I had a baby in the middle of a world pandemic. Words I thought I’d never say… I’ve had a lot of people ask me how my anxiety levels were during all of this. I’ve had a hard time answering that question, because I’ve never had a baby not in a pandemic. That’s also a weird thing to say, but it’s true. At the time that the whole world was going through something completely heart-breaking and life-altering, my whole world inside my home changed with the birth of my strong, little girl!
As I write this, my daughter is almost 3 months old, and other than my husband and me (and our midwife and paediatrician), no one has held her. And I don’t know when anyone will hold her. We will soon be out of mandatory quarantine (as we travelled back to our home in Canada from the States), and our family will get to formally meet her…from 6-feet apart. Some people with newborns may feel differently about this, and that’s perfectly okay, but for us, that’s our policy right now. It’s easier for us to say that for the safety of her, no one can hold her, rather than trying to figure out where we draw the line.
Many people have asked if we were so happy that we gave birth at home, and we sure were, but that was always our plan, so we just were, and are, grateful that it all worked out as planned. It was beautiful to be in the safety of our own home, especially during this time. Any postpartum worries stemmed from protecting her – not wanting to go out or have anyone come in, so that the Coronavirus didn’t spread to our home. What that meant was no outside help – no grandparent cuddles, no ordering food in, no one to help around the house.
But, on the other hand, my husband was completely home from work, which is something that wouldn’t have happened in the “non-pandemic” world, which meant we had two sets of hands to cuddle our mini, we had two sets of hands to heat up all the freezer meals I had prepped, and I had the most loving hands to hold her when I started teaching again two days postpartum. I’m grateful that my husband has been witness to her early months and has been able to see how she changes day-to-day. That’s not to say I wouldn’t trade that to have the whole world healthy and to have the fear of contracting the virus subside.
So, what’s it like to have a baby during a pandemic? It’s a source of bright light and smiles in a dark and sad time, and it’s all kinds of hands-on crazy.
I know my story has been one of health, and my heart goes out to all of those that haven’t had the same experience.
Sending love to all those Quarantine Babies!!