I had my third baby in mid-May, right as the stay-at-home order in Indiana was lifted. We were only a couple of months into the pandemic and there were so many unknowns. Doctors were telling my family to quarantine indefinitely, which is not exactly what a mom of a new baby wants to hear. It wasn’t, and still isn’t, an easy thing to do, but as we know now, we will be living like this for the foreseeable future. While I wouldn’t exactly rave about having a baby in a pandemic, life does not pause just because we’re in unprecedented times. As I’ve had some time to wrap my brain around the whole situation, I have realized that there are a lot of benefits to having a baby during a pandemic!
Photo by Lindsay Amones Photography
- You don’t have to entertain visitors. When I had my first baby, we had visitors at the hospital before I was even admitted, and people were in and out of our house for days after we brought our daughter home. I didn’t feel great physically or emotionally, and I ended up doing too much too soon. With no visitors to entertain during a pandemic, you experience a special bond with your support person during the birthing process, and again as an immediate family when you get home.
- There is less exposure to germs. Veteran moms know that there always seems to be one person who will show up to a family gathering and announce, “I have a cold, but don’t worry I won’t get too close to the baby!” Or there’s the person who brings their coughing, feverish child to a play date and blames the symptoms on teething…which is fine until your own child wakes up with the same symptoms days later. Right now most people are staying home even with the slightest headache, meaning that your newborn is much less likely to catch something from Uncle Bob.
- Sweatpants are in style. There’s nothing worse than trying to squeeze into jeans after having a baby. Good thing for us, new mom or not, we’re all making this “quarantine cozy” fashion statement together!
- You can get the baby on a decent schedule. One piece of advice I heard over and over again when I had my first baby was “get the baby on a schedule.” I do love a good schedule, but once you have an older child who needs to go to preschool, it becomes harder for the baby to get in those long naps in their crib. We’re not running around as much right now and I found that getting my baby on a schedule felt much easier because of it!
- Doctor’s offices have never been cleaner. I was nervous about visiting the pediatrician’s office every other week as you do in the beginning, but I feel like the office has never been as clean and organized as it is right now. If you are anxious about this, I will assure you that it’s not scary — at my office, doctors only see well patients in the morning, everyone two and over is required to wear a mask, and I call from the car when I get there and they call me back when my baby’s room is clean and ready. I’ve never had to sit down in the waiting room, which is unheard of in non-pandemic times.
- Curbside pickup is everywhere. If anything sticks around when this is all over, I hope it is curbside pickup. Out of diapers? There’s Target drive-up for that. Feeling hangry? Place an order and skip the drive-thru. Need clothes for this in-between postpartum period? Order online and Old Navy will bring new clothes to your car. Getting three kids in and out of car seats is a workout, and I have never been more thankful that we can all stay buckled while someone brings out our items.
- We have unlimited virtual options. As much as I wish we could go wherever we want, whenever we want (without wearing a mask), I know that I wouldn’t be going out much even if we weren’t in a pandemic. The great thing is, there are so many online options right now, I’m doing things I wouldn’t be able to do if they were only offered in person! I have attended church, participated with my daughter in her preschool class and art club, and even taken live workout classes from the comfort of my family room.
- You might get extra family time. Depending on your partner’s work situation, it’s likely that you have had or will have extra time with them before or after the birth of your baby. My husband is considered an essential worker, but my doctor recommended that he quarantine two weeks before my due date. Since I ended up being almost two weeks overdue, my husband was home for over five weeks by the time he went back to work in person. In our eight years of marriage, we have never spent so much time together at home, and it was definitely a bonus during this weird time.
- You will be in the moment. I really enjoyed the newborn stage this time around. I cannot say the same for my past experiences. Other than knowing what I was doing this time around, I also think it helped that we have had nowhere to go and nothing to do, and all I can do is focus on what’s right in front of me. In the blink of an eye, I made it through the fourth trimester.
- There is an indescribable bond with baby. As much as I love and cherish my postpartum experiences with my older kids, the bond that I have with my youngest daughter is one that will always be extra special. Moms have been asked to step up and be brave during this time — from wearing a mask during delivery and being the only parent allowed during pediatrician visits, to saying “no” to visitors and skipping out on socialization — we are taking on more weight than we ever have before. My baby has been my teammate through it all, and although she will (thankfully) have no memory of this, one day I will look back and tell her, “we made it.”