amanda c.

In November of 2020 I gave birth to my third baby. His birth was one I never thought would happen because my husband had decided, after the birth of our second child, that he was happy with two kids. I was heartbroken and attempted to come to terms with this for years since I could clearly picture a third existing with our family.

In August of 2019, my husband shocked me by saying he felt good about adding a third baby to our family. We found out we were pregnant in February of 2020. Shortly after seeing the positive pregnancy test everything shut down. I immediately felt dread and anxiety creep in and I felt like my baby and I were constantly in danger of contracting COVID.

Throughout last year I felt like I was constantly in a state of mourning with a splash of deep joy. I was pregnant with a baby I never thought would be, but that excitement was dampened by the fact that we couldn’t celebrate with anyone we loved. I wanted to rejoice in this baby, but everyone’s focus was almost entirely on the pandemic. There were no baby showers, shopping with my mom and girlfriends for cute baby clothes, and no support prenatally when I was extremely sick and exhausted for months.

Our son, Haiden, was born the day Biden won the election and we were so incredibly happy for a multitude of reasons. I experienced my first out-of-hospital birth, and wanted to share with the world the beauty of that moment. I love hearing people’s birth stories and know how powerful it can be to share this with others. This desire of mine was met with silence. I didn’t have a single person ask me about my birth story. His birth felt like an afterthought with everyone doing their best to live through the trauma of this pandemic. I understood, but I also felt so sad that there wasn’t a pause to celebrate his arrival.

My first couple of weeks with him were full of many tears and thank god I had developed a relationship with a therapist prenatally. We saw a handful of people masked up on our back deck, but the word that describes my first weeks is loneliness. I called my mom so many times bawling while I held my baby to me. I missed my friends and family and I was so desperate to feel connected with others.

I also felt immense rage at times toward people who were COVID deniers. So much of my energy was spent hating people who refused to wear masks, continued to get together with others and basically lived like no one else mattered. I felt like they were stealing from me. I felt like they stole my chance to celebrate and to access support I needed from friends and family to make it through the postpartum period with my depression and anxiety.

My son is now 5 months, and this anger still strikes me at times. I do my best to live in the moment and enjoy this babe, as he is probably our last, but I still feel so lonely sometimes and wish I could have had him during a different time.

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