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Question: I am expecting another baby in May, but with the last three pregnancies I have had to be on bed rest due to pre-term labor, starting about 27 weeks. I am currently 25 weeks along and have started having contractions again. I want to still be able to take care of my kids and homeschool them and continue to be open to life, but this problem makes it really difficult. Do you have any advice? The doctors I have seen for this problem don't know what causes it and tell me to be on bed rest. This does help and I have the babies around 37-38 weeks. Its just so hard to be on bed rest for that long! The kids have just started wrestling, were going to start swimming lessons in a few weeks, and were going to start t-ball in a couple months. Thanks for your help!

Dear Mom,

Let's begin this letter with a prayer for you your health, the health of the baby, and most importantly an overall sense of peace through this very difficult time that you and your family are experiencing.

Jesus we bring to You this morning the concerns of our dear sister in Christ. Lord You are the Divine Physician and we trust in Your loving care for each and every need we have. Nothing escapes Your  tender gaze and all concerns are Your concerns. Jesus we ask that this dear mother experience a healing with regards to the difficulties associated with her pregnancy. Wash over her tired and fearful spirit with an overwhelming peace that allows her to rest in Your embrace despite the troubles that now afflict her at this time. Lord we accept Your will and know that our dear sister is in Your care and that Your loving arms hold her. Please send persons into her life that will uplift and encourage her as she journeys through this challenge. Allow that her body become a safe haven for the new life that she carries and allow that this new life will flourish in health until that time when birth is most healthy for the baby and the mom. All these things we ask with docility and a desire to rest in Your will. Amen. Our Lady of LeLeche, pray for us.

One of the greatest advantages that you have in your favor is the ages of your children. Technically your only 'school age' child is the seven year old. Therefore this is the only real educating concern for you during this difficult time. Concentrate your efforts here and realize that a quality of time is far better that trying to do too much throughout the day. Your priorities naturally should be placed upon your health and ultimately the health of the baby you are carrying. Think about this for a moment. If your children were in a public school situation or a day care situation (eliminating the need to homeschooling) the focus of your concerns would still be upon the most vulnerable of your dear children, the unborn baby. This tiny baby depends entirely upon you in a way that is very different from the other children. I sense that you deeply believe this as well and in that there lies the cause of your conflict within your spirit.

As moms there are many times that we must ask our children to rise to the occasion and to give up a certain portion in order that the whole be preserved. I too have experienced difficult pregnancies (one in particular when there were more teens in the house than little people). A woman who is a loving mom many times will fall into the trap of trying to be 'all things to all people'. This is not possible. We must allow our spirits the great freedom of placing priorities in perspective and allowing that someone is not going to get to do what they want to do. It may be that at this season in your life you will not be able to take children to their outside activities. That is all there is to that.

I have a saying that comforts me a great deal. 'The less we have the more we can give.' Owing to the importance of protecting your health at this season (I say season because this time in your fertility will not last forever) you must make the choice to comply completely with the restrictions of being on bed-rest. Therefore you have very little or no time for outside activities. You have less to give in the way of driving etc. so the Lord will show you a way to give more of what you are able to give, your time spent in another way.

You are a loving and sweet mommy. You desire to be there for your children 100%. The Lord will take this docile and holy desire and show you a more fruitful way to fulfill this desire. It may be that during this time, with the absence of distractions caused from outside activities, you will find that you reconnect in a way you never thought possible to your children. This may be how  the Lord rewards your sacrifice and longing to do the most for your children. Jesus always gives us the best of gifts, though we can never fully appreciate their worth in our earthly state.

For now pray for guidance and peace. It is the blessed balm of peace that will anoint your spirit to hear the Lord's words, to walk in the path he clears, and to use this difficult time to grow closer to His Sacred Heart thus bringing your dear family with you into this Heart that is the safest of all wombs for the Lord's precious children.

I thank you for the holy witness you have provided me and others this morning. Thank you for sharing your journey with this forum. I want you to know that for every question shared there are many others who will read your question and draw comfort from your experience. You will never know this side of Paradise who has been uplifted by your humble desire to know better the journey you are on.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

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