“Quiet! Be still!” (Mark 4:39)
You learn something new every day. Maybe a fact like the Nile holds the “World’s Longest River” title. Sometimes it’s a practical tip like to try zapping a chunk lemon in the microwave to clean off food residue and leave it smelling fresh, a pointer I recently gleaned during a dinner with fellow at-home moms. Then there’s the more profound life lessons we uncover – for example: there are some things you just can’t control such as when your baby is going to make her big curtain call. See, I discovered I was nearly 3 cm dilated at my 35-week appointment yesterday. So here I am on partial bed rest. When the physician-hubby is around, it’s more like strict bed rest. As soon as he returned home from work yesterday, he was adamant about me remaining on my side and guzzling water. “I know this isn’t easy for you, but you’ve got to just relax,” he said.
My wonderful certified nurse midwife said the same thing. “Just kick back and relax. Be still. We want this baby to stay put for at least another week.”
In some ways, I welcomed the orders to not do anything. As a go-getter, Type-A personality, it’s somewhat of a relief to have permission to be lazy. But after one afternoon of resting I’d already enough. There’s laundry to be done, a dishwasher to be unloaded, a toddler who wants to play and dance and run around with her Mommy, edits to be made on a last-minute freelance assignment, meals to be cooked, shelves to be dusted, a nursery dresser to be filled with tiny onesies and pastel gowns, a hospital bag to be packed, Kegels to practice (Hubby told me they won’t make a difference now: This baby is going to most likely slip quickly and easily into the world, especially since I had warp speed labor with Madeline and was only dilated 1 cm at 9 a.m. and nursing a new infant by 4:15 that same day!)… But my baby – what she needs right now more than a hyper mom tackling a to-do list with eagerness – is me to sit (lay, my husband would correct) quietly and wait. She needs me to relinquish my need for planning and control and just let her marinate a bit more in my womb and then enter the world plump and perfect.
Pregnancy, motherhood, the whole shebang that comes when you first see those two purple lines is all about self-sacrifice. That’s all there is to it. So upon the advice of my midwife I’m offering these next few days of stillness, of practicing the art of doing nothing to my papa, who recently passed away (see previous blog). I can’t officially say good-bye to him at his funeral in South Florida next week; I can’t be with my entire family to give Nana a big hug and to remember my grandpa, but I can be rooted to the couch and not feel guilty if my daughter watches TV or colors by herself so that this new life within me will have just a little more time to grow.