This pandemic has pushed pause on what we define as normal life. If you’re not spending most of your time looking at the world through your home windows, then you’re going about your essential business breathing through the mask of social distance.
The media has pushed fear into our hearts and minds. We fear for our health, lives, and the future of life as we know it.
Others have pushed their opinions on us. We should be doing this. We shouldn’t have to do that. You know the narratives.
And we are all coming from different places, so of course the effects of the same pandemic are pushing different buttons on each and everyone of us.
For me, that meant a literal “push” on my part. I was going to have a baby during a global pandemic, and I had no choice but to push through it. While I watched other people push their lives back in response to this crisis, I couldn’t ignore my growing belly pushing closer to delivery as the case numbers rose. My picture perfect vision for the birth of our daughter got pushed aside, as my husband was my only support person allowed in the delivery room. Our first born was unable meet his sister until we got home. Our families wouldn’t be able to visit, take pictures, or welcome her into the world. There was an absence in physically sharing in the joy of her arrival. Not to mention all of this would take place at the absolute last place you ever want to be during a pandemic.
I could sit here and tell you that those realities pushed me overboard, and to an extent they did. Initially, I was sad. I was scared. And I was as uncertain as the pandemic itself. But I couldn’t really stop the protocols being pushed on me. They were put in place for a reason. I also couldn’t sit in fear, sadness, or anger because I had a job to do. Resting in that negative energy was pointless. So instead of pushing back in resistance, my only choice was to push through. And the peace that came with that mindset was powerful.
Yes, we walked into the hospital wearing masks.
Yes, we had to enter through the ER.
Yes, we were screened and got a temperature check.
Yes, my husband received a bracelet to be my one and only visitor.
But, as soon as we got into room 216, we took our masks off and we breathed. In through the nose out through the mouth (I’d be doing more of it too). We made it. Well, almost. We isolated ourselves from the outside world and we breathed in what was to come. New life.
Every detail that seemed to push us into panic before labor actually held pounds, ounces, and inches of beauty to be delivered if we pushed to find them. Was it going to go our way with everything and everyone that we wanted around? No. But, the situation made us rely on each other. Our marriage is strengthened as a result. There were no cameras catching all of those sweet first moments, but with that came no pressure to do or say the perfect thing. Just us. Hand in hand, bringing new life into the world. The solitude was actually refreshing and during our “golden hour” I looked at my husband and said, “That was…peaceful.” I felt peace. Giving birth. During a pandemic. Imagine that.
I remember my doctor saying something that became so profound in the moments before our daughter was born. “Alright, we’ll wait for one more contraction. A strong push with that and she will be here.” Common sense right? Push with the contractions. That’s the point. But pushing through something so painful allows sweet life to be born. And I wouldn’t push away that blessing for the world.
I don’t know what’s being pushed on you during this time or any difficult time in your life. We’re all in a different boat here. But instead of pushing back against the winds, try pushing with them. Allow the experience to help push you forward. Breathe in the peace that comes with finding beauty in the storm. And let life emerge in the end. It may not be easy, but the labor will be worth the delivery.