Can you believe it has been a year since the word “pandemic” entered all of our lives? A word once found only in our history books has become a reality, and it’s weird. It’s sad. It’s confusing. It’s, well, a lot of things. I surely never in a million years thought I would have to navigate pregnancy let alone deliver a baby in the midst of a pandemic. I never dreamed of having to get video of my ultrasounds for my husband as I ventured into my appointments alone. I never dreamed of wearing a mask while gasping for breath in between pushes. It’s been a lot to process, even 6 months later.
There were days I just cried on the table in my OB’s office. She would encourage me and found herself, among all her other tasks as a doctor to so many, counseling and caring for the hearts of her patients through the unwelcome situation we all found ourselves in.
And then, I had a baby. In a pandemic. And then, a day later had a baby in the NICU. In a pandemic. Then, I was stuck at home with a baby. In a pandemic. It was easy to be angry. It was easy to feel overlooked. It was easy to feel lonely. And I definitely felt all of those things at some point.
Now, as we approach the one year mark of this insane time in our world, I find myself looking back at all that has happened. Sure, I am a mom who faced just about every hurdle possible this year, and I certainly tripped over them more than once. But I also am a mom who – regardless of the circumstances- carried and birthed a perfect little boy who conquered the NICU. I am a business owner who stayed afloat through a pandemic and managed to build a dream home in the middle of chaos. See, if this year has taught me anything, both in motherhood and life, it’s that our circumstances do not have the power to define our outcome. We do. Our joy and our outlook on life are in our hands. When everything is so out of control, our perspective is something we do have the reins on. With God as my source of unshakable joy, I can say this year has actually been the best year of my life in so many ways. Not because the circumstances set the stage for an incredible year, but because I see the good in everything that has happened. Perspective is everything. I choose to see the good. I choose to see that I am a warrior mommy who had a VBAC with a mask on and delivered a baby boy in 13 minutes of pushing to avoid a c-section again. I choose to see that when it looked like I should have lost all my work, it doubled. I choose to see that I got months of extra time with my husband and sons before the rest of our life as pastors of Cadence Church.
There is good to be found. Always.
My body and mind have been through the ringer, I suppose, over the last 12 months. And if you’re a mommy who also had a baby in 2020, please hear me say you’re a freaking champion. It’s okay to feel sad and happy all at once. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed by what the year brought. It’s okay to grieve that the first year of your child’s life has looked anything but normal. I have family who have yet to meet Rory, and it sucks. It shouldn’t be this way, and yet, here we are. It’s okay to be disappointed. Also, hear me when I say this, it’s okay to need help. It’s okay to want to process what you’re feeling with a counselor or therapist. Everything you’re feeling is completely valid. Seeing a Biblical counselor has been the best thing I ever did for myself. 2020 was freaking hard. Every little detail of my life was not NOT affected. But I have also been effected in ways that have shaped me into a new woman. I have grown into a new version of me as a mom, as a wife, and as, well, me.
I will be a statistic in history books, I am sure, as a woman who had a baby in the midst of the 2020 pandemic. Rory will be a number in records as a baby born in a pandemic. But it certainly doesn’t define either of us. It is simply part of our story, and is one we will tell.