Exactly as the rest of the world, we have been in lockdown for several months now. Unlike the rest of the world though, (or at least the majority of the rest of the world, I would assume) we had a baby the Friday right before lockdown started in New York.
“It must be awful” everybody keeps saying. “Not being able to do much. Being so scared for your baby.” Reality is: yes, it is scary because with a now three and a half month old we are basically doing nothing else but sanitize. But on the other hand, it’s been quite a blessing in disguise for us: Mr. Brit has been able to take the longest paternity leave ever, and spend every awake (and not awake) minute with our baby. I would have been on maternity leave anyway, but, let me tell you, having the extra help at home is amazing. And I’ve especially discovered that the only day that Mr. Brit and I were not together because he had to go to the office: taking care of a newborn by yourself is VERY demanding and my kudos go to all Moms out there that have been doing this by themselves.
Anyway, our quarantene can be summed up in 5 bullet points:
Our lucky baby M. was born on Friday the 13th, at 12.06AM. All I remember was Mr. Brit being there for me, right at my side, repeating at every last minute of that Thursday, 12th of March: “PUSH! PUSH REALLY HARD OR SHE’LL BE BORN ON FRIDAY THE 13TH!” Needless to say, I didn’t push hard enough (although the mere thought of the doctor using the vacuum to get her out was the sole reason why I did indeed push really hard in the end — albeit six minutes too late.) Since then, it’s been a blissful three and a half months of seeing her growing and seeing Mr. Brit melting at every single smile she blesses him with.
We have been walking a lot. Like: A LOT. Since we can’t really go anywhere (we were planning on going back to Europe, England and Italy to see family, and Poland and France for two wedding that, alas, got cancelled) we have decided that we are taking a staycation and we are making the best out of our city, New York. There are worse cities to be stuck in, you would probably think: and you are right. We both found again our long lost love for the city, which was too crowded and noisy, and it became empty and quiet all of a sudden.
Especially on the barbecue: with the majority of our favorite restaurants closed, we have also started to cook more at home — pesto lasagna and anything on the BBQ being my favorite meals of this quarantene. Oh, and tiramisu also, which was something amazing, being that I couldn’t have it while pregnant.
We manage a community garden (I say “we” manage, but really Mr. Brit is the one that is truly obsessed with the garden, which he runs together with this other British guy that lives a couple of blocks down (I guess all British people love their gardens?)) Anyway, we manage this community garden, which has been our sanctuary and our breathing space during this quarantene. It definitely kept us sane.
AND LASTLY: EACH OTHER
I honestly think I will have anxiety issues as soon as we go back to work. I’ve read somewhere that the divorce rate has increased after the quarantene, and how can you blame people to want a change in life: after you spend 24 hours a day, every day, with somebody, you are bound to find out the good, the bad and the ugly of people — and I have to say that Mr. Brit and I have indeed deepened our relationship, talked about everything there is to talk about under the sun, and still found something else to talk about the day after. Despite his Britishness, I have to say, I would never ever have found a better guarantee companion if I tried.