Thursday, March 18, 2021

Giving Birth During Covid-19

 I've tried writing this blog many times when I first had Ava. Truthfully I never felt like my voice needed to be heard because I was one of the lucky mama's who gave birth at the very beginning of all this covid madness (literally Ava was born 2 days before Ohio went on lock down). I was fortunate enough to not know the struggle of wearing a mask while trying to push and breath through a contraction or not having my husband present because of hospital policies. Then my nephew was born in the beginning of November. I heard about all the sadness and stress my sister in law was enduring and I realized I could relate to her. We may have had different hospital experiences but all the feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear, and disappointment are the same. It's the same because we are part of a select group of women who gave birth during the Covid19 pandemic. No one is able to really relate to us because no one, not your mom or best girl friend, knows what it is like giving birth during these unprecedented times. 

If you are  a first time mama, you may not feel a lot of the same feelings as a mom of multiple children. It's your first time having a baby, you don't know what to expect so everything will be your "normal" as if  this is how having a baby is supposed to be. However, I do realize the fear and the anxiety will be the same. The fear of not knowing what will happen, the fear of physically leaving the house, the fear of you catching covid, or worse, your baby! The anxiety you will feel playing out scenarios in your head with all the "what ifs?” I constantly worried about if I did catch the virus and how would I feed Ava. What if she didn't take a bottle, then she would starve and there is nothing I could do!! Eventually my amazing husband would talk me off the ledge. He would walk me through the steps of all the ways we were taking precautions and staying safe. The rational thought process is very helpful, so dads, partners, or family please keep an eye on mom!

To all my second time, third time, etc moms, the sadness and the disappointment will hit you the worst. You had a baby in a Covid free world. You know having a new baby is a fun and exciting time, not only for you, but your friends and family as well. As soon as I had JR, my mom was there by my side holding JR within an hour of his birth. My sister and dad came later in the evening. In the coming weeks everyone stopped by just to meet and hold JR. They brought meals, they brought gifts, they watched JR so I could nap. It felt like a big welcoming party that lasted a month. For my sweet Ava there was no party. No one came to visit in the hospital because of covid restrictions. No one came to visit in fear they may have the virus and spread it to her. She was able to see her grandparents for a little while when she first got home, but other than that the party was small and intimate and only consisted of mom, dad, and her big brother. 

I know the important thing to focus on is keeping your new baby safe and healthy although, it hurts knowing the "party" you planned for your new arrival has to be cancelled. Guests will be upset, like my poor sister who had to wait 2 months to hold her goddaughter. I had Ava close to the Easter holiday, so all the family get-togethers and events we were supposed to go to so everyone could meet her were cancelled. Restricted only to a zoom call. As a repeat mama it will hurt not being able to celebrate, but remember there is always a silver lining.

"Party" guests, while always welcome, always seem to come when baby is sleeping. Instead of sleeping yourself, you find you are entertaining. With people taking precautions and not visiting, instead of entertaining, you can now catch up on sleep. (If that's even possible). Also, I was always working overtime to make sure myself and my house was semi presentable just in case guests stopped by. With Ava it was one less thing to stress over, because no one was coming. Even in hard times I try to find the good and to my Covid mamas I know you are going through a lot, but I hope this post inspires you to focus on the joy in all the little things and I hope you find new ways to party and celebrate your new addition!

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