It was a day like any other. I was going about my morning. I felt different though- and I knew why. I ran to the bathroom and waited those two minutes that feel like a lifetime. Heart beating fast, palms sweaty, I look down and I see what I’ve been praying for. Those two pink lines. I’m pregnant! Joy, excitement, nervousness and gratefulness all course through my veins! We did it! We’re having another baby!
A couple months later we found out that after two girls, we were going to have a little boy! I planned, I nested, and I organized everything! Then in January, in the middle of moving homes I heard of something called Covid-19.
Apparently it had been around since November. I was concerned but it only crossed my mind every couple days. But by the end of January I was thinking about it daily and starting to prepare incase it came our way.
I made a “stock pile” list and decided that in a couple weeks I should probably start buying some food just in case. I let the month of February go by without buying anything because it wasn’t in our budget with all the baby extras we were buying.
Unfortunately, my husband’s mother passed away in Nigeria and on March 11 he went for the funeral. I was a bit nervous because my due date was March 25 and my husband got back on the 18th. That happened to be the most crucial week for Canada and Covid-19.
In a matter of hours EVERYTHING CHANGED.
Flights were being cancelled, and we weren’t sure he’d be able to come back home for our son’s birth. I did my “freak out panic shop” because I knew with my baby being due soon, we didn’t want to risk going out after he was born. If by chance my husband wasn’t able to be here, how would we get food?
So with 2 kids in tow, and a 39 week pregnant belly, I shopped for an entire months worth of food. My cart was exploding! I brought reusable bags and “the mommy hook” to hang things from my cart. We pretty much took up an entire aisle thanks to the bags on each side of my cart.
It took 3 hours! (40 of those minutes were waiting in the line that wrapped around to the back of the store). It was surreal.
Somehow I got all the groceries upstairs and my mom was able to come over. We made a bunch of freezer meals over the next 4 days. We cooked so much that our freezer couldn’t close and we had to keep some things in the fridge.
Then came the news I had been waiting for! My husband found a flight home! He would still be here on the 18th! But he would need to self quarantine in our basement for two weeks. I broke down.
That would mean that my baby would need to be 7 days over due for him to be in the hospital for the birth, and with a third baby that wasn’t very likely. It also meant that we wouldn’t be able to see him for another 2 weeks and I would continue single parenting for an extra 2 weeks.
He arrived home and we all waved at him from our upstairs window. He walked into the garage downstairs and into his temporary home that I had set up for him for the next two weeks. It was so hard.
My 4 year old and 2 year old didn’t understand why daddy couldn’t come say “hi” after being gone for so long. My heart hurt.
There was so much unknown and then I got the news from my midwife! They were going to let me do a home birth! Initially this was not an option for me due to my previous births and complications, but they decided that they could handle any complications. This has always been my dream!
I ran to the stairs and yelled to Eseosa that he would be able to see our son be born! We were so happy and all our worries about Covid-19 disappeared in that moment.
Not even a day later my midwife texted me asking if it was a good time for her to call me. I instantly knew why. My phone rang and I picked up tears already in my voice. “I’m so sorry Brittny but I made a mistake. I talked to the other midwives and we decided as a team that it is safer for you to deliver in a hospital without your husband.”
I took a deep breath…
“Okay, thank you for letting me know.” And I hung up. The ugly cry exploded out of me. I walked to the stairs feeling like I was going to pass out and told Eseosa as he sat a couple feet away from me. He was helpless- wanting so badly to hug his inconsolable, scared wife. All he could do was say “it’s okay, you can do this, I’m here for you”. As he sat so close, yet miles away from me.
I calmed down and went into an emotionless preparation mode. I called my mom and told her the new plan. She would be my birth partner and my sister would watch my other kids. She would have to facetime my husband while I was in labour for him to watch virtually. But we prayed that I was 7 days overdue so this could all be avoided. My first daughter was 10 days over due and my second was 3 days overdue, so there was hope.. right?
Wrong, 3 days before my due date I felt that ever so familiar tightening in my lower belly. I instantly dismissed it and pretended I didn’t feel it. An hour later I got another… then another. So I texted Eseosa to let him know what was going on but told him it probably “wasn’t real”.
Contractions started getting consistent and by about 11pm my midwife told me to go to the hospital even though they weren’t painful yet. At 4am, contractions stopped and we got sent home. Phew, crisis averted. Maybe I could still go 7 days overdue.
I experienced one tightening an hour for the rest of the day. 7pm came and my mom told me that she’d like me to sleep over at her house incase I did go into labour- especially because my labours are fast (we’re talking 2-5 hours). I had managed to stay numb to my emotions until I heard that I wouldn’t be sleeping under the same roof as my husband.
I cried hard for a long time before I finally fell asleep at 9:30pm. Not even an hour later my contractions picked up like crazy and off we went to the hospital again. Baby J was born at 12:31am with my mom by my side and my husband watching through a video. Covid-19 and all the stress that came with it suddenly dissapeared. It was just me, my baby and my husband on the phone.
My mom dropped me off at home at 8am and neither of us realized that this would be the last time she would hold baby J. She left quickly so she could give my husband and I some time to gush over our new baby (him from a distance).
My mom was able to keep the kids for 2 days then had to return to work. When she dropped my kids off she saw baby J from a distance and that was the last time she would see him. I took back my two oldest children and braced myself to single parent again for 7 more days.
The TV became our best friend. We spent A LOT of time on the couch. It was hard, but we got through it! I was so thankful for all of those freezer meals I had made.
7 days later my husband got to hold his son for the first time. Baby J was 10 days old. It’s a moment we will never forget. It was almost as special as J’s birth.
It’s been such a different experience. When my oldest was born we had everyone come over in her first 3 days, it was exhausting. With my second we spaced everyone over a week. But now with my third no one has met him physically except my mom.
Thankfully no one is making me feel bad for keeping them away, but it doesn’t stop the guilt. He’s grown for 3 weeks and no one has been able to share his sweet, soft, newborn-ness. By the time they do see him physically, he could be crawling. Looking back, I feel very happy with how my labour and birth went.
I feel zero stress about it and I am content. It was not an ideal situation, but I got a healthy baby out of it. During the days leading up to my labour I kept hearing God say “it’s okay I’ve got this, don’t worry”. And I felt a peace about it, even though I was devastated with everything happening. God was in control.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You can follow Brittny’s journey on instagram @brittny.alicia