When Washington State went into a lockdown and my office started working remotely in early 2020, so many things changed. One of them, which I wouldn’t learn about for a few more weeks, has marked a fundamental shift in my life.
I learned I was pregnant during a pandemic and gave birth during a pandemic. The pregnancy was planned, though the global circumstances weren’t. We did consider holding off until the lockdown was eased, but ultimately we were already pregnant by the time we had that conversation. All of my prenatal appointments were socially distant – masks when in the clinic, and every other appointment over the phone. None of the existing books or blogs on pregnancy had any tips for what to expect when you are expecting in a pandemic. Eventually the blogs caught up and started offering tips, but even they were guessing as much as we were. Baby showers were over Zoom. There was no “last movie in a theater” or “last dinner date” before the baby arrived because nothing was open. (Of course in hindsight we had these “lasts” at the start of 2020 before the pandemic lockdowns went into effect.) As I approached the end of my pregnancy, I prepared to welcome our first child into the world wearing a mask and with only my husband by my side.
Thankfully the story ends happily, with baby born healthy and surrounded by love. As new parents, we are caught up in the never-ending marathon of feedings, diaper changes, and cry sessions. Occasionally we reflect on the way our lives are irrevocably changed. In other moments we talk about all the things we can’t wait to share with our child.
I’m grateful for my friends who had started their pregnancy journeys many months before the new virus was even in the news. Together we figured out what it meant to give birth during a pandemic and raise a baby in a socially distant world. I occasionally get sad thinking about the “firsts” that are going to be delayed until it is safe to gather in public. (Though we’ve already had baby’s first Zoom call.) On the flip side, I don’t have the new-parent regrets about missing social events that friends are attending…because no one is doing anything right now.
The last post on this blog was about a pair of Ginger Jeans I made and wore once, before discovering a very good reason I couldn’t fit in them again. (I’m holding off trying them on again because I’m afraid to discover they won’t fit. Since I work remotely, and no one sees what pants I wear, I’ll wait until the office safely reopens to find out if the Ginger Jeans are still wearable.) This blog is typically devoted to sewing, knitting, and creativity. I’ll get back to that soon. (There were a few projects during my pregnancy that I want to share. And I can’t help but think of projects while I sit and nurse the baby.) For now, I’m just looking forward to using this blog as my communication with the outside world as I start a new chapter in life, motherhood.