Slowing down

*****
It’s time to re-combine the colony of bees that we split about a month ago.  Only one of the colonies ended up with a queen, which is exactly why we split them, to give ourselves a greater chance of ending up with at least one.  Jonny has his new blue hive painted and ready to go and a plan formulated in his mind.  He’s excited.  We’ve been waiting all week.  We love this beekeeping stuff and we love doing it together.  But, everything changes early in the week as we realize that I have developed a painful (but not dangerous) condition that is going to severely limit me until our baby is born.

He keeps asking me, do you think you can try to walk down with me?  He knows I shouldn’t, but doesn’t want to just leave me out.  I don’t want to look at him, don’t want him to see that I’m crying again.  I don’t want to admit that I can’t walk that far.  I don’t want to miss it either.  I simply tell him, “Go light the smoker.”  A few minutes later I muster up my courage and Jonny helps put my boots on my feet.  That stubborn streak in Keats?  He gets that from me.  It’s admittedly not my most admirable trait.  I shuffle outside and Jonny helps me off the porch.  I make it about ten steps before I have to stop.  I stand there and start to cry.  There’s no way I’m walking down to those bees.  The walk back into the house is too far as well.  I’m stuck.

Jonny tells me to wait there.  A minute later he drives up on the four wheeler.  He helps me sit down (Larkspur runs over to help too) and then, ever so slowly, he drives me down to the beehives and I have a front row seat.
*****

Have I mentioned that I hate to sit still?  That I’m almost afraid to be still?  That I usually suffer from depression every year as the season shifts from summer to fall and I combat that with activity?  So this walking really hurts thing is scaring me.  But mostly, I am keeping my perspective and relying on my belief that God will carry me through this and He knows what He’s doing.  I probably need to sit still and pay attention like a hyperactive child (I was a hyperactive child) who can’t seem to stop-but needs to.  I confess that I have been hearing that voice for months–“You’re going to have to slow down this time.”  And I have, I truly have.  I just didn’t expect to have to slow down this much.

The very day I realized that what was going on wasn’t going to let up, but would in fact most likely intensify over the next two months, my friend Ann had Joni on her blog (And do you see the “Yarn Along” photos in that post?  It was Wednesday, after all, and those photos along with Joni’s words really lifted my spirits.)  Joni has been in a wheelchair for decades, and I’ve known her story since I was a little girl.  Her question in the words she shared on Ann’s blog  isn’t “Why, God?” it’s “How?” And that is just what I’ve been asking.  How to take care of this family until our baby arrives?  I’m not going to complain, and I’m going to do my best not to despair.  I’m going to trust.  I’ll take things one day at a time and accept that there will be low moments, but that they will be offset by all the good, because there’s so much good…

Beatrix tells me, “I love you so much, mommy!  I especially love you when you’re pregnant!”

Larkspur starts randomly rattling off a birthday wishlist (her birthday isn’t until March.) I forbid her to keep talking about her next birthday because eight is just too old.  She laughs and continues her list. “I want a grapefruit and a grapefruit spoon….”  Silly girl.

And then there is Silas.  He’s the best reminder that these months will fly because I remember when he was my new baby and now he’s talking in sentences.  Jonny and I must look at each other and say “He’s so cute” a million times a day.  You know that phase, when every single word that comes from their mouths is adorable?  At bedtime, as soon as the lights go out he tells me, “Jesus, mommy.”  That’s my cue to start singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know”  I’ll sing it and he’ll chime in at the end of each line.  When I finish he demands, “More Jesus.”  So we sing,  more Jesus, and I know He’s going to carry us all and really what’s two months in a lifetime?

p.s.  I feel I should mention that I am really okay, and the baby is fine.  I am just hurting, and the only real relief comes from lying down on my side which is obviously not the most practical position for a mom of six to be in.  I am able to walk for short stretches at a time, but too much and it becomes so painful that it brings me to tears, so I am avoiding it as much as possible.  I am seeing a chiropractor regularly and doing everything I know to take care of myself.  My three big boys are helping out a lot, doing extra chores and taking on more responsibility.  Jonny is learning the layout of the grocery store, and continuing to be super dad, all the while facing his busiest month of the year at work.  And I’ve got a good handful of friends who are plotting and planning, knowing that I’m not good at asking for help, ready to step in and help fill the gaps for us.

Comments

  1. ws wanderings says:

    Oh, my heart goes out to you. With my fifth child, I too was in agony upon walking. In my case it was a torn ligament in the pelvic area. As I bemoaned this unfamiliar condition, the midwife kept reminding me that I wasn’t in my twenties anymore. Ahem. Bed rest eased some of the inflammation and pain, though it drove me mad to just.lie.down. Yeah right. What about the four children running about? At any rate, the ligament was no issue during labour and birth, thank goodness, but I did have to do special exercises to re-train my body post-birth.

    Sending prayers…

  2. if I lived closer I would bring you some meals xxx hope you are okay xx

  3. While my heart goes out to you for your pain and enforced stillness, I’m so very glad that it’s just pain, and that neither you nor your little one is in danger. Something you said struck a cord in me, that you fight depression every autumn as the seasons change. So do I. In my early thirties, after two decades of winter depression, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Since then (I’m in my early 50s now) I’ve been coping with it by spending 30 minutes to an hour in front of my light box, every day. It’s made a world of difference. If winters are difficult for you, as well, please do a little research, and see if S.A.D. might be the cause. Hoping for your health, patience and joy.

  4. Carol in PA says:

    Oh, Ginny. My prayers are with you. I hope you find relief from your pain soon.
    Silas is right – more Jesus is what we all need. My favorite song to lift my spirits is Fernando Ortega’s “Give Me Jesus.”
    Blessings to you!

  5. happy just doing says:

    Sounds like it’s this year you’ll be squaring up to that depression – with the very best team behind you (bump too – what could be happier than that?) and finally facing it down so you don’t have to fear it again. Your words so very often strike a chord with me but wow: you are one strong woman and you will be just fine. Trust. I like that word. xxx

  6. i have no idea what your condition is but ((HUGS)) ((HUGS)). it is so wonderful that you have a good solid family that is there to help and a community there for support. take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself.

  7. Wishing you health and strength and all the best, Ginny!

  8. Ginny, just want to say I’m thinking of you all in my prayers. Joining you in the enforced stillness of pregnancy with small people who depend on us, who bring us joy and are somehow stronger than we stop to imagine.
    I keep thinking, ‘this too shall pass’, and especially, ‘all shall be well’…it helps me though *smile*
    Just imagine the wonderful blessings we will have in our arms in the months to come!
    With love,
    Carly x

  9. God wants you to learn to let go and accept help from others. Or, not knowing God’s plan, that is sure what it seems like to me. You’re being forced to confront a weakness but I bet it will make you a better role model for your children. And maybe, you also need to take more time for yourself and this will force you to slow down – because really when do you take time for you as a mom of 6?

  10. I hope all goes well and take it as a message to get some rest. I was like that during my second pregnancy and it is very painful but once you have the baby you will feel much better.

  11. I’ve done seriously painful pelvis/hips in my last two pregnancies…… the relief this last 5 1/2 weeks since our little Rose was born has been amazing! It’s hard not to want to wish the time away though! Labouring in water really helped me….. good luck with it, and asking for help lol x

  12. Hello Ginny,

    A long time reader from New Zealand. Thoughts heading your way – sounds like pubis symposis dysfunction with sciatica to me – last pregnancy I had this and would stand at the kitchen bench screaming as I could not move. Was not allowed to walk more than 200 metres and with a toddler – gave up and got a nanny as had no choice as could not do a thing! Agony turning over , getting up – full sympathies! Please take it easy and knit! An osteopath helped for me.

  13. Sending positive thoughts your way. I know how hard it can be to rely on others to do the things that you would normally do yourself. I ended up on bedrest a week before my emergency C-section at 33 weeks. I cried for days thinking that I was failing in my early mama attempts. I thought if I couldn’t do pregnancy right, how was I going to be a good mama. And knowing that it was going to be my only pregnancy didn’t make it any easier. I sometimes still blame myself that she had a rough start to her life, but we are all healthy now and counting our blessings.

  14. Yep, you sound exactly like my sister was her last few months, and she had a pelvic fracture :/ Good luck with everything. I think this is the perfect time of year to have to slow down and take it all in. Besides, all that fall knitting isn’t going to get done if you’re running around constantly! 🙂

  15. Oh you and your hubby sound so sweet together. It’s just lovely. I am so sorry you are in such pain. May God bless you and help you with all you need.

  16. Sending prayers to you! Hope we can be of help. Asking the Lord to let you see (as much as possible though all this) how He is working out all things for good for you and your family who love Him (Romans 8:28).

  17. Oh Ginny. Sciatica? Pubis symphysis separation? Hips falling apart? Where I there, I would help you! I’m a whiz at laundry and housework and I’ve even been known to garden, tutor and teach. Call up a local friend to do those things for you while you record it all with your camera — the images taken from a supine perspective will be entertaining.

    Seriously, PUHLEEZ ask your friends locally to pitch in. That is what friends are for! And take a pain pill to take the edge off (at least at night). Hard to parent when supine but even harder when exhausted and in tears. If you suffer pain for too long you really will be very depressed indeed. Gotta take care of yourself!

    I hope you get some relief soon. Best to you!

  18. I feel for you Ginny! I was in the same boat not long ago, and I confirm: this will pass. Maybe not quickly, but it will and you will have your beautiful little guy in not so long.
    I can’t tell you to rely on God, but I’ll advice you to take the help that is offered from those who loves you. My physical, and above all my mental health was greatly improve by a friend that spend the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy here at home with me, doing everything I should have done as a mom, but simply wasn’t able to do, such as walking, preparing meals for the older kids, playing with them….
    Crying is okay. Hot baths are better!

  19. We used to have one of Joni’s albums when we were little! How funny! Anyway, praying for you, dear Ginny. You are so strong and such a good mother. I can identify with so much of what you write today. I’m a bit terrified at the idea of being pregnant again. My heart is open but I don’t even know how I would do it physically. This is the first time the back pain didn’t go away after birth and it is a constant battle…I can’t even imagine how much worse it will get if I were to get pregnant or how we would get through. I’ll be praying for your healing and strength. In the meantime as Fr. John Riccardo says, suffer well.

  20. Sending wishes and prayers for a calm heart. I was on bedrest with my first two and I *know* how frustrating it cam be. Though caring for one small toddler is FAR different than maintaining a house full. Like anything tough though, it give everyone a chance to shine, you know? And while I know it is hard for kids to pull a heavy load all the time, I think at moments like this where the situation is temporary it gives them a chance to really show what they are made of. And of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a stubborn one that isn’t so excited about extra helping….. they might not realize what they learned until years later…. but that’s okay it still gets in there 🙂
    Much love to you Ginny…. and lots of knitting!
    xo~

  21. I’m praying that Mother Mary will comfort you!

  22. I think you should write a childrens book about bees. You have to include trying to get them out of the tree and you riding on the ATV to get to the hive. I thought that might be a good idea since you have some quality down time. In the mean time you are in my prayers for all the other stuff. Keep strong we are here for a shoulder to lean on.

  23. PGP and/or SPD I am assuming, and sending hugs, hugs, and more hugs, from one sufferer to another. My best friend and I both experienced it during our pregnancies. It is humbling indeed and so frustrating for those of us who can’t sit still. My husband tells me I am like a shark, and cannot stop moving. 🙂 I wish you patience, grace and peace in these final months before welcoming the newest light in your life. Just create yourself a “Command Center” from which you can rule the household… while lying down! 🙂

    With positive thoughts, from one Silas’ mama to another,
    Kelly

  24. You share so much with us. I am praying for you. Take care of yourself.

  25. Ginny,
    I admire how strong you’re being! Sending lots of love your way.

    Love,
    Taryn

  26. Hang in there; what you’re doing is really really hard…sometimes it’s all you can do to just be pregnant, never mind having 5 other kids! I know what you mean about running from depression. I do that, literally. It’s my biggest fear whenever I get sick or have an injury. Whether it comes or not, just remember that you WILL be able to move, run, work, take care of kids, cook, and become active again…and that you will come out of the darkness then. You really will.

  27. love to you, sweet mama.

  28. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts!

  29. Sending positive thoughts your way. Glad that your family is so helpful and understanding. . . It’s hard to sit still, but do take it easy. . . Loads of hugs from Kenya!

  30. I wosh you only all the best Ginny, take care

  31. Children are so great but sometimes it’s hard being mom all to so many needs.

    I understand the depression thing, it’s a black dog that can show up at the worst times. Sometimes he stays longer than others.

    Listen to your body and go with the flow, it works so much better that way. I’m really task orientated so thats hard for me. But basically you just have to “do” today. Sleep and chocolate usually help and funny children and sweet husbands.

    It’s tough to be honest, thanks for that. I will be lifting all of you up in prayers. Can’t wait to hear about the new little one. Each one is so special, such a sweet gift from the Lord. Blessing to all of you.

  32. You are one strong Momma! My midwife gave me lifting restrictions at the beginning of my current pregnancy and I thought it was going to cause chaos beyond my ability to handle. What mom of 2 children under 3 years old can handle lifting restrictions and still get through the day? Turns out those restrictions were good for my toddlers. They grew so much during those 6 weeks. Maybe you needing to slow down will help your children to grow in ways they need to so that they can help you when your precious little one arrives. Hang in there!

  33. I am so glad you are feeling better after typing this. I want to give you a big hug!!
    Let go and let God has become my motto lately. What a difference it makes when you truly believe it, huh?!
    Oh and I can’t get through Jesus loves me without crying. Our church sings it when the kids are called up and we love to sing it at home, too. I adore that you sing it to Silas every night. What beautiful words to fall asleep to.

    XOXO

  34. That’s one of my biggest fears if/when I become pregnant again. We have almost no one out here and the few people we do I have are few and far between. I did so well while pregnant with Little Man (I was still going to the gym 3-4 times a week until about 10 days before he was born) and I’m worried that the second one will knock me on my backside, literally. Can’t do that with a toddler running around!

    I hope things go well and that the older kids learn things along the way 🙂

  35. Hang in there Ginny, you can do it!! Letting friends and family help is a good thing and I do believe if you can be outside every single day (while doing nothing) you can keep your perspective and happiness without feeling sad.

  36. Whether it feels right or not, this is not a challenging time but rather an opportunity – for you to take some time for just you! (Granted you might rather be on a solo trip to Europe for your “me” time but …) Your new headboard is lovely and I am sure it is great to lean up against to read, knit and snuggle with the kids. And what a great opportunity for the older boys to jump in and learn new tasks and feel proud of their contribution! I guess I always try to look on the positive side of every situation (tho my family will tell you it can take a little while for me to stop complaining and be positive about things!!!) Keep well and know that all of your readers are supporting you! And cannot wait to see the new baby when they arrive – hooray!

  37. WOW! Joni Eareckson Tada lives? Joni was in church with us in Prague, Czech Republic, Europe, thirty years ago or more? I was a little girl… Fantastic!

    Much forces, Ginny!

  38. Sending prayers your way…

  39. I think of you often Ginny and am sorry you are having to do things a little different than you planned. We have a saying in our home…God has a plan and no matter what He is the one in charge, not putting anymore on us than we can handle. Just rest, let your family take care of you and know that there are hundreds of us out here praying for you.

  40. Both of my pregnancies required weeks of full bedrest, and I needed to continue the bedrest after the births as well. It was so hard, especially during my second pregnancy when I had an active toddler to care for. He spent a lot of time playing on the floor in front of the couch, or sometimes on me on the couch. We got through it, but it wasn’t easy at all. I had the added difficulty of depression and anxiety because my very serious pregnancy conditions were worsening by the day and I was disappointed not to be having a normal, healthy experience. In fact, I’ve never had a normal, healthy pregnancy or birth experience. It still makes me very sad. I hope your condition doesn’t get worse and that you’re able to find a way to tend to this need as well as the others. I am sure you will all be fine but I understand that the adjustment period is challenging.

    • Seconding what Jennifer says above, almost to the letter. My children are five years apart (we thought the second was impossible, actually). I was on bedrest for months with both, seriously restricted with the first and on a modified basis with the second. It was hard, and I struggle with anxiety and depression on a good day. Haha. Praying for you. You will get through this.

  41. On the bright side, hopefully by the time your little one arrives, your older boys will be seasoned chefs, housekeepers and babysitters. Peace to you and yours as you all band together during this trying time.

  42. It can be really scary to slow down; it’s hard; hard to listen to that voice that says slow down; I’ve been there. My Mr. Husband had to really step up his super-husband skills when I fell ill with mono; but God was there with us; it may even mean that your life will be enriched; if I had not had mono I would of never started to knit or have even found your blog, for example; I see already from what you wrote that your family is growing with you through this and learning new skills. This is good. But it is hard. It’s hard to be in pain, to be limited in what one can do; I know it and I know the fear.

    But God is with us; He is the God who in the book of Isaiah says He will not snuff out the smoldering wick or break the bruised reed; He is the God who came to Elijah not in earthquakes or storms but in the voice of a gentle breeze; He is the God that came to Moses on the Mountain quietly and proclaimed that He is “compassionate and merciful, long-suffering, greatly merciful and true”… Christ saw the multitudes who were lost and had compassion on them; He is the One who comes to us…

    Praying for you.

  43. I love the question “how?” That is something I will have to remember. I have had pregnancies like this one is for you and it is so hard, I am a like to be busy person too for the exact same reason, in fact. I once got put on bed rest after I had a baby and hurt my back terribly. I thought I would go simply crazy. I can recall laying there in bed and calling out to my husband to ask him if the top of the tree in the neighbor’s yard looked like a wolf head to him too. He answered something about needing to get me better, fast, lol.

    I am sending prayers to you and your little one. This is but a time and soon you will be running around again with sweet baby in tow.

    God bless!

  44. Ginny, my heart goes out to you. I’m sorry you are dealing with this right now, but I am encouraged and inspired by your heart and trust in God through it all. You are in my prayers, that God would answer your question of “How?”. Blessings and love to you and your sweet family!

  45. Thinking of your and your family this week, Ginny! Sending some positive thoughts. Chin up cheer up 🙂

  46. Your little one will be here before you know it. Take care of yourself.

  47. “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” – Pope Benedict XVI. Those words hit me like a ton of bricks this morning as I was ready to set up my pity party for being in the exhausted/sick stage of early pregnancy. I can’t claim I remembered them on my own though. There was a lovely post by Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas in my inbox this morning. Well timed…http://carrotsformichaelmas.com/2013/09/02/you-were-not-made-for-comfort/

  48. When a brain tumor left me debilitatingly, permanently, physically disabled three years ago it was like being woken up with icy water. I can’t walk unaided, cook, clean, garden, run errands. I am primarily homebound. But God? God is utterly amazing. My life and the lives of my children are so much richer, deeper, wider, better. In Him we have found a glorious strength and beauty and meaning. I am still a good mother and so are you, whether you are lying down on the couch or no, whether you can walk or no. Lean on Him, He can carry you.

    Praying for you and with you. Soon, soon!, you will be holding that sweet baby in your arms. Remember, His light is always with you, no matter how dark the days.

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