My pregnancy was so beautiful my love of ten years plus and I were surrounded by so much love and support. Both sides of our families were so happy for us and so excited for our new addition to the family. We were so excited to become parents and enter this new journey of our lives. Everything was so normal, we had two beautiful baby showers surrounded with family and loved ones and after that we were just ready for our baby girl to join us. Her arrival was slowly approaching, and we started hearing little things about corona virus but did not think it was about to take on the world the way that it was about to. The big day finally came, and Marley was ready to make her entrance into the world on March 10th, 2020. I started having contractions at 4 am and had her around 7 in the evening on my mother’s birthday. Only my mom and significant other were allowed in the room for what was a beautiful delivery. (I will tell my delivery story in another post if you ladies would like to hear it) A few of our family members came up to the hospital to see Marley. Even though the pandemic was declared in the U.S the day after on March 11th. So, for the most part we got to have a very nice experience in the hospital and then we were ready to bring our princess home.
The first few weeks being home was hectic adjusting to being parents, but it was also like being on a cloud being able to see and hold our baby girl. I would spend hours just staring at her knowing I should be trying to sleep when she sleeps, especially since I chose to exclusively breast feed. Family was coming over to help and clean and it was beautiful how much support we got. My significant others mom would even stay the night just to be in the house in case I needed help with anything. A few weeks passed and I started to be able to check my phone a bit more and started to see that the virus was getting much worse and spreading like crazy.
I started to go into panic mode a little bit. Every morning I would check my phone looking to see how many new cases were reported around the world or in our county. It was getting bad! I started to get extremely worried. When you first have a baby your mom instincts kick in like crazy and all you want to do is nurture and protect your baby. You cannot think of anything else besides it. You are creating this bond that you’ve never known and basically seeing what it feels like to have your heart and soul living outside of your body. The feeling is super intense, and you cannot control it. Once we started to see all the cases, we made the decision that we were not going to have visits as much. This way the less people come in the less chances we have of catching the virus. It was hard making that decision because we were so lucky and blessed to have so much support and family that wanted to be there. I felt awful and I was worried that our loved ones would be upset.
Each time we had visitors I was happy, but I can’t lie and say that it didn’t give me anxiety. It felt so unfair that we couldn’t just enjoy our new baby with friends and family without feeling guilty or like we were taking a big risk. It also would feel sometimes like no one truly understood how I was feeling and honestly there was no way they could because well I was the only one having a newborn during a pandemic. No one but another mom in this situation could truly understand how I felt. New moms are already worried about most things, nervous about a lot of stuff and just overly doing things because it’s all new and you just want to make sure you are doing everything right so throw a deadly pandemic in the mix and you’re definitely going to get one anxious and terrified new mommy.
I was going to sleep and waking up every morning to the most precious thing life could give me, figuring out how to be a mom and keep this little baby alive and well while the virus was just getting worse and worse. I got to the point where I had to make the decision that we just were not going to see people for weeks at a time just to be safer. I was a new mom, barely ever cared for a baby and now here I was taking on mommy hood in quarantine. While I was on maternity leave my job decided that our job was going to go remote, so I never physically went back to the office for work after I had Marley. Imagine going to work every day for years and then you leave to go have your baby and you never return. I was so thankful that my job decided to go remote because I obviously was not ready to leave her side in all of this. Keeping her close and away from as many people as possible felt like the best thing. Learning how to juggle being a work from home mom and a stay-at-home mom was tough. I would sometimes get mom guilt because I knew how lucky I was to be able to spend this much time with my baby girl while being able to exclusively breastfeed. Something I never imagined I would be able to do since I work full time, but it would get to be a lot some days. Some days I just missed having coworkers I could see and chat with or getting dressed in the morning or I would get touched out and just need a break.
Days started to blend being in the house so much and Marley started reaching little milestones and I started to feel like we can’t stay away forever. I knew it wasn’t forever, but it started to feel like it. Marley has so much family that loves her they needed to see her and spend some time with her. I also needed to see our family and feel normal after being confined in the house with a baby on my boob all day. I needed social interaction too for sanity. So, we decided to visit family like once a week and then gradually we started sending Marley to her grandparents for a few hours while I worked from home on the phone. I still had the anxiety bad and I felt stuck in this feeling of fear. I just didn’t want to see my baby girl sick, the thing about the virus that is so scary is that it affects everyone differently and you just don’t know how it will affect you if you get it and the fact that you could die from it. I just could not fathom one of us not being able to be there for our baby girl. I just could not. I met up with my mom a few times to take Marley to the park but that’s the only place she has been besides grandparent’s houses.
I would sometimes just break down and cry asking why me, why I had to have a baby during a pandemic. Sometimes I still do if I get a little overwhelmed. I just want to take my baby to the mall and roam around, take her to get her picture taken, take her to get her ears pierced, or take her to a friend’s house and have girl’s night without feeling nervous about it. I just stay inside mostly because I don’t think I could forgive myself if I took her to do something leisure and she gets sick from it. It’s like doctors visits I have to do so my mind is like well its nothing you can do about that. The only place I would go is to the grocery store and now I don’t even do that I just get food delivered. Lately I have only taken Marley out the house for a holiday, special occasion or to see grandparents but as of right now we have not left the house for weeks. It gets so hard spending so much time in doors. I work a full time shift with Marley right with me most of the day then we get up and just go in another room of the house. I hate complaining about working from home because I feel so thankful to be able to do it but its just hard when you are basically a full-time mom and work from home mom. I am pretty sure people shouldn’t spend this much time in doors and when the weather is warmer in upstate NY, I will definitely go to the park more and just focus on connecting me and Marley to nature more.
It has been so hard watching people just live like we are not in a pandemic. People are still going to big gatherings and meeting up with a lot of people like its normal times and it so frustrating. Here I am staying inside trying to be as cautious as I humanly can, and other people are just not taking it as serious. So, I just stay away from everyone right now. I feel bad of course because Marley has only met one friend of mines and hasn’t really met any family from my side of the family just her grandma and uncle. I just do everything virtually. I created a private Instagram with close friends and family, and I share everything I can on there to make sure they don’t feel like they are missing to much. I know it’s not the same, but it has been a great help. I think for her 1 year party we are just going to have strictly immediate family. We have a new strain now in CNY that is even more contagious so throwing a big party would just not make any sense and I’m pretty sure not allowed anyways. This is not the way I imagined the first year of her life to be at all, like who could have predicted we would be in a pandemic. I am just making the most of it and wanting to share what I am dealing with, with other mom’s so they know they aren’t alone. I also want to share my story for people who may have a relative or a friend having a baby during this time so they can understand more what their loved one may be going through. Mom’s we are so strong going through all of this and our beautiful children have no idea what our worries are because we are carrying it so well. I cant wait for the day we can think of these days as a thing of the past and joke with our kids about how we got through these times. Just keep blooming mommies, we got this.