I've never been one to shy away from a challenge—or perhaps it would be more accurate to describe myself as one of those people who have a hard time saying no. Regardless, I've always seemed to have several things going on at once, playing sports and joining groups in high school (while also finding the time to meet and fall in love with my husband), working and planning a wedding while attending college—and now, having a baby while trying to buy a house and start my own business. Nothing like a good challenge, right?
The challenge that I wasn't expecting (now that I am expecting) is that I would have to turn down some challenges. And there's nothing like a trip to the ER to make that realization hit home. Lying there watching nutrients and fluids drip through an IV—since this mischievous baby of mine has been preventing nutrition with the usual methods (you know, like eating)—I realized that motherhood is probably going to be the biggest challenge I'll ever face, and it's one that starts long before I even meet him or her.
I am now on at least one week of bed rest, and Monday, the day I went into the ER, was the first full sick day I took from work. I have a feeling it's going to be difficult to turn down extra projects at work, have to beg out of invitations from friends and limit what I do, let alone “veg out” for a week, as my doctor put it.
Even before the baby-ickies hit really hard, fatigue made it difficult to do much after a regular work day. Working at a small newspaper, I often work past 5 p.m. to cover meetings and events. After long shifts, I found it difficult just to put one foot in front of the other the next day (which is perhaps just my body's way of preparing me for getting up in the middle of the night with a newborn).
But, during my unplanned visit to the OB office, I got the chance for another sneak peak at baby (I joked with my husband that I was faking it just to get another look). The baby is starting to look much more human and less blobish, and we could actually see little legs moving around like crazy. A big change from a few weeks ago, when I couldn't even make out arms or legs. Perfectly comfortable and happy, unlike his or her momma.
So, now I've got my feet propped up, an unexpected vacation from work, a stack of books, the TV remote and the ability to nap whenever I want to. Though it would be much better if I could take my vacation at the beach with a bottle of sunscreen instead of a barf bucket at my side, but I'll take what I can get.
Perhaps the tougher the challenge, the bigger the reward.