By Stephanie Lancaster
One month ago, I was 38 weeks pregnant, full of anxiety, anger and fear. Hospital protocols were changing daily. Visitors were banned. Laboring women could only have one person with them. This isn't what I pictured delivering my third baby would look like.
Two weeks later, my husband and I walked into labor and delivery and were handed masks. We were told to wear those any time anyone entered our room. The nurses were always masked, as was the doctor. This was my third baby and the whole process was so different than the other two.
During my first two deliveries we had guests in and out while I labored and more guests after delivery. There were no masks. No scary protocols. It was a celebration and everyone was invited.
This time, it was just my husband and me. The room was quiet. No chaos of visitors. The conversations were just between us. Just the two of us for the first time in six and a half years.
I'm just going to say it: delivering during the pandemic was a blessing in disguise.
We delivered with quiet hallways in a quiet room filled with just the three of us. We welcomed this baby with no expectations of people rushing in during skin-to-skin. We established nursing without having to wear an awkward nursing cover.
It was just us and our little guy. It was perfect.
Twenty-four hours later we returned home. Due to social distancing, there were no visitors and no school. There were no early morning school drop offs or mid-day school pick ups. There was no "panic cleaning" for visitors. There was no schedule and low expectations.
Our girls have been able to bond with their little brother all day, every day. Having no schedule with a newborn has been dreamy. We are all sleeping, nursing and bonding with no interruptions. There's no pressure to get out of the house. There's no reason to try to squeeze into pre-pregnancy clothes.
If you are a pregnant mama set to deliver during all the chaos of the world right now, rest easy. Take a deep breath. While this is probably not how you imagined your delivery, find the blessing through this mess.
Enjoy this break from real life, snuggle up with your newborn and enjoy every last minute of the newborn stage. Too soon, that teeny tiny baby won't be teeny tiny anymore.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville Moms.