This I believe
I believe in the power of a day. Thirty four days ago my life came to a screeching halt when it was determined that simply being on my feet puts me at risk for premature birth; a terrifying prospect at only 25 weeks along. I will spend the rest of my pregnancy on restricted bed rest. Life is now measured, not by the anticipation of days to come, but rather by the days we can successfully put behind us. Every morning my husband and I mark off one more day on the calendar with a sketch of a slow-cooker – it seems the perfect symbol of what I have become.
Being on bed rest has allowed me to embrace the clichéd advice to “take it one day at a time”. Since it is daunting to think about 2 ½ more months of inactivity, I have figured out how to fill today and I don’t give tomorrow another thought until it is actually here. We have a motto in our house that says “Boredom is a matter of choice, not circumstance”. Those words from Elbert Hubbard are being put to the ultimate test here. While I rely on loved ones to keep me supplied with food, crossword puzzles, and clean sheets, it is entirely my decision and responsibility to accept this circumstance gracefully and graciously or to live wishing life was other than it currently is. It is a choice I make every day. Some days I am more accepting than others.
And so I continue, because each I stay in bed means two fewer days of intensive care for our baby. I am learning what it means to sacrifice every day for a child not yet born, to accept help from generous neighbors, and to see my 2-year-old go to others for help instead of to me, his mama. They are sometimes painful lessons.
Now, to be fair, bed rest does have a silver lining. Those 2:00 am wet pajama changes are completely out of my hands and I haven’t scrubbed a pot in over a month. To spend every day in bed allows me to knit uninterrupted and to finally conquer that computer card game. My brother calls me every day without fail; we are both living through difficult days and have never shared this much of our lives together. It’s a silver lining I never could have predicted, and is one for which I am grateful.
As for this growing life in my belly, one more day could mean that this baby starts life without a ventilator and spends childhood without lung problems. One more day could mean the difference between a debilitating cerebral hemorrhage or one without residual effects.
One more slow-cooker day is a benefit mostly beyond my understanding, but not beyond my grasp. I can tolerate laying here knowing that today is the most important day for my unborn child; that today is one more day of growth, for both of us.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.