This week, I’ve been “putting the lime in the coconut” and shaking it all up!

As I’ve ashamedly stated in previous posts, I’ve felt so drained and overrun in this pregnancy. But mostly guilty for feeling those things because “this is exactly what I wanted,” as many of you know, this pregnancy has not been easy on me, which I often feel embarrassed to have admitted because I’ve been really lucky in so many ways and really shouldn’t complain.

Carmen's 30-week bump - Put the Rest in Coconut

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Sometimes, I think we just need to be able to name what it is (unapologetically) without explanation of, “Well, you chose this,” “What did you think with your fourth?” “You should be grateful you’re not…” I think there’s such a pressure to make it seem like we are always thriving in our pregnancies. Yes, I chose this and think of the chaos of four, but I am also so very excited for it, and damn, am I ever grateful. Right now, I’m just tired, and that’s ok. It doesn’t change all my love, joy, or appreciation.

It’s hard to say. If all my babies had lived, I would have done this journey sooner and wouldn’t be as old.

Maybe the pregnancy would be easier. Maybe my body not going through 11 pregnancies would have been easier. Maybe, and I do believe this, having actual breaks in between being pregnant, i.e., 18 months without loss or fear of loss, would have given my body time to fully recover from my last pregnancy before it’s ready for our next pregnancy. Or maybe this pregnancy is just hard, as I know others have also experienced pregnancy to be. It’s allowed. I don’t have to always be “pushing through.” I’ve done that for so long on this journey.

So with, “You look great,” “You look worn out,” “You’re still so tiny,” or “You look 9 months pregnant”–being pregnant allows others to comment on “how we are.” But I struggle to state “how I am” despite how I look on both end. It’s all in perspectives.

Carmen rests

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

So with that, this week, I rested. I rested hard…(until there were 6, 6 year olds in our house).

I was also still knocked down from our “sicko” week, but it forced me to roll into bed after dropping the kids off at school.

Being granted time has allowed me to really think about my body and what it needs. I still get pushback from dear hubby just because he’s human. “What did you do all day?” Then what often follows is, “You better enjoy it now because you just wait.”

The kids, at times, jokingly call me “lazy mommy.” Now, I graciously instead explain that it is my job is to grow this baby and rest. The kids no longer question me, and Ayda takes my hand, brings me to the couch, and says sit, and  I simply sit with my arms wrapped around her. Case won’t shoot me with Nerf darts because of the baby (I’m using this forever), and Maelie helped me rub my coconut oil all over my belly and has now been found doing the same to herself before she goes to bed. I want to think it’s all making a difference.

Christmas ornaments

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Again, with the perspective of caring for everyone as I have, I must care for myself.

I’ve been “busy” getting ready for Christmas, Case’s birthday, trying to organize the house, working, spending time with my kids, and all the “other stuff”. Then Phillip came home, and I took a gigantic nap, which was the most glorious thing! I have to say I’ve never been more in love!

Finding peace

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

So with that, before my son’s birthday, I got a cleaning lady, which I know is a luxury, but I did it without guilt. I took a nap and went for a walk, where I took time to sit by the calm water as suddenly a beaver swam quickly by. Its business startled me, and then the water stilled out again. I felt relaxed.

I was fully present, taking in all my son is and always will be to me. I took in his playmates and the joyful chaos of boys and their imaginations. Yes, there was still the stress of a gazillion Nerf darts that I again chose to get him, but the pure elation was so very worth it!

nerf darts

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’ve been slowing down because I deserve it, setting our life up as best we can for this baby and our soon-to-be family of 6.

My body has been through a lot. I always wondered, too, if it was so riddled with stress and trauma, which led to me to all my losses and not relaxing enough to dilate enough with my living babies, which led me to forceps, emergency c-sections, and each baby having decelerations. It’s just something I can’t help but think about.

My back hurts, my head hurts, and my exhaustion and nausea are so crazy this time around. It’s just the truth as I compare this pregnancy to my others. It’s been hard, but I also remember that the PTSD can strike anytime. I’ve also “got through” many hard days and done so much and much acknowledge, allowing my body to soak in and celebrate that!

Then it comes back. “Suck it up,” I say to myself. What difference is having this time going to make when I could be helping others? The answer: All the difference when I can be fully present with those who matter most–my children, this baby, my family, and me.

Carmen's daughter decorating her bed for mommy to rest in

My daughter decorating our bed for mommy to rest in – Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

Carving time, having these few hours for me that I don’t have to try to fill when the kids are in school brings me back and helps them see a mom rejuvenated and rested and able to take on this kiddo, then the world!

It’s a hard muscle to work, but saying no when I’d rather be on the couch, staying home, saying yes when I do have the energy, getting to choose what I do with my days to some extent while loving everyone just the same with this power of “permission to rest” now as my Holy Grail. When used as my guide, I remove the guilt that comes with it and even taking time to talk to this baby as my Oma suggested I do has been one of the greatest things that time and rest have given me. Slowing down enough to remember this life inside and the simplicity in knowing how I can talk to it anytime I want to. Sometimes, the “business of this life” denies us that simple pleasure of remembrance.

Rest is what gives life to me, this baby, and us.

Put the rest in the coconut, then you’ll feel better.

Read Past Bump Day Blogs from Carmen:

More on this topic:

Share this story!