Tell us about your family:
My husband Garret and I moved from Brooklyn two years ago with our daughter Keira (5) and son Maclan (3). Garret works in finance and I was working in marketing and film but I am now enjoying being home with the kids for a bit. I grew up in Maryland and he grew up in Bronxville, so we were considering moving a lot of places before we explored Rye and fell in love with the area. I can’t believe we’ve only been here two years because we already feel like such a part of the community here and have made what I know will be lifelong friends through our nursery school and neighborhood.
We welcomed twins Gemma and Rhys this August and are absolutely overjoyed to now be a family of six! (We’re also a little tired.)
What was it like having a baby in 2020? Any particular challenges? Joys?
We were instantly struck by the reality of how severe this disease can be when immediate family members became very sick with Covid in the early days of March. I felt so guilty not being able to take care of them and see them in person. I became obsessive with tracking the statistics, particularly because where we were delivering in the city treated a lot of Covid patients. I was terrified of either of us getting sick during the delivery and not being able to care for our kids, but at the same time I couldn't imagine having twins and recovering with two newborns without my husband by my side.
Protocols at the hospital were changing by the minute-- partners can’t be there, partners can be there for the delivery only, partners can stay after but not overnight, partners can stay only if you happen to get assigned a private room... everything was out of our control. The nursery in the hospital was closed so I was constantly running scenarios in my head. How will I take care of two babies in the hospital with no husband and no nursery? What will I do? The practice that delivered my first two children happened to specialize in high risk and multiples so I was very comfortable with them, but for several months I contemplated switching to a practice out here. I thought maybe I should just have a c-section at a smaller hospital that would be closer to home and we might theoretically have a lower risk of catching Covid. The uncertainty of how and where I was going to deliver was a dominant stressor for a large part of my pregnancy and physically drained me. In the end, I did most of my prenatal care out here but delivered with our practice in the city during what was a relatively quieter time during the pandemic and my husband was able to be there for the whole thing. It was crazy having to drive in to get tested for Covid the day before, but after testing negative I was able to deliver without a mask.
It breaks my heart that most members of our family haven't gotten to squeeze these babies yet, but other than that, most things have actually been easier for us. I cringe saying that, recognizing how privileged we are. I think about the immense struggles so many are going through across the world right now and feel beyond lucky that we have the luxury to stay at home and weather this storm hunkered down with our newest little guys.
The big kids have bonded with each other and the babies so much more than I think they would have if we were running in the many different directions of everyday life. This is the first time I haven’t been rushing back to work and also the last babies I’ll have, so as much as my heart aches daily for the pain of the world, I'm also acutely aware of how precious this time is and my heart is full of gratitude for the extra family bonding. My mom moved in with us after retiring this summer and has been the linchpin holding us together. The three of us have become quite the parenting team and it has been so special for the kids (and me) to have this time with her.
We have now celebrated several birthdays and holidays by ourselves at home as a family, and every time my daughter has proclaimed, “this is the best day EVER!" This constantly reminds me the importance of the simplest joys. Once this is over, I know she is going to go play with her friends and never look back, so in that sense I am soaking up every minute of this surreal pandemic life.
What has 2020 taught you?
Almost everything I stressed about last year was not important.
Teachers and school staff are my heroes.
Racism in this country is way more rampant than I fathomed and being quiet about it means I’ve been part of the problem.
I learned that the rate of maternal mortality in the US has increased in recent years and that the rate for African American moms is more than double that of white moms. How is this possible and how did I not know this?? This weighed heavily on my heart throughout my pregnancy and I’m researching ways I can become a part of the solution and support causes that are.
(On a lighter note...)
Twins run on both sides of my family AND you’re more likely to have twins when you’re older.
I can be tougher about cold weather.
I love taking the kids to the grocery store (we haven't been since March, who knew I would miss it so much!)
I appreciate all levels of connections in my daily life and will never take them for granted.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I want to give a shout out to my CCNS mom crew and our street squad that have all been there for us throughout this crazy pandemic pregnancy and as we welcomed the new babies. They threw us socially distanced “sprinkle” showers, baked, cooked and delivered all sorts of goodies for us, always thought of ways to make the big kids feel special, helped us stay cool when we lost power during the final (very hot) days of my pregnancy, and most importantly, helped me shift my anxiety to focus on how incredibly special this time is with the babies and how immensely lucky we are.
I am thankful for my new remote learning mom friends, for the zoom playdates after class ends, and for the texts letting me know I need to run back from the other room to help my daughter log into a breakout session or find the right page. I am very thankful for the blur background option on Google Classroom.
I hope I can meet some fellow twin moms out there when we return real world activities! I’ll be taking any and all advice.