At first this title made me sad, angry, and resentful. But now, nine months into motherhood during a global health crisis, I wear it like a badge of honor!
In my last months of pregnancy, I would run my hands over my growing belly and imagine all the would-be gatherings to welcome our daughter.
On March 3rd, I gave birth to her after 36 hours of labour, and my world was forever changed. In the following days with my fresh baby bundle in my arms, the entire world would change as well.
With COVID-19 information crashing up against sleep deprivation and hormonal changes, an overwhelming fear washed over me.
43 days passed before my baby and I would leave the safety of our home. On the 44th day, with patient and loving encouragement from my partner and family, we stepped back into the outside world for the first time.
That day, we made it to the yard. Then slowly, down the block from our home and in the weeks after, we found freedom in daily long walks around the neighborhood.
While, “everything” was closing down, the Land was opening up to nurture us. Nine months later, this is still the only place my baby and I go.
I know, I am not alone. I feel connected to all parents who have welcomed and are waiting to welcome their sacred gifts during this very strange time. I think about our traditional teachings that remind us, it’s children who chose their parents, and use their own agency to come into the world.
What incredibly courageous and hopeful babies we have. They have seen the days ahead and have still chosen to step forward. These spirits, are surely the medicine that the world needs now.
I know it’s hard and lonely. We were never meant to parent in isolation. And although, we have been given the opportunity to develop a unique closeness, we can still grieve the entrance into parenthood that we imagined, but didn’t have.
For those who love new parents:
It’s so important to not let go of the understanding that it truly takes a village to raise a child. Even though our village can’t physically gather, I offer these ways it can still support new parents: