Restating something that’s been said about a zillion times, this has been a crazy year! Beginning in February, I had two pregnant daughter-in-laws, two sons expecting their second babies. Then the pandemic hit, turning our world upside down. How would this all play out? What would happen in the hospital, giving birth with so much sickness? How can we keep these extremely fragile newborns safe? Unanswered questions, with constantly evolving answers.
The first baby was due in April, the second in November. In her last trimester, in late January, my daughter-in-law was hospitalized. Seems a medical complication could touch off a need for immediate delivery. Devastated by the news, she was admitted at 30 weeks. We visited her in the hospital as much as we could.At about the same time, we got the news about the second baby.
For a worrier like me, I had about as much as I could take! Covid-19, the constant wildfires, and two expectant mothers (one in the hospital) made me dizzy with the possibilities! In northern California, where I live, the months of May, June, July, August, and September brought constant wildfires. We had a go-bag sitting by the front door for those many months. Two times we had to evacuate, without a place to go because of the lock down. On one of the trips out of town, we drove on I-80 with 5 foot flames on each side of the freeway. I had never been through an experience like that and I was terrified. We did by safely and headed up to Truckee, where one of our kids and family was kind enough to take us in, in spite of the lock-down.
Then came the first baby! At 32 weeks, she was born, at 4 pounds 13 ounces. She was immediately taken to the UCSF NICU (newborn intensive care unit), where we visited her and the rest of the family for a first look. She was so tiny, like a little bird, and she was hooked up to all kinds of life-saving machines that we were thankful for, and yet very scary to behold! Her nickname immediately formed, Renny, because she looked like a little bird and because her name is Maren. Another first for me and definitely something to worry about! Two months later she was home, a healthy, chubby, beautiful little girl with a warrior spirit!
The second new grandbaby was due in November. In early October, we got the call that he was arriving in this world three weeks early, emergency delivery. The hospital didn’t have a NICU, a department of which I am all too familiar with now! Luckily, he had very few complications and was ready to go home after a several days. I am happy to report that he is terrific and a big healthy boy today!
One last thing, my husband has cancer. The not-too-bad kind, the kind where you die of something else. At this time, he was undergoing weekly treatments at UCSF. Because of Covid-19, I couldn’t accompany him in the hospital, so I had to drop him off and walk around Mission Bay for several hours. I tried not to worry; ha-ha!
My saving grace during these travails was work. Some very smart clients understood that a lock-down is the perfect time to plan for the future! So I was working on several big projects, and gratefully allowed to stay at my desk, no air travel involved. My ability to focus and persevere allowed me to do good work while all about me was falling apart.
Another saving grace, writing songs and playing the guitar. I have written seven songs during Covid, many about my grandkids, and many about the lock-down and what we are all experiencing. I’m no Jason Isbell, but it helps keep me somewhat sane.
This whole story is a preamble to wishing you all Happy Holidays! We’ve almost made it through 2020. We survived. Personally, I have two new grand kids, bringing the total to 4. I think my kids are done, but who knows what the future will bring, for anything?
Let us know about your adventures this year. We love to hear your stories!
You must be logged in to post a comment.