While I write this it’s been just over 10 months since my beautiful pandemic baby entered the world. She was born on 24/04/20, exactly one month after we celebrated her older sisters 3rd birthday and one month into lockdown in New Zealand. She was born at the end of Level 4, just days before the drop to level 3 was made.
The first few weeks were a blur of baby snuggles, a toddlers need to use mum 50 million times a day, exhaustion and isolation. You never expect after your bundle of joy has entered the world that you'd be sent home where you’re told to stay instead of showing her off to the world. Thankfully for me I’d been through birth and baby before but I really felt and still feel for first time mums during this pandemic.
We isolated with my parents once Level 3 was announced to ensure I had a good support network around me. I suffered and still now experience Post Natal Depression and Anxiety so I really needed my village with me at the most crucial time, being the first few weeks.
My Midwife checked in on the phone and we’d drive to her weekly for bub's checks to be done. This time around, we had a completely average baby for height and weight which was something new to us as the older one was consistently over the 90th percentile.
After a month, we came back home and slowly got our little family into something that resembled normal. My partner was gearing up to start back at work, my toddler was getting ready to get back into daycare and I was looking forward to finally getting some one on one time with my baby girl.
June and July fly past and at the end of August, at 4 months old, my baby girl started her settling in visits at her sisters daycare while I got ready to go back to work as well.
Mid September I started back at work full time and my baby girl was enjoying being able to spend time with her big sister at daycare.
She took a little while to get used to her new routine. She stopped sleeping for 3 or 4 hours at a time and instead napped 30 to 40 mins at a time. She would get home just after 5pm and go to sleep immediately and sleep until the following morning with boob throughout the night
The mum guilt was real.
I was lucky enough to already be working from home which is a short distance away so I could always go sneak a peek if I felt I needed it.
By November, we were Christmas shopping, we were watching Blake start to crawl. She was starting on solids and would get so angry if we ate in front of her and didn’t give her any.
December saw her first tooth pop through, her first Christmas tree, her first Christmas Eve opening a present with her sisters and her first Christmas day full of family, food and laughter.
We rung in the New Year with family, kids in bed by 8 and my Dad and I being the last ones left to welcome a new year.
I wished for peace. I wished that families who had lost loved ones would find peace. I wished for essential workers and doctors, nurses, police, paramedics and everyone else who worked throughout this pandemic to ensure everyone could still access essentials, would find peace.
I wished for our children to know how amazing they are for being able to get through a pandemic as horrible as this better than some adults did.
I hoped my heart could find peace, free of anxiety and heaviness. That it would stop skipping a beat every time I read the news. I hoped I could go to sleep without the fear of whether or not I’d get a call from a loved one during the night.
I hoped 2021 would be better.
Shortly after the New year, we celebrated my turning 27 with a beautiful cake from my partner of 7 years reminding me I’m getting closer and closer to 30.
My now 9 month old baby girl has started pulling herself up on anything she can and walking alongside the perimeter. She’s licking walls, putting everything in her mouth, head butting windows or glass doors and then continuing on like it never happened, only to do it again a few minutes later.
She has the most mischievous smile that makes me wonder if she’s plotting her escape or some type of prank.
She’s saying Mumma and Nan Nan and follows her sister wherever she goes.
She loves dogs and cats though they’re hesitant, and she will spend up to an hour crawling after Clarence, my parents dog, only for him to quickly move away anytime she gets close.
She loves music and listening to us all sing and dance. She sings at the top of her lungs too, even if it is at 2am.
She hates her nappy being changed or getting dressed but loves being naked and having a bath with her sister.
She’s popped through 3 more teeth, balancing by herself more and more each day and loves to pinch my body when she’s breastfeeding.
We are planning her first birthday, a Llama theme, and I’m secretly wondering if its too over the top to find a Llama for some cute photos.
As hard as its been, its still the absolute best time being able to watch my little girl grow into the beautiful and cheeky little munchkin she is. She takes my mind of the craziness going on out there, even just for a moment, and its pure bliss.
Photo: Lesly Juarez www.unsplash.com