"I often wonder how you can find time for what you do, in addition to the care of the house; and how good Mrs. West could have written such books and collected so many hard works, with all her family cares, is still more a matter of astonishment. Composition seems to me impossible with a head full of joints of mutton and doses of rhubarb."~Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, 1816

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Notes from a Semi-Reclined Position

I.Am.Fed.Up.With.Being.Pregnant! Although bed rest has brought its own blessings, I became grouchy and exasperated this week over my continuing quarantine here in the house and increasingly nervous about my upcoming delivery. I felt horrible barking at Girlie all through her morning getting-ready routine. Usually I coax her along, in a supportive yet firm manner.

I had early contractions last Friday and wound up in the hospital. Sensing I was unready to have this baby and acknowledging that he would do better with a couple more weeks in utero, my OB (who happened to be doing rounds at the hospital that day) sent me home with prescriptions for medication and bed rest. The combination is working, thankfully. But now I can’t go about my mom duties as needed and have to take rests after every task. Get breakfast on the table. Rest. Fold a few pieces of laundry. Rest.

I’m getting anxious about labor. I’m getting anxious about my ability to mother three children ages four years old and younger. Mostly I’m desperate to feel breeze on my skin and walk around the block! When I asked my OB Wednesday when she thought I might go into labor she was noncommittal. When I pressed her for her best prediction she said I might go another week. She was dead-on with her prediction on Toddler’s arrival date.

These days, lying in a semi-reclined position, it’s easy to worry about what may be and what can’t be. There is so much undone still. I have thought professional maternity photos would be fun, especially if this is my last pregnancy. I should get my daughter a new swimsuit before she starts swimming lessons in a week. But I need to let these things go… Talking with my mom on the phone put my situation into perspective. The priority now is giving this new baby, the new member of our family who will delight us and frustrate us in his own unique fashion, the best possible birth scenario, which means him staying inside me as long as I can hang in here.

I should be glad for what I have been able to accomplish on bed rest. I’ve been reading voraciously and scribbling notes down in my journal as if they are keys to the Meaning of Life. I’ve been thinking through and writing down ideas for my book. I’ve started an essay, a couple book reviews and several blog posts. Although I can’t move my body around much, my mind is spinning.

Beyond being thankful for having some opportunity to write this past week, the most inspiring aspect of my bed rest has been the support of family and friends. I’ve received emails of encouragement, meals, offers to do grocery shopping, and offers for housecleaning. (After I delivered Toddler two friends even cleaned my kids’ bathroom!) My in-laws have been over every day to take the kids to the park and let me rest for a couple hours every morning.

Before having children, isolated on the island of hubby and me in a new city, I remember praying for friends. I actually prayed for them, as if God would bother to arrange to send me friends. He did. A friend’s mom once said to me, “The Lord is faithful.” I didn’t know what she meant at the time. The Lord is faithful to us? Aren’t we supposed to be faithful to Him?

I understand what she meant now.


  1. You go, woman! I know you know it (probably better than I do), but just try to enjoy the last minutes of babe in the belly. (It's so weird, I see pregnant women now and feel, well, really nostalgic!) Have your man take a picture of your belly nakey. Though we took clothed pictures every week, I only have one of just my belly and it's not even from full term. Which I was planning to do, it just didn't happen...Lots of love and hugs from this side of the pond!

  2. Thank you Nora! I appreciate your reminders to enjoy these last days of pregnancy. The waiting and wondering about labor, about the new person on his way into our lives, is so tough! Yes, I need more belly pics. Not much else to do these days!