Quarantine Diaries | Australia : Stepping Into Motherhood

quarantine diaries

Guest post by Jessica from DaySixtyFive

Hi readers,

It’s midweek here in VIC, Australia and I have joined in on the new series for Quarantine Diaries by Capture Sunshine where bloggers around the world come together and share their experiences of how the lockdown for COVID19 and how it has affected them. I’d like to welcome you into a glimpse of how it has been for me as a new woman stepping into motherhood.

I had my daughter, Quinn, on the 10th of February 2020. This is right as the Coronavirus began spreading through Wuhan. I have to say, being in the hospital after a cesarean section, it was not really the first thing on my mind. I was struggling with such a new world of pain that I have never felt before. Quinn was breached in the womb which is why I had to go through a cesarean section, and I was grieving how my birth plans went out the window while learning this whole new world that I was brought into with my new daughter.

When my husband and I came home a few days after surgery, things started to kick up in the world. Luckily my family and my husbands got to meet Quinn, because two weeks after this date the world became a place we have never seen before. Borders closed, shopping centres unrecognisable, the streets became full from cars parked at their homes as no one left in the early hours of the morning to go to their workplace. I no longer saw an old couple that I used to smile at on my walk as they dined at their favourite coffee shop for breakfast.

My daughter’s health care check ups changed to be done over the phone, not face to face. We have missed out on the regular weighing, measuring her heights, and getting that graph filled in in her baby book so that we can look back on how fast she has grown.

My daughter has missed out on her extended family. Her grandparents on both sides haven’t held her since she was merely days old, she is now on her way to four months of age. They last saw her when she was fighting off jaundice and the size of her hands barely wrapped around a pinky finger. She is now rolling from her front to her back, smiling, babbling and as cheeky as ever and they only know her through a video call. My husband’s mother tries not to cry every time she sees her, because she just wants to hug her.

Isolation has really impacted our lives in a sense of bringing this new human into the world, and she doesn’t truly have a grasp on what world she is living in right now.

When she grows up, she is going to find out that she was born into a world where you have to stand metres apart from others. When you go to the shops, you’re counted by the door and if too many are in the shop you have to wait outside. When you leave the house you dread walking past a group of people who don’t understand the concept of social distancing. The slightest cough, sneeze, or clear of the throat has the largest impact on others nearby right now than it ever has. You can spark fear in anyone by doing so. It’s so saddening.

As an introvert, I personally haven’t felt any difference in my day to day. Being on maternity leave, it would be not much different right now than it is. I would have been at home with my baby regardless. However in saying this, I would love to have family around to share the joy and to experience what a treasure Quinn is. I would love to grab a coffee up the road with Quinn on ‘those’ days where I have had little to no sleep. I’d love to truly experience fresh air, and go for a wonderful adventure up the mountain near us where on the colder days it’s going to potentially snow.

I have enjoyed having my husband home. He thankfully is one of the lucky ones where he can work safely from home (however he will be going back soon). I truly don’t know what we would have done if he lost his job while juggling a newborn throughout this experience. My heart goes out to all of those that have not been so lucky. I do find myself liking the distance from others. I like that contact is limited, because I find social interactions incredibly stressful at times! It’s nice to feel like you are in your own personal bubble. However, I can see how people that are struggling with their mental health can feel like they are underwater right now.

Jessica from Daysixtyfive
Family photo xx

With the restrictions in Australia, I’m truly terrified for them to be lifted. I’m terrified for the government to push businesses and schools to reopen. I’m terrified for visitations and travelling to become a comfortable place for people. There is no evidence that once you get the Coronavirus once that you won’t get it again. There is no vaccine, there is no cure right now and how fast it spreads is mind boggling. It’s incredibly dangerous, and scientists know little to nothing about it right now.

When people are falling ill from the Coronavirus, some may recover, but they have lifelong damage from it. Your kidneys and lungs can be so severely damaged from this virus. Yes you may not have died, but now you have to live with implications for the rest of your life. It’s so sad that the government is pushing for the economy to pick back up, but what good is it if they may have to re close again from a second wave? That may be a controversial opinion.

The restrictions are already lifting here in Victoria, Australia. We have been later in lifting restrictions because the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is a smart egg. He is allowing up to 5 visitors at your residence, this can only be family, as of midnight last night. My husband and I aren’t abiding by the rules, as we know a second wave is on the horizon and we don’t want to take the risk with our 13 week old.

My husband works in IT with schools and he will be going back on the 26th of May, however he is onsite before then for the first time in months. It’s a scary time, I dread the exposure for him so soon when our numbers are still climbing every single day. I am worried every single day about the day when it goes back to the ‘new normal’ where everyone carries on like normal when the virus is still lingering around with no vaccine.

We have bought face masks with replaceable air filters, but the reaction people give others for wearing face masks is idiotic. There have been attacks on people who choose to wear face masks, people have been declined entry at shopping centres for the decision of wearing them too. It’s crazy. I don’t want to be a target when I am on my afternoon walk with my daughter, and it feels like you are standing out of a crowd when you do choose to wear one because no one else in the area has been. It would be great if they were mandatory, it protects not only you but everyone else around you too.

It’s just crazy that in the middle of a pandemic wearing protection can be frowned upon! This world is a strange place.

What has been most challenging is medical appointments. It’s nerve wracking enough to go to medical appointments. To throw on top of that with being a first time parent and the unknown of travelling to and from a place with a newborn, trying to juggle the appointment time in with their feeding/sleeping schedule, as well as a terrifying pandemic – wow. It has been hard to say the least.

In my lifetime I never imagined that I would be alive to see a global pandemic, however here we are and what a time to be alive. I never imagined that when I had my first child I would be going through this as well. The first few weeks of her life were truly terrifying and confusing. I wish that she could have had a better welcoming into the world, however, she has quite a story to tell when she is older.

To end this post, I just want to put out my sincerest thoughts to those families struggling with Coronavirus personally – perhaps they have had it, know someone who has, or know someone who has not made it through. I wish you all the best, and I hope that better times are coming for us all soon. Please stay safe everyone.

Thank you for reading.
Jess


About the author

Jessica is a twenty something Australian blogger and creator. She has a husband, daughter and a crazy cat. She has worked in IT for a few years, and her hobby for writing has turned more into a deeply loved and cared for passion. You can read her blog at Daysixtyfive. You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter!


Quarantine Diaries is a blog series where bloggers from different countries share their quarantine stories to narrate their experiences and remind us that we all are in it together.

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Read lockdown stories from across the globe: India | United Kingdom | Australia | USA | Uganda | Egypt | Kuwait | Finland | Canada | South Africa | Pakistan | Indonesia | Philippines

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Comments

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  1. Hillary

    Hi Jessica and Sakshi,
    I have a couple of friends who have had babies in the middle of this. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be without easy access to support systems like friends and grandparents. You’re a strong person. Thank you for sharing your story.
    -Hillary

  2. Leeann

    I totally agree with face masks being worn. I really don’t understand why so many don’t even if it’s to protect others. My heart goes out to all mommies during this time. Thank you for your perspective!

    1. D65

      What a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I’m so glad you agree as well with the face masks! It’s for the best for everyone! 🙂

  3. Shelley Whittaker

    Jess, I’m so sorry that your experience of early motherhood has been Covid-19. My sister had a baby (in Perth) in early March – I am based in the UK and so have been unable to travel home to meet my niece. I am desperately trying not to think about when it might be that I will actually meet her as it is a pretty devastating reality. Thankfully things are starting to look up, especially in Australia, so hopefully you can be reunited with your family and friends soon. Take care x

    1. D65

      I’m so sorry to hear this, that must be so hard 🙁 I hope you get to meet them soon, and enjoy the snuggles when you do. Just remember that it’ll be just as special for you when you do get to meet your niece, it’ll be magical for you. Soak in all the love on video calls for now, and just keep your eyes on the finishing line – hopefully it won’t be too long <3 Stay safe!!

  4. Britt | Shed Happens (@ShedHappenscmty)

    This is a crazy time we’re living in. I’m glad that your families had the chance to visit before things locked down. I have a new nephew that I’ve only seen via video chat to date due to the lockdown situation. It’s KILLING me not holding that adorable baby boy like I did all 3 of his sisters after they were born…

    1. D65

      I’m so sorry to hear this! I can absolutely imagine how you are feeling. It’s a big thing, no one could have imagined this happening. It’s insane that we’re living through this time. Stay strong, you will get to meet him soon and it’s going to be incredible when you do. Hopefully not too long now <3 🙂

  5. Anna

    I couldn’t begin to imagine having a baby during this craziness! I was just talking about this with my husband last night and it must be so difficult to be a new parent during this time!

  6. D65

    Yeah it’s wild that’s for sure! It’s been fantastic having hubby home though, we wouldn’t have had that opportunity without all of this. But at the same time, it’d be nice to have the normality of life as it was! I hope you and your family are staying safe <3 All the best 🙂

  7. Liz

    I guess I would say that at least here in the Philippines, the good thing is wearing mask is mandatory so we can’t get in shopping centers or any business establishment without one. It’s probably one of the few things I would say was done right in the Philippines. Not much else credit I can give to our government. Still, wearing mask and seeing people wearing masks and face shields are a strange sight to see since it wasn’t a practice before. But I know it’s for our own good until there is a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19.

    Luckily your husband is able to work still and you gave birth before the lockdown began.Cute family you have! Your daughter will definitely have something to tell people like her own kids when she grows up. Stay safe! We will all hopefully get through this.

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