Early pregnancy is by far the most vulnerable time of my life. I am literally laid up in bed for at least two months. And with other little children, it means that I can't do this by myself. And now that I am hooked up to a non-movable IV pole 4 hours a day, it really limits what I can do.
First of all, there is James. People often ask me why on earth I have decided to do this four times. Honestly, I look at James and wonder why on earth he agreed to this four times. Because he knows it means he will have to do so much more. And he's already swamped with his company and his church assignments, I am baffled that he finds more hours in the day (and jealous he won't share his secret!) But steps up every time and just astonishes me. He does the laundry and cooks the meals and makes the lunches and does homework with the boys and plays with them and bathes them and gets them to bed and does the grocery shopping and throws parties and hosts dinners and looks after me, and...and...and... He also gets some big projects done, like scrubbing the kitchen floor on his hands and knees (took three nights), scrubbing down the fridge, hanging the Christmas lights, raking the billion leaves. And I've never once heard a single complaint escape his lips. (Which is more than I can say for me, when I'm feeling bogged down with running a home, never mind that I don't have a company to run at the same time)! Seriously, I have the best husband ever.
Secondly, family. James' parents are in town and help out in so many ways. James' dad takes on extra work so that James can be home when he needs to be, for the boys. And James' mom - that woman is inspiring. She never stops; she is a machine. She is so willing to help out when James is in the city on work. I can't get the boys to the bus or pick them up, or drop off and pick up Benjamin at daycare, so she steps in. She often drops in to help out with dinner or bedtime or to watch Benjamin during swim lessons. And she never comes by without quietly helping out with the housework, the dishes, the laundry. Hard as I try when I'm well, I can never get my place to look like it does when she's here. But every time she leaves I'm inspired to try a little harder.
Under family will also come my parents. Although they are in Australia right now, when my mom's school term finishes they'll be on a plane the next day on their way over. While my mom stays with my sister and her newborn baby, my dad will drive here every day to watch Benjamin and help with the boys. In fact, my mom has said numerous times she wishes she could be here already. But it's less than a month now until they are here.
Speaking of my sister, she is definitely included in this village. She is 8 1/2 months pregnant and still willing to come and help out in a jam. The other day James couldn't be home for bus pick up, so she swung by after her doctor's appointment. She picked up the boys from the bus, then made cookies with them, then served up dinner, then watched Benjamin while James took the boys to swimming, then did the dishes (dishwasher broke at the WORST possible time!). Did I mention she's 8 1/2 months pregnant? She's a super-star!
Also under family comes James' brothers. They all work together, and even though we're coming into the slower months, they are still having to pick up some extra slack for James. I know James feels bad that he can't take shifts from them so they can have some more days off, but I hope they all know how much we appreciate their sacrifice right now. This one is particularly hard for me, because I know how unpleasant it must be for them, and it makes me so uncomfortable that James can't be the superstar for them he wants to be. What gets me through is knowing that the plus of a family business is that we are there for each other, no matter what, and one day we'll be able to return this favour in kind.
Then we have some amazing friends in town here. One of my best friends is taking Benjamin every morning so that I can rest and James' mom can answer the phones for the business. Another best friend offered to come once a week and fold laundry. Countless friends are dropping off meals, more have offered to drop some as the days go by. Other friends have offered to take one of the boys for a play date here and there, which will help with a degree of normalcy in the boys' days.
Really, I can't express my gratitude for the very large and loving village who are helping me to grow this baby. I literally couldn't do it without them.