Eeek, it’s baby week! Harper and Ethan were both born at 39 weeks exactly, so every little twinge at this point puts me into “OMG, IS IT TIME??” mode. I’m caught between wanting it to happen righthissecond so I can finally squeeze them in my arms and wanting to infinitely pause time and hold on to these last moments of pregnancy for as long as I can. And then throw in the whole part about preparing to have a baby during a pandemic. Truthfully, I think I’m okay waiting a few more days and soaking up our little family of 4 for just a bit longer 😉 Oh, and I could probably use some more time to come up with a name for this little one.
I had a spurt of energy this week and finally made my way through organizing all the baby stuff and making room for baby. This time around, I’ve been focusing on simplicity and function. We’ll eventually somehow combine the kids into two bedrooms but with all the chaos of
the world our home my mind. right now, we’ll worry about that later. Since both of our new babies stayed in our room for the first 4-5 months anyways, we just added a little nursery area to our master bedroom with a bassinet (the sweetest vintage piece that I scored on Facebook Marketplace), a comfy rocking chair that we moved from Harper’s room, and a dresser to function as a space for all of baby’s things. We also went through the kids’ bins of old clothes and it brought back so many memories of them in those tiny little outfits and they couldn’t believe they were ever that small! It was fun to find some surprises in there that I’ve bought and tucked away over the last 3.5 years for a maybe-baby 😉 I’m looking forward to using some of my favorites again, including my Wildbird ring sling, June & January coming home sets (the absolute best and easiest outfits for new babes, we have a whole rainbow of colors that my babies live in for the first few weeks!), and a new baby book that I can’t wait to start filling with all the cutest baby details!
I also finally put together the most basic of hospital bags, which includes: a nursing friendly nightgown, the coziest sweater, nursing bras, my hairstyler, baby book (for footprints; ask your nurse for mess-free transfer paper!), flip-flops, snacks, my camera, a long phone charger, two coming home outfits for baby (boy or girl), toiletries, and a blanket to cover the carseat when we leave. After overpacking ALL the things twice, I’ve learned that the hospital will supply pretty much everything I need and it will be less work to unpack and sanitize everything I take with us if I pack lightly.
Preparing for a New Baby During a Pandemic
I’ve been reflecting a lot on how this pregnancy is SO far from what I had envisioned 9+ months ago. Pretty spring sundresses were replaced by all-day, everyday, sweatpants. Frolicking in sunny fields for maternity photos with a fab photographer that I booked months ago turned into my tripod and mirror selfies becoming my best option to document a growing bump. Instead of coasting through my last trimester, I suddenly had to homeschool and entertain two kids within the 4 walls of our home. No final “date-night” with my husband. My kids won’t be able to run into the hospital room to meet their new sibling. Celebrating a third baby with girlfriends and family won’t happen beyond a Zoom call. I can’t even feed pregnancy cravings on a whim 😅Lately, it’s been a mental struggle because I know I would be fortunate to have ANY of those things during my pregnancy and I am so grateful to even BE pregnant, but I am also finally at the point of accepting that I’m allowed to be upset that things are different than what I had hoped for and its okay and healthy to mourn the loss of so much of this experience.
As this pregnancy ends, I am naturally trying to focus on the good that is to come, but honestly there are a lot of emotions and uncertainty that surrounds giving birth during the Coronavirus pandemic. As of now, I am permitted to have a support person during labor and recovery, but no additional visitors. When I go into labor, I’ll have to take a Covid-19 test upon admittance for both my medical caretakers’ and the baby’s safety. As of now, my hospital is recommending that if it were to come back positive, that the baby be distanced from the mother. I just can’t wrap my head around that, so I am simply praying for a negative test and doing all that I can to stay healthy, including maintaining our quarantine that has kept us inside of the house and away from our loved ones for the last few months even as society begins to “reopen” around us.
We’ve had a lot of difficult conversations and decisions lately about all of the “what-ifs” and it’s hard to go into this uncharted territory where there are no real guidelines in place. How we’re planning on creating boundaries to keep the baby and those around us safe (after all, we’ll be returning from a medical facility that has COVID patients). As of now, we’re planning to have my mom, who has also been self-isolating as much as possible, come to watch the kids when I go into labor, but that’s about as much outside contact as our loved ones will have with the new baby for… who knows how long.
We are still trying to find our footing over what to do in the coming weeks and months and some days it’s really hard to imagine bringing a new life into a world of instability, I honestly can’t say what their first year will look like, and as someone that’s a planner, that’s disconcerting. All we know is that we’ll be here to love this new little one through it, within our home, and we can already feel the love from those around us, as distant as it may be.