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New Parenthood in the Pandemic
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New Parenthood in the Pandemic

We're a couple living in Oakville and had our first baby in early March. By the time we left Oakville hospital with our baby, a tiny red-faced bundle in my arms, the lockdown had begun. The mothers I knew told me the world pre- and postpartum would be forever changed; but I don't think anyone could have predicted how stark the line is now, between the before and after those early days of my daughter's life. We've been holed up with the rest of our community, learning to be parents and sharing our baby with grandparents only through screens. It's a lonely time, with most of our relatives in the U.S., and a time of tests and challenges; are we up to the job of being parents, in these extraordinary circumstances? Can we do it alone, without the help of our family? And will our baby be affected by the limited world she is entering? I suppose that's the gamble every parent makes even in the most normal circumstances — we take the plunge into this new role and hope that the world we can offer to our children is a safe, accepting place. We hope we can offer them some version of beauty, and we wake in the night, hearts pounding, filled with worry and love. At night I still wake and reach out to her bassinet by the bed, wanting to know she's okay. When all this is over, I whisper into her neck, the soft whorls of her hair: I'm going to show you the world. It's going to be beautiful. You're going to love it.