Friday, March 20, 2020

On being selfish, whatever that means right now

I fluctuate between feeling completely normal, enjoying the beautiful little moments where my kid conspiratorially tells me a story from Daniel Tiger ("he imagined he was in a cave with a real grizzly bear! and he said grrriffic! and the bear said bearrriffic! hahahahahaha!"). And the hard ones, where out of nowhere she talks about how she still wants to be a person when she's dead, she doesn't want to be a tree or something else, she wants us all to be persons so we can still be together and she can be a big sister still. I'm really trying to focus on enjoying this time together, just the three of us, which is truly a unique experience we were not supposed to get. So I'm to relish those "normal" moments and be glad for this time.

But then I also feel grief, a selfish sort or mourning for the maternity leave I thought I was going to have. I had so many self-care plans, for haircuts and foot massages and taking myself to the movies. For snuggling friends' newborns and walks around the neighborhood and getting things done around the house and having energy to enjoy my time with Margie before her brother comes along. I wasn't anticipating a week of quarantine in our house because Will may or may not have Coronavirus, to feel anxious and tired constantly, and to feel like every day was a day sadly lost to fear and unproductive hours rather than a day spent happily preparing for the baby and enjoying our family. I wasn't expecting the first week of my maternity leave to be like this.

If he has it, he has an extremely mild case so far. It's been about a week, and he has a super low fever, fatigue, and a cough. It could very well be a bad cold/mild flu. But in these times, you can't be too certain. The whole state is now under mandatory shelter in place rules, and if you're even suspected to have the virus, you're supposed to quarantine for 14 days. We're about halfway through that period, and really hoping things get better. Margie has a cough, but I have no symptoms outside of "holyshit I'm so pregnant and tired", so once he's better, we can get on some sort of schedule and get outside and start getting things done. But until then, we're basically locked inside our house (thank goodness we have a backyard), relying on friends for grocery deliveries, and trying to stay sane. Margie thinks we're staying home because she and Will are sick, and we're all (like everyone we know) on a special long spring break to stay healthy and take care of our bodies. We haven't figured anything to tell her beyond that, but with so much uncertainty, it didn't seem urgent to explain the concept of a global pandemic. I just don't want her to get a complex about being sick.

Some good tweets:

In addition to our families, we've had some wonderful friends checking in to see how we are doing. Offering to do Zoom playdates and grocery runs, and just to say hi. I so appreciate each one of those texts, and I've been feeling guilty and selfish that I'm not initiating more. I feel so self-centered right now, which is fairly normal in late pregnancy, but feels indulgent now. I just don't have the capacity to reach out and care for others, when I can barely care for myself and my family. But I appreciate every text and tweet and email, and I try to at least respond honestly and not superficially. Today my responses went from "doing ok, though Will is feeling sick" to "not so good!" so that's a start.

It was a weird day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

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