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Mother during COVID-19.

Welcoming Baby During a Pandemic

Author: Danielle Vigueria
Published Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Hi Everyone! My name is Danielle and the day before I turned 39, I gave birth for the first time. My daughter was born in the spring of 2020 – at the beginning of the pandemic, in a hospital an hour and a half away from my home, and 2,500 miles from any of my family. Oh, and while I was in labor, there was an earthquake. Needless to stay, things were stressful.

But I should back up a bit. In 2018, I moved across the country and married a wonderful man. I traded in my single, professional, beach life for a home on 7 acres in the Rocky Mountains with my husband, two step children, and our chocolate Lab. After getting settled into my new reality, we decided to expand our family.

At the time, I never would have imagined that I would deliver my baby while wearing a mask, without any friends or family in the waiting room. But I did. Luckily, my birthing experience was fairly easy compared to most. Six hours after arriving at the hospital and 30 minutes of pushing, and our girl was born. Healthy, screaming, and redheaded (even though we don’t have red hair in either of our families).

As we drove the 90 minutes home, I started sobbing. At the time, I couldn’t explain to my husband why I was in tears. Now I can say it was because I was tired, and I was terrified. I was overwhelmed by the thought of caring for my newborn without the help of my mom or any of my best friends—or any other woman at all really. Lonely already from mandatory isolation orders in our town, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to handle new motherhood.

So, for the first five months of our daughter’s life, my husband and I faced new baby life alone, together. And it was hard. There were many tears (baby’s and mine), video calls to mom, and times when I was so exhausted that I couldn’t speak.

But even though it was difficult, I can now look back and recognize some of the great parts. (This is only after I’ve had my mom here for two months and some nights of more than two hours of sleep.) Having to rely on only each other brought my husband and I closer, and I have a deeper appreciation for him as my partner. The pandemic has allowed him to work from home rather than take two weeks of leave and return to the office, and the three of us have been able to share a special experience that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.

During those earlier days, I also learned how to better identify and express my needs. And I learned how to be kinder to myself. Now that my daughter is 8 months old, I feel strong—more deeply connected to myself and the millions of amazing women that face life’s challenges every day and persevere. With the holidays upon us and the world still in the grips of this virus, it may be a very challenging time for many, but I am entering 2021 with a new sense of confidence, knowing that I can do hard things.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you and hope we can share in the ups and downs of motherhood together.

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About Danielle Vigueria

About Danielle  Vigueria Danielle Vigueria is a new mom, step-mom, wife, and freelance writer. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Virginia and a Master of Professional Studies in publishing from George Washington University. She recently traded her beach life in coastal Virginia for the mountains of Idaho. When she isn’t writing, Danielle relaxes by hanging out with her family, reading lots of YA fiction, and watching the deer wander in her backyard.