How I survived having a baby in a pandemic

There I was 9 months pregnant and a few weeks away from my delivery date when the world stopped. My office encouraged all employees to work from home, the hospital canceled birth classes and restricted visitors from accompanying patients at appointments. I sat alone in the doctor’s office as my OBGYN tried to encourage me to schedule an induction for logistics purposes. Teary-eyed I refused to let the hospital decide when my baby would be born because it worked better for their schedule.

New hospital policy allowed only one person in the labor and delivery room. No family, no doula only my son’s father could be there to support me through childbirth.

On a Saturday evening 2 days before my due date, my water broke. After showering and Stopping for a burger we headed to the hospital with a car seat and overnight bag packed. 12 hours I labored overnight until 11 AM that Sunday morning, I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy baby boy, Jay Alexander. We stayed in the hospital 3 days where I got a total of 4 hours of sleep. My sleep routine would never be the same again.

We brought our delicate newborn home. Together the 3 of us learned to take care of one another. I grew obsessed and completely attached to him. There were times that I neglected myself to do all the things for him.

Without the parade of friends and family helping out as we had expected, the pandemic forced us into quarantine and we had little outside help. The laundry and dishes went undone. Our small apartment became filled with gifts for the baby, a swing, a pack n play, boxes of diapers and wipes, spit-up filled onesies, and rags everywhere.

I am grateful that we were able to have our baby shower before everything shut down. We were so blessed to have so many friends and family shower our baby with love and gifts.

There are times where my anxiety gets the best of me. I worry if he’s sleeping enough or eating enough. My breastfeeding journey was riddled with questions. By the number of diapers we have gone through, I’m sure, the breastmilk is giving him all the nutrients he needs.

As my body healed I learned to carve out moments for myself. My self-care became showers, moments of meditation. Trips to the drive-through or grocery pick up. And phone calls with friends.

Motherhood has me leaning into vulnerability, showing up as I am. Mostly because I have no other choice, I don’t have the time or energy to perform or pretend that everything is perfect and under control. I am asking for help when I need it and setting boundaries for my self-care

Motherhood is hard. It’s the ultimate sacrifice of everything you are for another life.

You give your all for moments of wonder and joy. To bear witness to another life grow and develop. I am in awe of how fast he’s grown, accomplishing millstones like smiling and laughing to sitting up on his belly and rolling over. To have a child is to witness life in motion.

4 thoughts on “How I survived having a baby in a pandemic”

  1. Beautifully written and spoken. Your vulnerability is amazing and empowering may you continue to enlighten those who read your words

  2. Jess l love love this. You hit the nail on the head. Everything changes when the baby gets here. We neglect ourselves and often times feel as if we don’t deserve self-care, but ultimately we find out that if we don’t take care of ourselves,it hinders us from being the very best that we can. Not only for ourselves, but for our child/children. Keep pushing your journey has just begun, but trust it will be amazing to see the child that you’ve created and nurtured grow-up to be a great person. Love and miss y’all.

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