I think I have a little PTSD about bed rest.
When I was on bed rest the last time, I had a thirteen year old, an eleven year old and a nine year old. I was married to someone else. I was in bed for almost two months. My internet didn’t work upstairs. So mostly, I just laid in my bed and stared at the wall. It was lonely…especially for a very relational girl like me. My marriage wasn’t super healthy (and in fact, fell apart by the time the baby was about eight-ish months old) and it was really hard.
The highlight of my day would be when the kids would come home from school and come and visit me. They would drop by, chat in the doorway for a few minutes and then go on about their days. Aubrey once wrote me a poem about being on bed rest. Chase brought me a cookie from school in various stages of crumbliness every day. Once a week, my sister would come and spend the day with me and do my laundry…Little Addy, just a toddler herself, running wild and cracking me up.
I’m not great at asking for help and so I should’ve said, “I need visitors, come and see me.” but I didn’t.
It’s not as lonely this time. For one thing, it’s not going to be for two months. For another thing, I’m married to someone else and that someone else and I have a healthy relationship and he’s home from school for the summer. And he cooks all sorts of good things and brings them to me on a tray. My kids are a lot older and then two of them are a lot younger. The older ones are pretty self sufficient and also like to come and chat with me in my room. The younger ones pile onto my bed and visit. My sister lives just down the street and she doesn’t have to come and do my laundry because John and the bigger kids can handle it.
I feel guilty, of course. Isn’t that a hallmark of motherhood? Guilt.
I feel guilty for being stuck in bed, unable to do the work I normally do. I feel guilty for not being able to do a million fun activities with the children like I’ve planned to do all summer. I feel guilty that our vacation had to be canceled.
Then I feel guilty for feeling guilty because I want to do all I can to protect these two little ones.
Because in seven more months…I want to meet two more little people like this girl here.
Or like this girl here…
Or like these beautiful girls…
Or maybe even…like this young man…
And as I sit here and think about things and wonder at God’s purpose in this…I think about how he’s been training me in gratitude. He’s been training me to look for the good and not only for the bad. He’s been training me to say, “Thank you, Lord.” instead of “Why me, Lord?” He’s been training me to combat those twin nemeses Discouragement and Poor Me. And I know now how to do it…at least at a novice level…and I can choose that.
I can choose gratitude.
So, once again…I lay my this whole thing down. I lay my babies down, I lay this hemorrhage thing down, I lay it all down. I say thank you for another day of carrying these two sweet little blueberry sized babies. I say thank you for the five I already have to hold and hug and laugh with. I say thank you for the bonus kids God has blessed my life with. I say thank you for a little niece who is already so in love with her two little cousins that she always asks, “How are the twins today?” I say thank you for supportive friends who are offering to bring food and fellowship and prayers. I say thank you for a comfortable bed in a mostly clean room with an open door…where people can drop in and say hey on their way downstairs. I say thank you for my husband’s job as a teacher which has made him available to be Mr. Mom basically the moment this hemorrhage began. I say thank you especially for this wonderful husband who has taken on the work of the house and the family with not one complaint. Even on Father’s Day.
It’s going to be okay.
And I am thinking of that woman in the Bible with the issue of bleeding and how she knew that all she needed to do was touch the hem of His garment. She had it for twelve years. And I think of how that must’ve been for her because back in those days…you weren’t even allowed to be in society and living your life if you had bleeding. How lonely were those twelve years for her? How isolated was she? Did she wonder what she’d done to deserve it? And no matter what she did…no matter how much money she spent, no matter how many doctors she saw…she just got worse.
But then she heard Jesus was coming and she knew that all she had to do was draw near. Just draw near enough to touch the hem of His garment. And I want to feel that certainty that she felt…that all she had to do was touch, just a fingertip on fabric, to make the bleed stop. She reached out to Him.
And (Matthew 5:29) “she felt in her body that she was freed from suffering.”
She was free, with just one touch.