Ladies, if youre pregnant or have just given birth, I’d love to see you.
You likely got pregnant during the golden days of spring/summer 2021 when vaccines were still being developed and the pandemic was in its final stages. It’s unlikely that you thought that conversations about exposure and quarantine would continue after the baby was born.
A pandemic pregnancy could have occurred after a delayed wedding due to pandemics. Then you had to cancel the wedding and have a smaller celebration as you want to get married. It seems that it was long enough to ruin another milestone in your life. Cool.
Perhaps you were one those lucky people who had a baby during the early days of the pandemic. This was back when we were still scavenging groceries and obsessing over Joe Exotic. It was possible that you had to labor and deliver by yourself, or with a partner. You may have thought, “Thank God that was an unforgettable experience. I will never have to go through it again.”
It’s déjà vu all over again.
Though I am not pregnant and do not currently have a newborn, my first daughter was a December baby and my second spent most of her first January in the PICU because she was knocked out by rhinovirus–basically the common cold–when she was just shy of ten pounds.
I now have a tiny glimpse of what you may be feeling. I’m here to help.
It is hard to sleep at night when you have to weigh the risks of different scenarios. You probably end up scrolling more because you are looking for reassurance. You are trying to find some common ground between your desires, your partner’s, and your family members…and your baby’s needs. I am sure you feel overwhelmed by the guidance provided by the CDC, AAP and BOE, as well as your MIL.
Let me tell you: You get to set all the rules.
You can hibernate for a few months with your family of three, if you wish. You can require visitors to be vaxxed and boosted or recently tested, as well as masked. If your mom wants to live with you for six months, I’m all for it.
It’s one thing to create the rules, but quite another to explain them to people.
Here are some examples of what you might be saying out loud and what you mean by them.
(I know, it’s true. I’m a mind-reader.
You say: Only two vaccines are required to see a newborn. This includes a booster, updated Tdap, and a negative rapid testing. Pediatrician’s orders!
What does this mean? Pediatrician, schmediatrician. These are my rules.
You can also read my thoughts: It was disappointing that the baby shower had to be cancelled.
What do you mean? You can make me fall to the ground in a puddle if you want. I dare you.
You say? We’d love to see little Aidan again before the baby is born. We can’t afford to risk it.
You mean: I’m sure you went to an indoor lunch on Tuesday with three of your girlfriends. So…let’s FaceTime? Or not. Whatever.
You might say: I think the silver lining to this whole “Covid” thing is that I will be able to return home soon after having the baby.
What do you mean? I really enjoyed the room service. In 24 hours, I will be home and I expect to recover from major trauma, breastfeed, gain weight quickly, have dinner on the plate, and get no more than 30 minutes sleep. Awesome.
What do you say? Hilarious! We are grateful!
What does it mean? Ew, or ew, or ewwwwww.
You can say it like this: The bathroom is that way!
You mean: Would you like to hold the baby? Move over to the sink, where I have placed three types antibacterial soap. Wash your hands and sing “Happy Birthday” twice while you are there. Or, George McFly would say, “Hey, you’re going to get your hands on her!”
What do you say? We’re sorry, we ask all visitors to please keep their masks on.
What does this mean? If I wore my mask during 35 MOTHERLOVING HOURS of labor, then you can still wear it while you are in my home for 45 minutes.
You say: Omicron is mild, but we still take every precaution.
What does this mean? If my partner has “mild” Covid, I will be solely responsible for three children while changing bloody bandages at my C-section.
What you say: Oh hey there, stranger-trying-to-touch-my-baby.
What do you mean? BACK. THE EFF. UP.
Your thoughts: Thank you so much for the package
What does this mean? I have been stuck indoors for 2 weeks now with a newborn baby and my WFH husband. I have only spoken to you. Please speak to me, and tell me all about the outside world. I need your help.
You say: Sorry, I meant to say that you just returned from a cruise. !
You mean: Take the $&*@ from my house!