“Babies are a blessing” is a phrase that always rings true, but I have to say, especially true during a pandemic. As we approach the anniversary of the pandemic, we also start to celebrate the lives of all the babies born during these “unprecedented times,” as they say. And although there were some things we grieved about giving birth during the pandemic, like not seeing most friends and families up close, drive-by baby showers, and challenging hospital regulations, many mamas agree that there have been beautiful and precious things about giving birth in the past year, besides the obvious beauty and wonder of having a baby in general.
Time slowed down
Our pandemic baby is our third. I feel like generally third babies are just thrown into the mix and along for the ride. Naps are always in the car, clothes are always hand me downs, schedules are dependent on the older siblings. But being stuck at home for weeks on end gave us ample time to soak in our new addition. We really got to know her as life slowed down and we didn’t have all the normal activities going on. We got to pay attention to her needs and schedule a little more closely without all the regular hubbub.
More space to adjust
Even for the biggest extrovert, sometimes the number of visitors after a baby can feel overwhelming. Fitting visitors in between nursing, trying to nap, attempting a shower, or a trip to the bathroom can be stressful. Having meals dropped on the porch with a quick wave from the yard was freeing in many ways in those first weeks.
Sickness wasn’t an issue
Ok, so obviously the worry about contracting Covid was a major concern. But because we were quarantined and isolating and social distancing, my kids have been sick only once in this past year and that was just a few weeks ago. We didn’t have to worry about the usual onslaught of colds and coughs and fevers and exposing a new baby to sickness. That was such a mental and emotional relief.
I find myself saying pretty regularly that I need to just put a piece of Velcro on myself and attach the baby because she constantly wants to be held. She’s really attached to mama and honestly, most of the time, I love it! She’s super snuggly and she’s also attached to dad. I’m not sure if it’s because he works from home now so he’s around more or her individual personality, but baby girl definitely prefers dad more than the other two did as babies. It melts his heart how she rapidly crawls to him and pounds on his office door when she knows he’s in there.
Baby girl is much shier than our big girls were as babies. I know this can be a normal phase, but it seems to have been prolonged with her. When someone she doesn’t know very well talks to her, she leans into my chest and ducks her head in the most adorable manner. Again this might just be her personality but I wonder if it’s because she has been around fewer people.
A happy distraction
As we adjusted to being home more and the other stressors of the past year, it was really special to have this precious, tiny baby to distract us from what was going on in the world. Celebrating her milestones and getting to know her has been so much fun. Spending our days snuggling her and taking care of her brought lots of smiles and joy to our home.
Overall, welcoming a new baby to our family in 2020 was a massive blessing. I feel like we truly have had time to get to know her, enjoy her and soak her in. It definitely makes me think that for future babies we will need to figure out a way to hunker down in a similar manner. It’s been good for our family in this season. Babies are a blessing and we’ve been able to see that in even greater ways this year!