Monday, March 9, 2015

Bed Rest for the Criminally Insane

Here she is... Miss America...

Soon after we came home from the hospital, I experienced the night all postpartum mothers dream of: crazy horrible nausea with a side of physical pain. I phoned the OB nurse the next day and was ordered on bed rest, with plenty of water, small meals and alternating Tylenol and Motrin.

At least the view is wonderful:

I also have regular visitors!

I am not a bed rest sort of person. Mine was very temporary compared to the weeks and months I know friends of mine have faced; but it certainly felt like a Lent-worthy sacrifice. It made me physically rely on others for help. This is something that drives me crazy.

It's not because I am ungrateful - quite the opposite. I do not know how I would have handled the last few weeks before, during and after Laura's birth without the help of my MIL. It is amazing having my Mom here now, till Saturday. 

I'm more about being interdependent, though - and bed rest made me dependent, like Laura.

Just a girl and her wubbanub.
For example, I had to explain how to make coffee, and how I like my coffee to be fixed -- and it made me think and contemplate how I live in a state of survival in many ways, with many opportunities for spontaneous fun as a family. No one fixes me coffee except Will; there is usually no one else around to help me besides Will. I was having to explain where things were and our weekly schedule; how Grace's sleep habits work, when and where therapy is, and with whom.

Or even, the humility of grandparents seeing Grace's old-new tricks for the first time. The amazement of how much she has progressed since they last saw her in December. The unanswerable questions of when and if she'll do this or that. I tend to brush off those questions and repeat my mantra: With God and Grace, all is possible.

Which, to bring us back around, is what I should give myself more of: the grace to heal. Permission to feel terrible and let someone take care of me.

The back pain isn't gone, and the stitches are there, and Laura sleeps all day so she can stare at me all night. And by stare, I mean make little crying noises into bigger crying noises until I acquiesce her request.

I want to cry sometimes too. I'm not sure if it's the hormones or the lack of sleep or all the grading that is waiting for me, and the power points I am currently staying up late to work on...

Dr. Optimist likes to remind me that life isn't so bad - in fact, we have a pretty great life. ((I know this, and I feel this.))

I also feel a kind of insecurity that everything is going to fall apart if I don't keep my fingers in every pie, and times like this help me gently remove those thoughts. What I am discovering in my early womanhood is that it is just as important to be honest with yourself and others when things are not okay: when you need help, when you're struggling, and when you must be dependent on others to help carry the load.

Never before has the character of Simon of Cyrene been more important to me: even Jesus had help carrying his cross. Just as Jesus was born a sweet baby, totally dependent on his parents, so we must turn to our own families and God the Father. Just as Jesus carried his cross and honestly asked his disciples, Can you drink from my cup? So we, too, must learn that love takes the form of work and giving and getting. Limitations are not weakness - they are an opportunity to invite more people to the opportunity to love one another more; to support one another in need.

And thus, a new leaf is turned, and I begin my last week of maternity leave - with me on partial bed rest, my mom here till Saturday, husband on night shift, and my girls around me.

I need more than I can voice, and so I echo St. Augustine's confession: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you."

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1 comment:

  1. Wow Julie, glad you have the help and up and feel better soon!!