Diary of a new mum with a new baby in a new world
My son Cameron was born at home in April 2020 during the worst Covid peak any of us had experienced so far.
The pandemic was new to us. As was parenthood. So it was impossible to predict how both would coexist. Impossible to imagine how I’d navigate my way through those first few months and keep a human alive whilst shielding. At the time, scientists still didn’t fully understand how the virus affected infants but it was suggested that those under 1 year old would be at higher risk of serious illness than older children.
I was fully prepared for the quietness. For grandparents and uncles to tap on the window and coo from behind glass. Even for the health visitor to deposit a ‘new parent survival kit’ at the front door and call me to say it was safe to collect the goods because she’d backed away.
It was strange but I didn’t have the time or forethought to consider how strange because I was so preoccupied with keeping this little human alive.
For me – a first time parent – nothing was normal.
We muddled through the first three months as I’m told most parents do, just about getting into a groove with feeding and (borderline obsessive) weigh-ins which we had to do from home, and accepting that sleep wasn’t something Cameron was interested in.
Throughout the summer when the R number stabilised and the world was a step closer to normal, the most we did was attend a baby cello class.. I’d listen to classical music with other tired mums while the babies stared on – or in Cameron’s case, “oohed” and “ahhed” in appreciation.
Seeing how happy he was to be there made me feel rubbish that I hadn’t been able to take him to more classes as I’d imagined I would. But despite this, I know that all he really needed was me, and all we really needed was our health and each other.
I’d occasionally meet a friend for a walk or sit in someones garden for a catch up, subject to the weather being just right and it fitting in with Cameron’s sleep plans (or not) for that day.
Fast forward eight months and we find ourselves back in lockdown again.
But this time around, I know what to expect. This awful pandemic was snatching yet more lives – how lucky were we to have introduced a new little life into ours.
And yes, the world is standing still – waiting for this to be over. Feeling as though every day is Groundhog Day. But every day for us is slightly different. Cameron is crawling a little faster, pulling himself up with more confidence, learning to eat his dinner all by himself and experimenting with the word “mama” in different tones. Cameron isn’t standing still.
When I can shove the boredom aside and stop imagining all the things we could be doing, I realise how fortunate we are to be able to give Cameron such focus and attention. To be able to absorb every moment without distraction.
I think in a world that is facing such challenges, we’re fortunate to have found a solution in Cameron. A daily reminder that life goes on and some things never change. Babies will grow in this new world, no matter how it might look now or in the future,