Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Slow Down!

It's that insane time of year that is conveniently called "The Holidays." With Thanksgiving down, we're now in the thick of it. For a young family like ours, we're filled with an uncommon excitement at the simple traditions we're still getting accustomed to. This includes chopping down a tree, hauling it on the car, dragging it in the house, and putting the 11ft vicious Blue Spruce into a tree stand. This one accomplishment is an entire post in itself, but we'll save that for another day.

With all my anticipation for Christmas my days are filled to the brim with projects to get done, parties to plan, and presents to buy. Frankly, I'm exhausted, and it's only the first week of Advent! It's all my own doing, of course. At 24 weeks pregnant I'm healthy, the baby is healthy, and I really don't have much of a belly to get in the way. However, I'm still 24 weeks pregnant, the baby is getting bigger, I'm getting bigger, and everything is getting more difficult.

Do I stop, slow down, and save the rest for someone else to do? No! Do I ask for help or wait for someone to help me? No! Do I, in spite of the back pain and against medical advice insist on dragging the Christmas boxes from garage and rearrange the living room furniture? Yes!

Am I any different than most busy moms I know who don't let their lives stop even when their bodies tell them to? No. I'm not any different and I'm not working harder than anyone else I know. It's unfortunate because of all the things we have to do, or think we have to do.

Before the time of modern medicine pregnancy was known as the "Period of Confinement." Once a mother reached a certain point of pregnancy she was put in her room to bed. The windows were shut and the curtains drawn. She stayed there until the baby was born, and then afterwards for another four to six weeks. The first time I learned of the treatment I was appalled and thought it terribly cruel. Now, although I certainly wouldn't condone it, understand why it might have been necessary during that period of history. Shut up in your bedroom you can't see the piles of laundry or dirty dishes. You don't walk across the floor and make a note that you need to scrub it. You don't sit down on couch, find a lone sock stuck in the cushions and spend the rest of the day searching for it's match. With the windows closed you wouldn't see the weeds that need to be pulled, the lawn that needs to be mowed, or all the toys scattered about the yard that never make it back to their place at night. While confinement for the mother certainly would have been depressing and frustrating, it was probably necessary for her and the baby's health to stop, slow down, and let the world take care of itself.

Confinement is not in my future, and today's version, bedrest, would be my worst nightmare. But this afternoon, if I can get the little boy upstairs to fall asleep, I'm going to relax, crochet the new baby a blanket, and wait to finish my to-do list until after naptime...or maybe tomorrow...

No comments: