Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trying to Rest

Well, yesterday worry overtook me and I headed in to my doctor to make sure everything was still going well.  I've just had too many contractions that have taken too long to go away.  Everything is still going well, but he wanted me to take it really easy from here on out.  The definition of what that looks like, I'm not quite sure, but I got the impression that I need to cut back, and a lot. 

There's just so many hurdles to cutting back and resting more that it's a bit overwhelming.  I think the system that will probably work best with Knut being home a bit is that when he's home, he does many of the standing things that I used to do.  (Dishes, getting drinks for the kids at supper, vacuuming, etc.)  When I'm the only adult at home, I do what absolutely needs to get done.  (Changing diapers, making food, etc.)  However, baskets of clothes get left at the bottom of the stairs for Knut to bring up once he gets home, or better yet, I can sometimes get the kids to take up hand fulls and put them away themselves.  It's not as neat as I would do it, but somethings have to give.

I need to be disciplined to sit down more.  It's such a mental battle that I know some of my readers who have been pregnant before may understand.  You don't want to feel like you're taking advantage of the situation.  It just feels wrong to sit at the table and let others clear my plate.  To ask someone to help me get the kids to the car feels embarrassing for some reason.  Trying to take it easy is a huge blow to the ego because it's like admitting to everyone around you how weak and unable you are to do things over and over again.  It's certainly humbling. 

It's been experiences like this (this is not the first pregnancy I've had to cut back this much...in fact I was put on more severe restrictions when I was pregnant with Silje) that makes my heart go out to every woman on bedrest out there.  The biggest challenge of bedrest I believe, is the mental challenge on not feeling sick, yet having to willfully stay in bed.  Then there's added to that the mental battle of questioning your body's ability, as well as worry for your baby.  It's completely a mental battle, and my prayers and empathy go out to every bedridden pregnant lady out there. 

Fortunately, I'm not at that point, and am hoping to avoid bedrest altogether this time around.  However, I was warned that if I don't cut back enough, I will be. 

Honestly, though, I feel like I'm dealing with a whole cocktail of emotions and hormones that traditionally comes with the third trimester that I'm trying desperately to overcome.  I'm always tired.  I know I'm irrationally annoyed because Knut has been great and a huge help being home some this last week, and no matter how awesome he is without complaint, I feel annoyed.  I don't think it's him, and perhaps I'm just annoyed that I need his help.  At any rate, it seems to me to be an illogical annoyance, and that has me categorize it as another pregnancy symptom.

Add to that the overall worry, or dare I say fear, that this baby will come too early.  Only I can listen to my body and take its cues to sit more, and only I can communicate those needs to others, and if I don't, and this baby comes too early, that will be on my shoulders.   Hmmm, just as I wrote that the verse came to mind from Matthew: "Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me..." it's been awhile since I've memorized that one, so pardon the mistakes if there are any.  Thank you Holy Spirit for that little reminder.

It's funny how God says over and over again in the Scriptures how he wants to give us rest and he even commands us to rest, and yet we don't take it.  We don't do it.  I think that it boils down, like most sins, to the sin of pride.  We don't like others seeing us rest, or admitting we need rest.  We like to appear strong and self sufficient.  Capable, able, responsible.  There's something about taking rest that can be humbling, and perhaps that's why God gives it/commands it.  We need that so badly. 

I have had very little joy in sewing lately, even though that usually relieves stress for me. I find myself bored and gaining more unfinished projects rather than finishing my pile of previously started projects.  I have some things that really need to be finished up within the next week for a swap that I'm doing with some friends and I just don't feel like it.  What I'd like is to get some "mojo" back in the sewing area. I find myself dreaming of patterns and enjoying coming up with new projects, but my motivation to finish anything has been dried up.  I would like very much to overcome that.

Really, the only thing that seems to get me smiling and looking forward to doing things right now (besides looking forward to the birth of this little girl) is looking forward to Christmas this year.  Some of you may remember that last year around Thanksgiving/Christmas time, I miscarried a baby, and then we went to Phoenix for Christmas and while we were there I had my surgery to remove a huge ovarian tumor.  With all of that going on, I didn't make any Christmas cookies, or send out Christmas cards.  We didn't bother decorating the house much as we weren't going to be home for Christmas.  No tree, no ornaments, no baking.  Even though it was good to be with my family, I was either in pain or doped up on pain meds, and it just wasn't the same.

I'm so excited for Christmas this year.  So much so that I cry when I think about it.  (Think 3rd trimester pregnant hormones again.  Yes, I cry when I think of Christmas.)  This Christmas, we will have another stocking hung by the fire for our new little baby.  I can't wait to get a tree and decorate it.  I can't wait to make Christmas cookies this year and I'm pretty sure I'll go overboard in decorating the house this year.  I can't wait for my parents and Knut's brother and sister-in-law to come up during the season.  Cozy fires in the fireplace, it all white outside.  I think I'll just soak it all in this year. 

Sorry for all of the rambling thoughts.  That's what blogs are for, right?  I just thought I'd let all my friends who have kindly reminded me to take it easy that I am doing my best to do so, even though mentally it's very, very difficult to do.  I'd ask for prayer that I'd find joy in resting, instead of my grumbly annoyance, but that seems to be an even greater "cultural sin" in this part of America.  It's one thing to have to rest...as if it's the responsible thing to do, but it's another thing to totally revel in it with joy.  Our mortal world is funny, isn't it?

Through my rambling, though, I reminded myself that there is still so much to look forward too, and this is all just temporary.  I won't be restricted forever, and joy will come.  I just need to hang in there.

4 comments:

Penny said...

As twisted as it sounds, it made me feel better to read this. Not because I am happy that you are feeling this way, but because I am happy that I am not the only one feeling this way. I hate admitting that I can't do something. I have sewing projects that need to be done, too, but I am the type that needs to sit down and get engrossed in a project for a long period of time, and my body just can't take that uncomfortableness for that long. That frustrates me too. Plus all of our family will be coming in during the first few weeks, and they stay with us, so I need to make sure everything is ready for that. The closer I get to my date, the more I realize I'm not ready yet! :) And yes, I'm praying for understanding and patience for you, me, and every other pregnant lady out there right now!

annalise + andrew said...

right there with you Gretch! It's so hard to sit still and take care of ourselves... We're almost there!!! (oh and I am way more excited about Christmas than usual too... I almost started crying just reading that you cry when you think of Christmas! Love these hormones!)

Judy S. said...

Hi Gretchen!
Somehow I landed at your interesting blog and have enjoyed looking at your beautiful knitting projects. I, too, had a Christmas baby, only she's probably a bit older than you are now! There's something extra special about a new life at this time of year, right? Do take time to rest; each week I volunteer in the antepartum unit at the UW hospital, teaching knitting to help fill their days. It may be hard to put your feet up, but it sure beats being away from your family for weeks on end! Take care, and know that good thoughts are coming your way. Big hugs, too!

Anonymous said...

A verse that comes to mind as I read your post, is "Be still and know that I am God." God is giving you a gift of having permission to sit and be still, and an invitation to "watch/feel" Him do His work of creating that little one inside of you, and providing for your needs with a family who loves you and helps you follow Dr.'s orders. Be free of the guilt of needing help. You and your baby are dearly loved. When this time has passed, you will have opportunities to help others with a tender understanding of what it feels like to be dependent on help, and will know the best way to give help. God richest blessings as you wait on Him to bring this baby into your arms. =)