It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been honored to share a parenting story on the blog. However, this week we have another strong mother sharing her story about parenting during the pandemic.
Nicole, the found of the blog “3 under Three” was actually inspired to share her story because she gave birth to twins just as the COVID pandemic began. Enjoy her story & advice she has to share being a mom to three children under three during these unique times!
A little Bit About Nicole
I live in Northern Virginia (near DC) and have three daughters now – Anais (who just turned 3), and twins Gisele and Vivienne (4.5 months). With COVID-19, it’s hard to leave the house, and I really don’t see many people due to social distancing, so I’ve recently given a try at blogging and writing for an audience!
How did the pandemic impact your pregnancy experience?
COVID-19 absolutely changed my experience. At 34 weeks pregnant, I went on short-term disability at work. I was huge, uncomfortable, and exhausted constantly. The first week went well. My 2-year old went to daycare every morning and I was on a two nap a day schedule (not kidding – twins wear you out). Then we made the difficult decision to bring my daughter home from daycare. This was back in March, and I was reading stories of women who had COVID or whose babies had COVID that were taken from their parents immediately after birth. I couldn’t fathom surviving this, so we did everything we could back then to stay safe. We stopped seeing everyone, we had groceries delivered, and I asked my husband to ask his boss if he could work from home, since I was 35 weeks pregnant at that time.
Now I’m 35 weeks pregnant and trying to take care of a 2-year old. This is not ideal. It involved a lot of TV, and my favorite part of each day was naptime, when we’d both crawl into my bed (which she didn’t usually do before this) for a long nap. On the plus side, I found that if we napped together, she would nap much longer than on her own!
Also, if you are a stay at home mom with kids and are also pregnant to twins – my hat is off to you! It’s so hard!
How was your L&D experience different?
The first thing that we knew would be different was their no visitor policy. I was 100% okay with this. (When visiting my husband’s grandmother in Quebec, I saw a framed photograph of my MIL holding Anais in the hospital, and you could 100% see my underwear as I was sitting on the bed behind her looking like death warmed over). Bad photos aside, I was also comforted knowing that only people who really needed to be on the L&D ward would be there.
When we left the hospital, we spoke to our pediatrician about if we needed to isolate before bringing Anais home. This was now the first week of April, and we didn’t know nearly as much about COVID as we do know. Our pediatrician recommended we isolate for two weeks, just to be safe. We lasted 10 days before she came home. It was a surreal mix of wonder (new twins!) and heartbreak (I missed my daughter so much). I was so incredibly happy to see her again.
What ways have you found to cope with being a new mom and/or dealing with the isolation and fear that may come with raising a newborn in a pandemic situation?
I’m lucky that we’ve created a pod, or a group of people we can see while we all self-isolate from everyone else. So, we do get to see my in-laws, and we included Anais’s best friend and her parents in our pod. It’s important to me that my daughter has a playmate – a few months into quarantine she started obsessively talking about characters on TV shows being her friends, which kind of creeped me out. Seeing these other people are great – I’ll joke that I’ve never been so excited to go visit my in-laws (really, they are wonderful people, and also really good at cooking which I appreciate).
We also take a lot of road trips (so many interesting things to see near us!) and I go to a lot of county and state parks where we can easily take the twins in the double stroller (I can’t wait until I get a double BOB stroller and we can go down unpaved trails!).
Tell me about your favorite part of motherhood and what you most look forward to.
It depends on my kid’s ages, but I love making my twins smile, and laugh, and I creepily love to smell them just behind their ears (sorry girls, but I am pretty sure that releases some immediate dopamine). For Anais, I love that she is now using her imagination. Every night we do “PJ Mask Story Time” which kicks off with a song I made up, and then together we come up with a story (often involving someone getting lost, bears, or her flying like a butterfly).
What advice or words of wisdom you would like to share with other mothers?
Don’t stress out about doing everything perfectly. I think a healthy level of neglect for kids should be encouraged. Oh, and start a 529 plan. College is pricey.
Would you like to share your story?
Giving birth and transitioning into parenthood is rough. It has had even more challenges due to the situation to COVID-19. Therefore, I would like to honor all of the parents that welcomed a little one during this time. Tune in every Monday for a new featured parent. If you are a new parent as of the quarantine, I have a questionnaire I would love to send you to help share your story. However, if you are a parent with your own story, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a feature! Email me at email@example.com with the subject line “Parenthood in Pandemic” to talk about a feature post! If you’re interested, read my story here. In the meantime, follow me on instagram or facebook for the most relevent news!