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Being a First Time Mom in a Pandemic

It’s crazy when I think back on the last two years and how much my life has changed. And that’s not just from becoming a new mom - it’s from becoming a new mom in a pandemic.

When I first found out I was pregnant, the pandemic wasn’t really on the radar yet. I found out towards the end of January 2020, when life was still “normal”. While I had nerves about being pregnant after a loss, I still daydreamed about what my pregnancy would look like - having a baby shower surrounded by family and friends, showing off my bump in cute maternity outfits, the visitors coming and helping out once we got home from the hospital….

But then 2 months later, that all became so uncertain.

I remember when COVID first came onto the scene, we thought it would be a few weeks. A few months as a worst case scenario (which felt so daunting at the time). I remember thinking - “by summer this will be past us and everything will be normal again!” But obviously, that was not the case.

Summer came and went, and I had to accept the fact that this was my pregnancy experience. Being trapped at home, no cute maternity clothes, no in person shower, and none of my family getting to see me pregnant (we live 15 hours away). It was a tough pill to swallow, and honestly something I am still angry about.

When it came time for birth, I felt lucky that my husband was allowed in the delivery room with me, because I know some moms were even robbed of that. My son’s entrance into the world was quiet - just the three of us. Although looking back, I am glad that we had that time to ourselves, to learn about each other and figure out how to become a family of three without any distractions. I think I will always cherish that time together.

I think the hardest part was not being able to have any help in those early newborn days. With our families being further than a weekend trip in the car away, we didn’t have anyone to come help us with clearing or cooking meals. No one to watch the baby while we snuck in a quick nap or shower. It was just us. And while we managed, it was also really hard, both physically and emotionally. I was healing from a c-section, and also developed mastitis 3 weeks postpartum, so having that help would have been so amazing. Everything was so overwhelming, and we had to just struggle through.

My son’s first year went in the blink of an eye. All of his milestones came and went without anyone to witness them but us. It felt like I was constantly battling two emotions: one of being so grateful and happy that my husband and I got to have such an intimate experience in our first year of being parents, figuring it out on our own as we went and trusting our instincts rather than the opinions of others. But also an immense sadness for all the things we were missing out on.

There is no rule book for becoming a parent in a pandemic. No clear right or wrong when it comes to the decisions you make to keep your baby safe. Everything always a gray area - so much is left up to chance. So you make a decision and close your eyes and hope it was the right one.

I definitely mourn the experience I was supposed to have. I often think about the fact that I could never experience what it is like to have a pregnancy and welcome a new child in a non-pandemic world. And that is scary.

But I also try to focus on the positives that did come out of it. My husband working from home. The fact that I was able to leave my job and start my business. Spending every single day with our sweet boy and soaking it all in.

It’s all hard. It’s something that is written into our family history, and is the new normal we have learned to live with. Just us, figuring it out on our own. And while it certainly isn’t what we imagined, we are making it work day by day.

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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