Welcoming a baby into your world brings a lot of emotion, whether it’s your first, middle, or last. In anticipating birth, moms usually have a specific birth plan or certain expectations they’d love to meet in order to make that day as special as possible!
As most of us mamas know, sometimes those plans or expectations aren’t met and it can lead to disappointment.
Here we are in 2020 where a lot of babies have been born into an unknown pandemic, which has stirred many complex emotions in women. I was one of them. Let me share my story, as it was not what I had intended. I was pregnant with our third child, our second daughter, who was my rainbow baby after losing our son. The entire pregnancy was a roller coaster, both physically and emotionally. Because my experience in the hospital with our son was beautifully heartbreaking, I had high hopes for a very different experience with this baby. I envisioned my oldest daughter, Hadley, entering the hospital room after her baby sister Rylanne was born and capturing it on video. I even had the little details all mapped out. Hadley would wear her big sister smocked dress, have her hair curled with a sweet bow, and walk into the room with both sets of grandparents. The thought of having hospital pictures of the two of them meeting was complete bliss. I had hoped that a couple of my best friends would be able to visit as well. After all, they were a huge support system to me during the birth of our son, Calvin. It was important for me to have them there again. Yet, none of that came to fruition…
March 13: Covid reared it’s ugly self here in the states and the restriction I hadn’t even dreamt of happening, happened. Three nights before I was to be induced, I received a telephone call from the hospital stating I was only allowed to have two visitors with me and my husband was included in that count. Sadly, we couldn’t bear to choose only one parent so we had to tell them to stay home until we were discharged. Hadley was upset she wasn’t able to be there either. My heart was in the pit of my stomach and I remember crying to my husband. This was NOT my rainbow baby birth plan. How unfair for a stinkin’ virus to ruin what was supposed to be a dreamy day. If I’m being honest, I am still a little bitter.
I had to come up with *Plan B* to make it special for Hadley to meet “her baby”. I had asked my parents to stay in their room at our house and allow time for just the 4 of us to be together. I wanted to capture pictures and video of the two of them meeting for the very first time. As we pulled into our driveway, Hadley busts out the back door with the most excitement I had ever seen in her. I tried to get her to stay inside so we could unload everything and not feel rushed, but she had a plan of her own and literally fought her way to see her sister. I remember her saying, “Let me see my baby sister!” over and over. I finally caved and quit trying to have it go my way. The video I took was terrible but the image I have of Hadley running and grinning from ear to ear surpassed any plan I had thought of.
The upside to giving birth to a baby during a pandemic? The coming home surprise of Hadley rushing out the back door to meet Rylanne. That’s a memory that will forever be ingrained in my mind. I will still miss not having hospital pictures but the sweet memory of bringing our baby home is one I won’t regret. It was perfect! I’m oddly grateful it unfolded the way it did because looking back, I get to replay that memory over and over and over in my mind. As much as I want. FOREVER. I’m not quite sure she would’ve reacted as excited as she had at home, if she had been able to be at the hospital with other people around. Memories last a lifetime, as they say. Who really needs pictures?
If you’ve given birth over these last few months, I’m sure it wasn’t totally what you wanted. I see you, BUT I hope you still found some sweet moments and made the most of it! If you are about to give birth in these coming months, I see you too. I see your anxiety, but I see your strength and joy at the same time! You will make it and it will be the BEST day, despite all the restrictions. You may have a plan B or C, but when you meet your baby face to face, in that very second, all that disappointment will vanish. Because there is truly, no greater joy in bringing a baby into your world, even in the midst of a pandemic.