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  • khebertlcsw

Our COVID baby

My moment of shock came early one morning when I found out we were pregnant with our second child. I woke up my husband at 3:00am with a positive test in my hand in utter disbelief. We are having another baby.... naturally. But wait, we did 18,000 procedures to have our first child. How is this possible?! .... Crap, our daughter just turned one. ...... And, we are officially in this two under two club which sounded terrifying. Shock. Fear. Gratitude. Excitement. Shock. The waves of emotion continued. Little did we know what the year ahead would look like. I know what you may say... "That's what they all say. Once you stop trying it happens on its own." To the person who is struggling, let me just say this comment is incredibly frustrating... like mentally you find comfort envisioning yourself slugging someone. Cut to the slow eye blink, deep breath and polite response, “yes, that is what I hear.” Unlike many post-covid moms, I was still able to enjoy the gender reveal, gather for an inside baby shower, freely shop for baby items, have my husband by my side for appointments and heavily breathe without being suffocated by a mask. Can I just say... My heart is with all the moms who can barely breathe during the final months of pregnancy and now trying to honor the mask mandate. Another great example of wanting to mentally slug someone.

For us, the reality of this virus began the week we were scheduled for an induction. The hospital called to review the newly implemented process. We were the first group of parents not allowed visitors. Suddenly, the outside noise was muffled and all I could hear was my own fears racing in my mind. What if I have a fever and they will not let me hold the baby? What if the baby gets sick? One visitor and that must include my husband… What if they end up saying my husband cannot be with me either? These special moments felt like they were being stolen from us as safety precautions became the priority. Did we understand? Yes. But did we still feel sad and scared? Yes! We were lucky to welcome a *healthy* baby in this bizarre time in the world. The luckiest St. Patrick's Day of all. Suddenly there was a greater appreciation for our health. I remember the urgency to leave the hospital after delivery... Who else was ready to bounce out of there?!?! Give me my baby please and let me put him in a cave for the next year. I hear you, Fauci! On it. Family met our son via FaceTime and picture exchanges. His first holiday was a few weeks later for Easter. We spent the days at home, still dressing our babies in their pre-purchased outfits. Oh the precious outfits they wore while playing inside in 2020 made my 2 year old repeatedly ask me where we were going "Nowhere, baby... Mommy just needs you to dress up!" The emotional war remained ... fear of the virus versus frustration over how much was out of our control. Throughout this first year of life, our son has never seen his pediatrician’s face, his favorite game is mask peek-a-boo, and certain family members and/or friends have yet to hold him. Recently, we went eat at a restaurant and sat in a booth placing the baby in a highchair near the walkway. The waves, smiles and giggles were on overdrive as he interacted with everyone passing by. My husband and I could not stop laughing as we watched our sweet covid baby have his first real social interactions with the outside world. Our silly dude just turned one and we are planning another intimate birthday celebration as we explain to him the days of larger gatherings. We reflect on the hidden gifts this year has brought us: a stronger appreciation for our health, a forced pause to enjoy true quality time as a family, time to tackle the honey-do lists (yes, ladies!), a break from the never-ending commitments of birthday parties and play date and no longer feeling obligated to parade the exhausted baby from house to house. Oh, and can we all agree that people have really improved their hand-washing game?! 2020 will be remember for many things but I am choosing to always remember it as the time we meet our son, our sweet covid baby. The road ahead will be long, but this rest stop has me reflecting and feeling proud.

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