Having a Baby During a Pandemic & Redecorating the Living Room
Trying to share our son during the COVID19 Pandemic was one of the first challenges proposed to us as new parents. Our son was born on April 10th during the height of quarantine and the ‘Stay Home’ orders. We had to mentally prepare ourselves for the emotional impact it would have on us knowing we couldn’t have visitors in the hospital or at home upon our dismissal from the hospital. We planned to share our little one through the front bay window of our rambler house, a perfect solution to work around social distancing.
One of my close friends set up a Meal Train for us (thank goodness for meal trains or I don’t know what we would have eaten). And from that Meal Train our friends and family signed up to bring us meals and also to meet the little one through the window. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, we have visitors who come to our bay window and we would grab the baby whatever he was doing: sleeping, playing, pooping and we would go climb on top of our couch and hold him up like Simba in the Lion King.
Tip: Have a friend organize a Meal Train for your first couple of weeks at home with your newborn. Cooking was the last thing I wanted to do or had time to do.
Our couch sat under the window and was an OLD couch. We had bought the couch set off of my Aunt and Uncle when we first got married in 2013, but the couch had already lived a long twelve-year life prior. It was already newly broken from my husband flinging his body onto it night after night at the end of a long workday and we were about to do a number on it in the coming weeks after bringing our son home.
Every time a window visitor showed up, we would go stand on the couch and usually end up sitting on the back of it. Each time we did this, we could feel the couch breaking down further and further. The wood supports that make up the couch base were completely split and crushing into our floor.
Normally, we treat our things with respect, but this couch was so old, stinky, the cushions were flat, the base was broken, the cat had used it as a scratching post, the dog had used it for a pee pad, and it needed to go to the dump.
Once we had cycled through our closest friends and families getting in their window visits, it was time to move on from the beloved couch (After all, how can you not feel a sentimental connection to something that sacrificed the rest of its’ life so that we could share our son with the world?). As Marie Kondo taught me to do, we said thank you to the couch for all it had given us, and then my husband and our friend dropped it off at the dump.
So what did that mean for me? I needed to find a new couch, that was: 1. In stock 2. Deliverable during the COVID19 pandemic 3. Affordable 4. Cute & Comfy
Luckily, we live in a time where everything we say and search is tracked by our phones (ok, in reality, I hate this 99% of the time) and an ad for a local furniture store popped up in my Facebook feed. The store was hitting all my checkpoints listed above. So, during the middle of the night feeding with our son, I picked my couch and ordered it the next morning. It was to be delivered in two days.
The couch started a ‘Give a Mouse a Cookie ’ scenario. Since we got a new couch, we needed a new coffee table, (which turned into an ottoman and a tray). Because we were moving towards the gray and blue color pallet, we needed to ditch the old red rug (ok, it was disgusting anyways) and get a fresh one. Because our rug and couch were so new and shiny, our TV console looked especially old and like something you would find in a college apartment, so that had to be replaced too. Oh, and that gallery wall filled with old pictures needed to be modernized and cleaned up as well. And all those nail holes from the gallery wall needed to be filled and painted, but we ran out of that paint, so we might as well buy enough paint to do the kitchen…and the kitchens opened a whole new can of worms.
I treaded through the trenches of Amazon (the only decently quick shipping during the COVID19 pandemic). I picked out a wooden tray to sit on the ottoman, ordered some amazing floating wood shelves, chose a blanket ladder to lean on one wall, and even ordered the entertainment center from Amazon.
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The finishing touch would be a large mirror to replace the gallery of frames that previously hung on the back wall.
I purchased this from Lowes (one of the only stores open during the pandemic.) I had seen this mirror online and my local Lowes had one left in stock. By the time I could feed the baby and get him down for a nap to leave with my husband, pack my wearable breast pump (ten out of ten recommend for any mama who is pumping a ton or exclusively pumping) and drive the 25 minutes to town, the mirror had sold! However, I found one I loved more. The problem was that it was the last one left and it was the display. It also happened to be layered under 2 other larger mirrors and on the highest display rack. It took four Lowes employees to approve the purchase of the display item, find a ladder to be able to reach it, find something strong enough to cut the industrial zip ties that were keeping it in place, and get me out of there (Thank you Lowe’s employees for working so hard). And all these shenanigans took over an hour and I am standing there in my wearable pump that gives me Madonna boobs. At long last, the mirror was eventually freed for me to purchase and take home.
This story started out about us sharing our son through a window because of the pandemic and quickly spiraled. But, when I walk into my fresh living room, I don’t think of the barriers that COVID19 has caused in allowing us to share the joy of a new babe. It makes me so happy knowing that we have an inviting and clean space for our son to grow up in. He has a big sectional couch for family snuggles. He has a large mirror to look at himself in and laugh. And he has his big window to look out at the world through. Only now, he can go on the other side!
Trying to share our son using social distancing was better than not sharing him at all during a pandemic and stay at home order, but we do prefer the real snuggles!