Back in the olden days - this encompasses everything from the era of Henry VIII to the Victorian era - women who were pregnant had a period of confinement, or lying in, prior to the birth of a child. The length of time varied according to the era and its traditions, but it always involved the woman's being confined to the house, sometimes to a special room, to rest and read and make things for the baby. Of course, this tradition was limited to women who were wealthy enough to have staff and servants to keep the house running.
Right now, I'm thinking I'd like that tradition to make a come back. I am feeling lousy these days. There's nothing really wrong with me; I'm just 35 weeks' pregnant and I'm worn out and feeling a bit blue. I'd like nothing more to hide away in my room for the next four weeks and sleep and read and knit and sleep some more.
But alas, that can't be. We don't have staff, and as I found out a few weeks ago when I was sick in bed for two days, the house kind of falls apart without me. I have three kids and a husband (who is very helpful, really) to look after. There's carpooling and work projects and laundry and groceries. Plus there are the extra things I want to get done in the house, like cleaning out my closet and reorganizing the pantry and pulling out the kids' fall-ish clothes.
Since I can't confine myself to my room for four weeks, I'll sneak bits of rest when I can. But it's going to be a long four weeks.