, skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, camping in Grand Teton National Park and camping in the Uintas. Kathy has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Parents and Parenting magazine. Kathy is a regular contributor to Visit Salt Lake and is a tip contributor on TripAdvisor.

There are 7 Comments

  1. Posted by Adrian

    I hear ya! You know my experience with bedrest. But I think it is great that you are choosing to go into it with a good attitude. I don’t know that I went into it with a great attitude, but I did do what I was told, and I was rewarded 10 weeks later with a 10 lb baby boy who is now a six footer, so I am so grateful that my doctors knew what they were doing.

  2. Posted by Carly

    I like your thoughts on agency. I have also been on bed rest before. It totally feels like you can’t do anything! I like how you mentioned you still can control your day even if you are stuck at home :) That’s a good way to look at it.

  3. Posted by Emilee Eyre

    Hi Kathy. I think you are right on with your thoughts about agency. It has been said that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react. You are such an inspiration to me. Your efforts will be rewarded with a beautiful baby girl! To everything there is a season and during your season of bed-rest you are choosing to focus on the bright side — which I am sure is hard most days. I miss you and wish I were closer!

    Take care!!!

  4. Posted by Nicole

    You’re in my prayers, Kathy! I can only imagine the frustration of bedrest/house arrest.

  5. Posted by Lindsay M

    I can totally relate having been put on bed rest for 3 pregnancies! It’s one of the hardest things to do when you are a driven and motivated person. And those stacks of magazines and dvd’s only last so long! I hope all goes well with the birth of your little girl. Your attitude is inspiring!

  6. Posted by Wendy from Wendys Hat

    My heart goes out to you as I have been in your sort of prison myself. The only positive difference is your final outcome of that beautiful baby! Check out my baby now that nearly killed me. She is talented, sweet, beautiful, extremely smart and on and on! She definitely needed to be here and probably the only way she could is through me. Here is a link to her final blog post as she just finished a style blogging job for Claires.com. If you are bored and this link works then click a bar on the right side of her picture that says “Back to Claire” and this will take you to all of her posts for the month once you scroll down.

    http://www.claires.com/site/style-blogger/Claire/Take-it-from-me/4500014?blogDetail=true&cid=4700024&id=4500014

    Hang in there girl! Sending happy thoughts!

  7. Posted by Kathy

    Thank you! Through blogging and twitter I have found so much great support and am grateful for the prayers and positive thoughts that are sent our way.

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