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Bringing a baby into the post Corona Virus world

Well no one can say it isn’t an interesting time to bring a child into the world. A month ago, when we passed the seven month mark for our third baby boy, the world was still pretty normal. We thought the most stressful part of bringing a child into the world would be the election cycle and finding time to watch the Olympics between diaper changing sessions. Obviously, things have change more than a little bit since then.

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At the end of the month, #LundLad number three will arrive. Concerns about social distancing with family and friends, keeping medical workers safe, exposing a new life to the virus potentially, getting stuck at home, and how it’s going to affect his brothers are all top of mind as we get closer to delivery. We’re still a month away, and with as much as things have changed on a daily basis over the last month, it’s impossible to predict what the situation will look like in a month from now.

 

I’ve been working from home since March 4, and the boys have been home since the 13th. We know all of us will be home at least through the end of April, and potentially for the majority of May as well, maybe even beyond. This has completely upended our plans for delivery. We originally intended to take the boys to school throughout the days we spent at the hospital so that they could still maintain their normal schedule. Now, with daycare closed and concerns about isolating from others, we aren’t sure what we’ll do about them while we are in the hospital.

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We’ll most likely have my in-laws watch them throughout the days we’ll be gone. But, this means increased risk of exposure by including others who haven’t been quarantined with us. They’d be coming from Brooklyn as well, part of the hotspot. And consequently the other way, we’d be potentially exposing members of a higher risk demographic. Even though we’ve been extremely careful in isolation and stayed completely put, it’s impossible to know if we might be asymptomatic carriers at this time.

 

Another area that promises to be interesting is actually spending time in the hospital. While the region we live in has lower rates than New York and other areas around, the risk is still there. With a 3-4 day planned stay, that’s a lot of time to spend in close quarters with a lot of other people and medical staff. I’m sure everyone is careful, but stories abound of the virus making its way through wards thanks to mothers and fathers who didn’t know they carried it. As well as one horrifying story of a father who apparently did know and went to the delivery anyway.

 

At one point, I wasn’t even sure if I would be allowed to the hospital. Several hospitals in New York were preventing anyone but the mother from the delivery room. In the meantime they seem to be reversing that and allowing fathers to be present, but for some time we were worried that I might not be allowed to see my own child until my wife was dismissed. With what will most likely be a c-section, we didn’t even know how that recovery would work. Still, it beats being in New York where our delivery might have been moved to the US Navy Hospital ship, though that would have made an interesting story.

 

Besides that, it still doesn’t look like any other family will be able to visit us in the hospital, including even our children. This means that they won’t get to meet their baby brother until he’s almost a week old. For two kids are very excited about baby brother to the point that they carry stuffed animals around under their shirts pretending that they will be their brother, that’s going to be tough. It also means unlike last time, family and friends won’t even visit.

 

 

Once we leave the hospital, things are also going to be a bit different. Of course we’ll have two more kids at home, but because of the virus they’ll be at home a bit more than we anticipated. Rather than having the days to spend alone with baby and to bond while the boys are at school, we’ll all be in the house together for an extensive period of time. I also likely won’t be going back to work as soon as planned which means more time to spend together, but also trying to balance it with work without the daily separation I expected. I expect baby brother will be making a lot of appearances on video conferences. The one advantage this arrangement brings is that without the commute, I might be able to get a periodic nap in before work starts between hourly wake ups.

 

Unfortunately, we might not be getting many opportunities for sleep at all. Originally we thought things would be easier with a single child at least compared to our only previous experience with the twins. However, the Coronavirus situation has actually led indirectly to a worse sleep situation for us. One of the boys has been having a harder time sleeping at night, almost certainly due to a lack of stimulation throughout the day. Unlike normal days when they are at school, they don’t have the same level of activities throughout the day or the car drive home to unwind and settle down before sleep. Because of this, they’re having a harder time falling asleep, are staying up later, and keep waking up throughout the night. This means we’re pretty much guaranteed to be getting up every hour in the first few weeks baby comes home.

 

We’re in uncharted territory with the Coronovirus. Never before has the world taken steps like we currently are. The impact goes beyond work arrangements and hand washing. Bringing a baby into this new world is going to be entirely different than the first time around, and not just because it will be one child this time. Three weeks to go doesn’t seem like long, but every day during this situation has stretched to feeling like a week, so who knows what things will look like when the time comes. The only thing certain is that it’ll be unique.

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