Setback or Opportunity?

This week our family has had a setback. When I got pregnant with Penny about 18 months ago, I spent 2 weeks in bed. I know that a lot of women have to go on full bed rest throughout their pregnancies, so 2 weeks probably seem like a breeze. But for us, it was really tough. Essentially, when all the hormones shifted in my body, my SI joint went out of place, which means that my hips were literally off-balance. My entire body was visibly crooked. Unfortunately, your hips are kinda critical:) Any kind of weight-bearing activity (standing, bending, twisting, even sitting) requires that your hips work. Mine decided to stop working, to the point that I could not even physically get out of bed without Tim helping me and even then, it was incredibly painful. He learned to wash my hair, which turns out to be quite different than men's hair. It was cute, really. 
In that process, I learned to slow down. If you've known me for many years, you're probably thinking IT'S ABOUT TIME. I've always been an opportunist. To me, why say no to an opportunity that you WANT to take? There is no guarantee in life that any opportunity will come around again. This attitude is what had me spending 6 weeks in Argentina at 17 as a full-fledged member of a mission team with 3 other "adults." I also think I have some sort of shame issue with the idea of regrets. I don't want to have regrets and so if I say no to an opportunity that I want to take and it doesn't come around again, won't I feel regret? Still figuring that one out. 
All of that to say, slowing down was entirely necessary and incredibly uncomfortable for me. I had a lot of regular commitments and rhythms at the time that I just couldn't do anymore. (Once I was able to get back out of bed, I still fatigued easily the whole pregnancy). I stopped working. I stopped going to church. I quit my chorus. The things I brought into my life greatly revolved around my physical health - chiropractic appointments, yoga, massage therapy. I had my first real bouts with anxiety. I got overwhelmed emotionally really easily. I learned to only do things that didn't stress me out and that list was short! 
Slowing down required me to sit in where I get my value from. At that point, our friend Ryan had just died; we were only a year separated from ministry; and I had just gotten pregnant. Being a performance-based person, not doing anything I didn't want to do (and just figuring out what those things were!) was super challenging for me. I had become a really good "yes man." Needless to say, pregnancy the second time around forced a lot of personal growth in me and affected our whole family. It was hard but also really good because it allowed us to re-prioritize and live into our developing values all the more. 
After Penny was born, we were in a bad place. Postpartum depression is really, really tough and in our family situation, it was really serious, really fast. That created a lot of family dynamics that were traumatic for all of us. It required a short-term separation. It required therapy for all 3 of us (Tim and I are each still in ongoing therapy). Our families and friends stepped in massively with staying with us, feeding us, helping with the kids, listening to us, financially providing for us, you name it. Very. Hard. Time. 
We've spent months working on our individual "stuff" as well as how our stuff affects our family dynamic. This is hard work, painful, and long. It is so difficult to sit in the tension that self-work creates. I'm so incredibly grateful to have the marriage, the friends, the family, and the therapist that I have. I've seen this go down in the lives of people around me with majorly different results. We are so, so lucky.
This brings me to last weekend. Tim had a workshop (big work event) all day Saturday and Sunday was Father's Day. Time to spoil daddy. I was so excited! Being a caretaker, I love this stuff and I get my jollys from taking everything on, obviously. Well, I was carrying Penny up the stairs while Tim and Macy were at the workshop and I felt my back spasm. I got Penny on the changing table and it continued to burn and pull. AGGGHHH!!! Not again! (Even though the pain is in my lower back, it's my hips again for sure). 
Here I am, home alone with a 19 pound baby, and I threw out my back. I spent the day doing as little as I could pull off with Penny and hit the sheets the second Tim got home. It's in my nature to be super bummed about Father's Day (completely canceled) and highly concerned about my exhausted husband having to take on all 3 of us when it was clearly planned to be the opposite. He had to miss work all week because I can't lift the baby. I've spent most of my time in bed. It's been lonely, depressing, discouraging, and exhausting.
Here's the thing though, and I think this is a result of a lot of good therapy: this week was an opportunity. I did a lot of escaping (I'm embarrassed to say that I've officially watched many episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians), as well as some great self-care (journaling, reading). But this week, though it feels like a setback, is an opportunity to practice the skills we've all been working on. And I hate to say it, me being completely obliterated physically is really the only dynamic we're willing to sit with this stuff in, at least to this level. It absolutely forces our hand. If I can keep my family going, I will, no matter the cost to myself. It grieves me to admit that. I'm really working on it. I've made some really great strides, but that is still my natural inclination and our family dynamic supports that. 
So I'm learning to rest. I'm learning to speak into my disappointment. I'm willing to cry and journal about my relationship with shame and how it comes knocking when I'm not able to fulfill my responsibilities. I'm not taking on my husband's stress (this is so painful for me). I'm holding my children who miss me and empathizing with them. Tim and I are communicating where we're both at and sitting in the fact that our feelings really differ from each other right now. It's awkward. It's hard. It's sad. It's beautiful. This is our life and this is what growth looks like.