Three Months of Lockdown Parenthood
Unbelievably, Bam Bam will be 13 weeks old tomorrow. Equally as difficult to countenance, she has just fallen asleep in her carrier despite being quite grouchy today due to her immunisations yesterday so I have two free hands with which to attempt to gather some thoughts. It’s amazing that we have been parents for 3 months and only now have lockdown restrictions begun to lift here in Leicester. I remember the PM’s announcement on 16th March that pregnant women were now considered high risk. I still had two months of being pregnant left then. And yet the time has passed like a blur.
Extra Lockdown Restrictions
There’s no need to go over again the difficulties of carrying a rainbow baby. I have written about it before, so do kick back. The interesting thing has been being new parents under lockdown conditions. We have incredible friends that have done our shopping for us week in and week out so that we didn’t have to go out and put Bam Bam at risk. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. But also we have just been isolated as a three in our house. Spending all day, every day together is perfect and watching Bam Bam grow and develop minute by minute is an absolute privilege. However, we would both have valued the chance to have more visitors, more of the time. People to ask questions of, or simply to seek reassurance. People who could hold the baby for twenty minutes while the Boy and I just popped outside for a breath of fresh air.
Life of a Quaranteenie
Now Bam Bam is smiling and laughing. She knows who we are, but she doesn’t know who anyone else is. She likes seeing people and babies on Zoom meetings. This weekend we were finally able to take her out of the city to see one set of grandparents for the first time. Can you imagine not being able to meet your first grandchild until they were 12 weeks old?
These things don’t seem fair, but we are a lot better off than people who have lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost businesses. There is far more fallout of Covid 19 to come that we cannot yet foresee I think. Meanwhile I have known unspeakable joy. Learning to feed Bam Bam, and her learning to feed has been an adventure. This week we took part in the Big Latch. This is part of World Breastfeeding Week where hundreds of mothers breastfed their babies, toddlers and children at the same time. It’s nice to be part of a community, even if it is just a virtual one. I hope that some of the breastfeeding Mammas I have met through a brilliant Leicester support group will become real friends and playmates for Bam Bam too as time goes on.
Not Going Out
We aren’t very good at going out yet. We are late getting to the doctors for immunisations because we don’t know how long the walk to the surgery takes with a pram. Getting on a bus still sounds a bit too scary and dangerous. That means taking Bam Bam for a day out in the big city still seems a little way off. We are experimenting with The Boy feeding her expressed milk. First that meant I could go out on my bike for 20 minutes of blissful freedom. Ultimately it helps me prepare for work. Next week I am overjoyed that I will be returning to the Guild of Fine Food to act as a specialist spirits judge for the Great Taste Awards. This will be our first real parenting test. Well, the Boy’s first real test – I get the easy part of the deal! But soon he will get back to band rehearsals and my time will come.
And this, for me, has been one of the best parts of becoming parents. We have the most amazing daughter and The Boy and I are bringing her up as a team, just as we planned. Well, as we hoped. As we dared dream?
We are tired – I haven’t slept in blocks of more than 2 hours for 3 months . We can be grouchy, or short tempered. But we are surprisingly good at taking a deep breath, of seeing the other person’s perspective and of trying to make life easier for all three members of the household. I couldn’t believe that having Pixie brought us closer together than I ever thought possible and now I feel fantastic that we are giving Bam Bam such a great start. At least I hope we are. By great start I mean we are muddling through. We have the confidence from knowing we really have done this all on our own. And, so far, I think that’s what parenthood is.