As midnight struck on New Years Eve for the upcoming 2020 year, we had no idea the type of whirlwind rollercoaster we were about to jump onto. The first half of January was smooth sailing, and then on January 26th the world got news of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash. Not a huge basketball fan, but I did feel saddened by the news and was in complete shock. The sorrow prepared me for the phone call that I received about 30 minutes later that my own older brother Jimmy had passed away as well. Unbelievable is an understatement. This is when 2020 started to show its true colors.
As in everything in life, we must feel the lowest of lows, in order to feel the highest of highs. I believe that when a family member leaves us, a new member joins. In March we found out we were blessed with our second child on the way. In conjunction with the news, the COVID-19 aka Coronavirus global pandemic hit. The Coronavirus is a man made infectious airborne virus stemming from Wuhan, China. Most people infected with this virus experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease; diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer are more than likely to develop serious illness. No cure or vaccine is to be heard of yet. Some recommended precautions is to social distance about 6 feet from others, the frequent washing of hands, not touching our faces as well as the facial mask coverings of the nose and mouth to help flatten the curve. The virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Data is still being tracked on the virus impact on pregnant women. Some studies have shown that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and are at increased risk for intensive care unit admission and may be at an increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.
I have been distancing myself from others during this time due to my pregnancy. As a mother, my job is to protect my child and myself. For humanity, I am playing my part and keeping my family and me safe during this crisis as well as others around me. Kaiser does not allow my husband or daughter to attend medical appointments with me during this time. When the baby is delivered, only my husband will be allowed in the room and we are to have no visitors, including my daughter. I am doing my due diligence.
Due to America’s inability to flatten the curve, mandatory quarantined stay at home orders came into play and in some locations lasted up to 3-4 months or more. Workers started being sent home to telework, unemployment rates rose; many small businesses plunged while other businesses in the food and delivery service started to boom. Food ordering and delivery became only a click and confirm away. Toilet paper, Lysol wipes, gloves, masks, meats, eggs and milk were flying off supermarket shelves faster than they could restock again. Advanced technology came in handy with our ability to communicate with loved ones during this time such as Face Time, Skype and Zoom. A massive baby boom hit and divorce rates began to skyrocket. Protests and social injustices were on the rise and politics started to divide the entire nation. What a time to be alive.
Even through the world’s chaos, I find the calm. I am thankful and blessed for being able to telework during this pregnancy. Not having to commute, figure out maternity wear in the morning, bypassing the first trimester nausea, figuring out childcare and not having to deal with others negativity during the precious moments of growing a human. The cards were played out in my favor. It was my time to bunker down, focus on home life and reset. My multitasking skills have come in handy. Juggling two part-time jobs, being a wife, mother, making sure the house stays tidy and food stays on the table. Down time does not exist and when it does, I am usually getting my mid-day 1 ½ hour nap in on a good day. Having the extra time at home with my daughter and husband has been such a blessing. The quality time we are spending together before baby brother gets here is irreplaceable.
By being born in 2020, I know that our son will be strong willed and exceptional. It was important for me to document this historical time so that he can later look back and see how his growth and my growth worked side by side during this COVID-19 pandemic. As a photographer, it was interesting this time around while taking my maternity photos with a two-year old. Posing and staying still is simply not Emerald’s thing as you can see from our family photos. =) The majority of the photos were taking by me on my tripod. It was important to document the last few weeks of my pregnancy with different themes, colors and locations. I also did not feel comfortable hosting a baby shower this time around due to the virus, but instead just did a virtual type of Amazon registry for small items. I thought about a drive-thru type of shower, but it is impossible to keep Emerald still in the front yard for more than a few minutes without her wanting to run into the street. My family wants to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the generous gifts that we have received. We are excited to meet our little bundle of joy in a few weeks.
Enjoy the photos!
35 WEEKS - Halloween