Each of these parents had a baby during a global pandemic. All of them have a story to tell. Throughout the month we’ll be sharing how Covid shaped their pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences—and the silver linings that brought unexpected glimmers of light to darker days.
We hope you’ll be as moved by their strength, devotion and grit as we’ve been, and if you feel up for it, we invite you to share your own Covid stories in the comments below or with #sollysilverlinings on Instagram. It’s common to feel isolated postpartum during “normal times,” and that’s only amplified in our current circumstances. But by telling our stories + listening to one another’s, we believe we can grow more connected and less alone.
Covid has affected me personally in so many ways, it’s hard to properly process while still being in the thick of it. This is my first child, so this pandemic has molded my first experience with motherhood. Because of the lockdown, we didn’t go anywhere or let anyone visit for the first three months. I was riddled with anxiety and too afraid to take him anywhere besides the pediatrician’s office. There was no fawning over my baby in the grocery store, no well-meaning-but-too-close strangers peering into the wrap or stroller asking, “How many months?” at Target. It’s those simple experiences that you might have found to be a nuisance otherwise that you end up wishing you had. It’s a strange introduction. The biggest thing has been learning how to be parents alone. The way I imagined help was reconfigured from day one. Without visitors, we learned to manage the best we can and that means missed naps, skipped meals, and weeks of dirty laundry. This has affected our loved ones because they have to get to know the newest addition to the family virtually. Three out of four grandparents are a 6-hour flight away and one is 15 minutes away but is an essential hospital worker. It was and still is gut-wrenching knowing that his grandparents will never get to hold or smell him as a newborn.
Olivia + Mark welcomed Mason on March 20.
Although times were so ugly, this pandemic brought out the best in people. We didn’t get to have our ideal baby shower. We really thought we were going to have to do everything alone. But we got blessed with more than we could have ever imagined. We had strangers or people we hadn’t seen in years delivering or sending us gifts for baby boy. The amount of messages we got sending us love and prayers was beyond what I could have ever imagined. I may not have had a physical army with me but my virtual army? Man, was it huge! And everything I needed.
Sonia gave birth to Ezra on June 18.
My husband and I are both healthcare workers working directly with patients at a hospital so when the coronavirus began to worsen, I was 5 months pregnant and beyond stressed. I thought to myself, “Having a baby and becoming a first-time mom is so stressful and life-changing in itself, let alone going through it amidst a pandemic.” Not to mention, I was deeply concerned for my parents and in-laws who all have significant risk factors. When restrictions were placed, I couldn’t help but feel robbed. Robbed of going on our babymoon to Egypt, robbed of the baby shower we originally had planned, robbed of any in-person labor and delivery classes, robbed of having my mother with me in the delivery room, and robbed of being able to share my newborn baby with my loved ones the way I had planned to prior to Covid. With that said, I’m also a firm believer that we aren’t given anything that we can’t handle, and having my son has been my shining light during these dimmer days.
Christine gave birth to Leo on July 13.
This may be an unpopular opinion but having fewer visitors and less frequent visitors has been so sweet during this pandemic. As everyone takes precaution on going anywhere, it has called for more personal time with my baby and my family. I don’t feel so bad asking friends and family to wait for a visit because they already understand.
Tiana gave birth to Taylor on August 29.
Being a working mom while pregnant, I was worried how and who would be able to take care of my daughter. Covid has really made it easier in more ways than I expected. I know it won’t be easy but with being able to work from home I now can rest my mind. It’s gonna be hard but having her with me is the greatest gift while continuing to be a boss woman.
Diana gave birth to Maya on August 28.
I have a degree in applied psychology, which is a psychology degree with a big emphasis on counseling techniques. I thankfully know so much about how to do things like reframe my thoughts. To take care of myself in this season is to take care of my mind.
This looks like not caving to dark, negative thoughts. When I have a moment of doubt about myself as a wife, friend, or mother I can stop that thought before it becomes fully formed. When I have a rough day with my kids or my husband and I fail to communicate well, I can start blaming myself and shaming myself into thinking I am the worst.
As soon as those feelings and thoughts come on my goal to reach is to remove them. “I am the worst” is met with “I am so loving, I am a safe space for them.” and so on until I remember I am not who my anxious thought or irrational belief says I am. Taking care of my mind during this time has brought more peace than I’ve had in years.
Riane gave birth to Luca on August 22.
Covid has affected almost every aspect of our lives. We are a single-income family and had to take a major pay cut. We lost our beloved Papa to the virus. Both my husband and myself unfortunately had the virus when our son was about 2 months old—the most miserable two weeks of our lives. I am so thankful he never got it and that both my husband and I were able to recover completely.
Karalyn gave birth to Augustine on June 15.
This has been the year of change for our family. We started the year living in Pennsylvania, moved to Kentucky (for work) and five days after getting there everything got shut down because of Covid-19. The shutdown caused professional changes, which led to us moving to California (just six weeks after getting to Kentucky). During the course of my pregnancy this year I have seen four different OBGYN doctors and did a ton of research to find the best medical teams, hospitals and pediatricians in multiple states. This year has been a rollercoaster ride for our family and my hormones have sometimes been throwing in some serious emotional G’s. Through all of the change we’ve experienced, I’ve been able to remain grateful and optimistic. A quote I recently heard by Debasish Mridha has been helpful. She said, “The beauty of life does not reside in certainty or conformity. It resides in the infinite possibilities of uncertainty.” While every aspect of my life has changed this year, creating major uncertainty, I’m excited about the idea of being able to move into a new season of infinite possibilities.
Jacquelyn gave birth to Gray on September 6.