It is so unfathomable to me that it is already April again. In so many ways, I feel like I am still in the spring of 2020.
So much has happened in the last year all while managing life in a pandemic.
Because all of the major events that have come with the past year, I feel like time has stood still and zoomed by simultaneously. This is especially true for me when thinking about my pregnancy and motherhood journey. A year seems like a fitting time for some reflections, and if you’re curious to read on, I’d like to share some of mine around this major life event.
In the last year, I experienced a subsequent pregnancy after the loss of my daughter. Much like many others, I attended appointments alone, was unsure whether or not my partner would be able to be with me during the birth, and lived in isolation from family and friends.
Looking back it was definitely an incredibly anxious time filled with “what ifs” and “I don’t know if I can do this’s”. It was also a time of exhilarating challenge and pride. I had no choice but to adapt as we were (and still are) in a global crisis. Although I was scared, there was something comforting in knowing that I was not alone in this journey.
There were so many other pregnant folks living on this similar path and it gave me a sense of pride to know that I was one of those people who was not only navigating life during a pandemic, but was also doing so while growing a human.
Having the Baby
Thankfully, I was able to experience a wildly restorative birth process, and although it was sad to not have my family and friends able to be there in support, it was peaceful and filled with so much joy.
I was also incredibly lucky to have my partner with me. It was a nice intimate start to this new iteration of our family. I am also incredibly thankful that I was able to have him there for all of the support it takes to care for a newborn while healing immediately postpartum.
My experience living in a pandemic with a newborn was a whirlwind of fear, full body and mind fatigue, grief, elation, gratitude and so many other states of mind that it’s hard to even fully remember. So I guess this may be pretty close to what it’s like with a newborn without a pandemic.
However, much like the birth, it was really sad for me to not be able to be around family and friends. Also considering the pretty recent loss of my first child, and the spike in cases and Covid-19 related deaths that happened at that time, it also added a huge layer of fear toward the virus. I refused to let anything or anyone expose my newborn child. So with the exception of the baby’s pediatrician check ups, my postpartum visit, and a short walk once a day, we stayed home. Thankfully we had video chats and a back window where family or friends could see us through the window if they chose to keep us connected, however we were pretty much alone in caring for the baby.
I am incredibly grateful that I had and continue to have my partner’s support and know that so many folks care for babies without outside support, and not having my mom, sister, or other close friends and family there was really challenging.
When thinking about my hopes for this subsequent pregnancy and baby, I had so many over what it might look like. I imagined family flooding into the hospital room to see this new life, hearing my mom sing to my daughter while cradling her ever so tight, and traversing our city with this new baby. And although I don’t regret my decision to keep the people around us and us safe by isolating, I am still sad about the things we missed.
This sadness definitely creeps in and makes it harder to delineate what is safe and not now that things are slowly opening up. My baby is almost a year old and thinks she is a dog sometimes because the only real socialization she knows outside of books with pictures of babies, and video chats with some cousins, is our dogs barking at the doorbell when a package comes. I am so eager to show her the world and have her create bonds with people outside of the video chat screen, however I am still remaining cautious.
One of my biggest hopes is that a year from now in another set of reflections, I have an entirely different perspective to report– one with community, laughter, health, and celebration.
Until then, wishing you and whatever journey you may be reflecting on a life of Jubilance.