Quarantine is My Postpartum 2.0

Written by: Janel Duffy
Posted: June 07, 2020
The world is weird right now. So weird. The news is scary, I have muted so many friends on social media, and I’m trying not to take it personally when I pass the neighbor on a walk and they cover their mouth. But the thing that feels familiar to me, is being at home with my baby with not that much to do. 

My daughter is currently 9 months old, and I’ve actually been feeling somewhat at peace during this quarantine. Thinking about the weeks and early months of my postpartum experience, I feel better now in quarantine than I did 9 months ago. I had trouble breastfeeding early on, there were visitors at my house that I didn’t really care to have, I couldn’t figure out how to feed myself and shower properly and tend to a newborn. I felt confined to the corner of the couch with my five water bottles, chapstick, trail mix, phone, and TV remote. It felt so much more isolating than I feel now. Since my daughter had trouble eating, she was constantly hungry, and I had anxiety at the thought of putting her in her carseat for a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to Target for more baby wipes, because all she did was scream if she was away from my breast. 

Fast forward 9 months, I feel like I’m getting a second chance at my postpartum experience. We have since figured out and fixed all of her feeding problems, so she’s not so hungry all the time— amazing what a full belly will do for a girl! I’ve figured out a way to nourish myself and my soul. She is happily discovering the world around her, she’s interested in the grass, loves watching the birds from the window, will play with her toys by herself for a couple of minutes at a time. We take multiple walks during the day, and sometimes if I need a hands-free break, I plop her in the car and we go for a nice long drive. Since I live far away from my family anyway, Zoom and FaceTime calls were already our normal, so I don’t feel like a huge piece of connection to family was stolen from me. I miss visiting with friends, or heading to a coffee shop to get some work done, but I know this quarantine won’t last forever, just like my daughter won’t be a baby forever.

Of course some days are harder than others, and I’d be lying if I didn’t genuinely look forward to bedtime on a daily basis, but overall, this time in quarantine has allowed me quality time with my baby, to watch her change and learn and grow. I’m in a place where I can look at her playing and think: “I love you so much, I’m happy you’re here”, versus the newly postpartum: “I love you so much, what the hell was I thinking”. Like I learned in my postpartum experience: take it day by day, sometimes minute by minute—soak up the good where I can, and when there is a day of everybody crying, let it go. It’s all going to be alright.

Category: Parenthood,
Tags: quarantine 2020, self compassion, first time mom, self care, mental health, postpartum, connection,