Well, as karma would have it, two days after posting about how my body is healing and feeling great, I end up doubled over in pain again, having further torn my ligament. The next few days were filled with massive inflammation and swelling, and a bit of a dire warning from my chiropractor about what would happen if I tore worse. (Hint: I’d kiss goodbye any homebirth dreams now or ever!)
I think (hope) I’m back on the upswing now, but I’m heeding the advice to take things a lot easier – something that wouldn’t be possible without the help of my wonderful husband.
Yesterday morning, Jim got up and started working from home at 4am so that he’d have more time to help me out during the day. He’s re-arranged his work hours, taken time off, arranged more time working from home, so that he can assist me with Luella and everything that needs doing around the house.
He’s taken over laundry, cooking dinner every night, vacuuming, potty duties, getting Luella dressed – basically everything – so that I can have some bed rest. Not to mention the multiple chiropractor appointments each week that he drives me to.
In fact, tonight we were meant to go out to a nice dinner to celebrate the 5 year anniversary of our first date, but instead Jim will be working late, so that he can take me to an appointment earlier in the day.
In an effort to remain positive, I’ve been trying to see my injury as a blessing in disguise – if I wasn’t taking the time to rest now, maybe I’d overdo later in pregnancy, or post-partum, when the recovery would be harder. Plus the exercises I’m doing, and the postures I’m avoiding are all conducive to getting the baby properly positioned, and a healthier diet is better for everyone.
But beyond that, it’s forced me to become dependent on someone, which isn’t something that really jives with my feminism. But what I mean is, it’s made me realise how a relationship is a two-way street. In a few months when I’m up breastfeeding a crying baby all night, it’ll be Jim relying on me to do something he can’t. We both need each other in different ways, and there’s no more important time to strengthen that relationship, than in preparation for the birth of a child.
In all my labour and birth prep, I’ve been very focused on having a strong female presence. I’ve asked a few female friends to be there, and found a midwife I fully trust. I’m planning a blessingway to bask in all the energy of some of the most amazing women I know.
Jim’s been very supportive of all this and whenever I’ve suggested anything like, “do you think we should have a doula there as well?” or asked “will you get in the birth pool with me, even if I’ll probably end up pooping in it?” he’s mastered the fine art of answering “Yes dear, whatever you’d like.”
Jokes aside though, these past few weeks have been an important reminder that Jim will play such an important role in the upcoming birth, and I need to remember not to leave him out.
There’s been a post going around about how we shouldn’t think of ourselves as “lucky” for having good husbands, and I agree to the extent that having low expectations of fathers and their contribution to raising children helps no one.
But I do feel lucky. Lucky that five years ago, I got drunk and and decided to ask this guy out.
Lucky he said yes. Lucky that in the early months of our relationship I didn’t get deported, and that he put up with my immigration dramas that would continue to plague us – and that we had the resources to keep me in the country.
In the relatively short time we’ve been together, we’ve faced countless other challenges – getting mugged at gunpoint while overseas, the death of a close friend, my PTSD following Luella’s birth, the disaster that was our first home purchase, and the general insanity of raising a small child, just to name a few.
Our current challenge is pretty small potatoes in comparison, and even though it absolutely requires work on both our parts, I still feel incredibly lucky that our relationship is rising to it.