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The Diary of Mom Lucia, Part 1: Corona-time child

When you deliver your baby during corona-time

"Yes, so how old is your little girl?" "Four months." A little silence, a calculation, and usually me preempting the answer with, "Yes, a corona-time child." 

Back on March 12, as a family of four, we went for a specialist examination of our little girl in Jesenice. It was a beautiful sunny day, we made a detour to Zelencev, the last trip before we have a baby and the roles changed a little. I remember the call from my brother, an employee at the laboratory of the University of Ljubljana, who almost teleported me home with his mind when I told him where I was calling from. "Do you know that it is very close to Italy?!" I calmly answered him that it was a nice sunny day, that we were far away and slowly going home. On the way, the dad Filip, a four-year-old girl and a two-and-a-half-year-old boy enjoyed snowball fights, jumping on the snow and running to the car. 

March 13. Kindergartens and schools are closed from Monday, Filip starts working from home. 

March 14 EDD or estimated due date. 

On the night of March 15, the older little girl fell ill, with a fever over 38 and a cough. In the morning, we immediately call the corona number and explain the situation at home. Answer: mom in isolation, father and child in quarantine. You can imagine how that is even possible for a 40-week pregnant woman and a mother of two little ones. According to protocol, they did not want to test any children that day. A little boy fell ill the next day. Nothing was happening with me and my husband. 

March 17, the day of the scheduled gynecologic examination. 

I decided to call my maternity hospital and explain the situation at home. I hear the nurse's muffled voice far away from the receiver, telling the maternity staff "it's for real now". Tears are streaming down my face. So I think: "Our mothers gave birth without companions." At the same time: "Once the labor has started, the presence of the partner will certainly still be allowed." That Tuesday, I drove myself to the examination. Of course, with a mandatory mask. At every step, I repeated what the situation was at home (in addition, the children's fever dropped the same day they got it), but protocol is protocol. Caution is never out of place. The very fact that health workers were getting new information every hour was frustrating. And then, you tell a pregnant woman to relax and not worry. Ha! Every day I went for walks, which were forbidden to me in the last trimester due to the risk of premature birth. I was carrying our little girl who was looking at me in amazement, like "mommy, you still have a baby in your belly". Anything to help the birth begin. Nothing. The psyche was stronger than the body. I was hopeful until they said "the partner must not be present at the delivery". And when they decided, I gasped and it was easier for me to accept the bitter truth than to wonder. 

Friday, March 20. Contractions, irregular ones. 

My mom is on standby to come at night to watch the kids in case I need to be taken to the maternity hospital. I went to bed early and woke up in the middle of the night. Signs that labor has begun, contractions, every now and then, several trips to the toilet. But that's it. Atypical course of childbirth for a third-born. It's as if the child under my heart resisted coming into that little chaos. What was one to do, childbirth cannot be postponed indefinitely. It's only a matter of time! 

Saturday, March 21. At 9:00 a.m, CTG in maternity hospital.  

Something is happening, but all together, nothing. Due to being a week overdue in combination with gestational diabetes, they hospitalized me this time. I knew that if things didn't go as expected, artificial induction was waiting for me. I was afraid of it. At 2 p.m, the second CTG. Contractions are a little more frequent, but nothing special, far from that moment when at home you say "now is the time to go" The midwife tells me; "let's go to delivery room number two". Nothing was clear to me. What? Why? Based on what? 

I let myself go. I went as far as I could. I afforded myself a hot shower, called my loved ones at home. Laughed to the song "Today is my birthday". "Will today be your birthday", I wondered. 

From the moment I didn't know why I was sent to the delivery room to the moment I held my little girl close to me shortly before the shift change, less than four hours passed. Video call home. To dad, older brother and sister who were just getting ready for the world of fairies and elves. A smile followed by tears. Tears of happiness. Tears of pride. Of the fact that I could do it, that they could, too. Being there, far away, and just thinking about how their mom, their wife, is doing now. 

Suddenly there weren’t four of us. There wasn't anything like -  you will do one thing, I will do another. Our little girl entered our life, entered those strange times of general commotion, stocking up on groceries, wearing masks, of stopping of public life. So helpless, but certainly not powerless. She was powerful and is still powerful today. Four months later. When she smiles at us, when she reaches out to us. When she rejoices in the presence of her brother and sister. When she clearly knows it's time to sleep. When she patiently waits for me to meet the needs of the older two. Sometimes my own. Before hers. The one who brightens our life even in such uncertain times as the months that have passed. What really counts is that we are together. Let's talk, cuddle, play, bother, tease, wait, love and tell that to each other! 

Lucia is the mother of two girls and a son and Filip's wife. Each month, they will share with you a record of a varied family life. She will write notes related to motherhood, although she is aware that it is important that she is accomplished first as a woman, and only then as a wife and mother. Also, a large part of her life consists of music and active spending of time in nature, as well as having good coffee in quality company. 

Photo courtesy of: Tea Leban