(Photo Creds to my 8 year old who was playing with my iPhone and got this photo)
I’d had this vacation planned for months before we actually went. We were going to Tennessee and, at the time that we had planned the trip, I was feeling pretty well. I wanted to take my kids to Dollywood, maybe catch a walk on a nature trail, and do all sorts of fun things. My body had different plans for me. By the time our vacation day had arrived, I’d been restricted to bed rest and even the idea of a road trip scared me because my body has been so unpredictable. Determined to go, even if it just meant me sitting in the cabin for days, we left. I carried with me guilt because I didn’t want to drag down the rest of my family and our good family friends that were vacationing with us.
It was that all to familiar feeling of “Great, once again this chronic illness is holding everyone back.” I knew it was the Transverse Myelitis and not just the pregnancy itself because with my four other (pre-TM) pregnancies, I was fully active right up until labor day. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut, to feel sorry for myself, and to feel like I’m such a heavy burden on others. As always, everyone had to work around “Lisa’s issues.” That was my own insecurity speaking, of course, but it didn’t negate the fact that I felt fed up with my body and bad for my family.
As it turns out, being a big inconvenience to myself was exactly what I needed for that weekend. We arrived at our cabin and I was forced to sit; just sit and do nothing. My amazing friend and wonderful honey took the kids on all of the adventures I wasn’t able to go on. They rode roller coasters and stayed out late and had the best time. I didn’t feel guilty for long because I knew that if I had tried to go along with them, they wouldn’t have had the freedom to just be carefree and go on their terms. I spent the weekend, reading, sitting in the hot tub (Don’t freak out! I turned the temps way down as not to boil the baby so it was more like the “Lukewarm Tub.”) I didn’t feel obligated to do anything but rest and IT WAS AMAZING! I learned so much from this family vacation.
A few lessons this week:
1. Now is a great time for a weekend getaway. You don’t even have to leave the state! Go stay at a hotel in another town, or get a cabin! Whether you go with your children or just go with your significant other, go. Allow yourself to just do absolutely nothing for a couple of days. Allow your spouse to adventure with your children without feeling guilty for not trucking along.
2. Stop beating yourself up. We are the WORST about this aren’t we?! I mean, seriously, how much time do you spend wishing you were a better (fill in the blank). Everyone on our trip had a wonderful time. I loved getting to hear all the stories from everyone’s day and see the excitement in my kids’ eyes. I didn’t have to be right by their side to experience the joy of their vacation.
3. I needed the break. I didn’t even realize how badly I needed the break until I was there taking it. Give yourself a break from your physical and emotional self. It was good for me and good for the baby. When Mamma is less stressed, so is our little womb-mate.