It’s been one year since the beginning of the pandemic. It seems like a lifetime ago and also like it was just yesterday. No matter what the past year has put us through, we thought it would be important for us to reflect back on the lessons we learned through the trials we faced. Regardless we find peace and gratitude that we, and those that we love, remain safe and healthy.
Here is a look back at Ange’s year in “lockdown”:
February-May 2020: I found out right before the lockdown began that I was pregnant. I spent the next few months working through the nausea and fatigue. I was grateful that I had the weekends forced to be at home resting. Alice didn’t mind the extra snuggles one bit either! It also made keeping the secret a lot easier until we felt ready to share our news. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to bring my husband to all of my appointments and ultrasounds because I know that wasn’t everyone’s experience. To say the least, it was definitely an interesting time to go through pregnancy, especially with it being my first. I remember being very worried that I was at a higher risk for contracting the virus because of a weakened immune system. Besides a spell of debilitating headaches that had me miss a few days of work one week, I remained healthy.
June-September 2020: Second trimester came around and I started to feel a bit more like myself. I still worked full time as a pharmacist during the week and I was able to be more active on the weekends by taking walks and being outside. When virus cases started to go down, Patrick and I took a week off of work together in July and had a staycation before the baby came. We laid by the pool during the day, ate outside at some of our favorite local restaurants in the evenings, and spent a day putting together furniture and preparing the nursery. It was honestly a great way to spend a vacation and I’d absolutely do it again! I am grateful that I was able to have a safe and socially distant baby shower in August that was so beautiful and thoughtfully planned too.
October 2020- October gets its own section because it was a doozy for me! Virus cases started to increase again and I began to become anxious about what my labor and delivery would look like and if I would feel safe being in the hospital. I was also at the pinnacle of daily discomfort at that point, but still going to work, on my feet, full time. We were all convinced that I’d go into labor early but I made it the entire month of October, large and in charge.
Something I have not shared publicly until now- A few days before I went into labor I received devastating news of the decision that my pharmacy would be closing. The dream team I had worked alongside the last 3 years and the dream careers we worked so tirelessly to achieve would be no more. We were always invested in the care of our patients and community and felt we were extremely successful and making progress in the innovation of future endeavors. For our department to be dismantled was heartbreaking- the purest intentions to create quality programs and uniqueness in the services we provided felt invalidated.
I worried for my patients that would no longer have access to the medications, conveniences and specialized services we diligently provided to them. I worried for my colleagues who became like family, that faced an unclear future in their professional and personal lives. And of course I worried and grieved all of the lost opportunities for myself to make an impact as a pharmacist there.
I don’t regret one moment of the time I worked there. I would make that decision again in a heartbeat knowing the outcome. And when someone obtains a doctorate in a field, specifically one that is essential during a time like a pandemic, they don’t ever expect to lose their job. With encouragement and support, I knew somehow that I would be OK and I looked at that uncertainty as an unexpected blessing to spend extended time with my new family. It doesn’t make it easier when a decision is made for you instead of by you. I chose to embrace my new role and passion- a mother. It could be my biggest and most important accomplishment yet. I am infinitely blessed. It is a gift to be able to stay at home to raise my child and that is not at all lost on me. I am thankful everyday. And I was recently given an opportunity to help out my community by running clinics and administering COVID vaccines on a temporary part-time basis. The perfect scenario to be able still prioritize my family.
Lots of people have said the cliche things like “everything happens for a reason” and “appreciate the blessing in disguise”. And as tough of a pill as that was to swallow (pharmacy pun intended), it’s been proven to me over and over again in my life. It took my husband and I a year to conceive our beautiful baby boy. Those were tough times but now I realize the timing of our son was perfect. I was meant to be pregnant during the pandemic, Charlie was our light in the darkness. And I was meant to learn of the news of my job loss only a few days before his LATE arrival so that I had time to grieve that loss, say a proper goodbye to my coworkers, and to have closure of that chapter of my life. God’s timing is always perfect.
“In that sweet surrender of your life to your child, you’ll gain the greater understanding of grace and love.”
November 2020 – February 2021: Charlie arrived and brought so much joy to our lives. My heart is bursting with love. We celebrated his first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day. Holidays with a little one are so very special. I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much in the first few months of motherhood and I look forward to the future. I am continuing to focus on and prioritize my personal relationships with family and friends. That is truly what matters to me. And because I’ve been working vaccine clinic days, I am extremely optimistic that we are on the right path to putting this pandemic behind us. My hope is that you all stay well and carry on! We can do this together!
And if you got to the end of this albeit unusual post- Thanks for letting me pour my heart out. I typically don’t share vulnerable personal struggles, especially on this platform, because I don’t need public condolence or affirmation and I don’t owe the internet any explanation (no one does!) but I decided that perhaps putting it all out there into the universe could encourage someone else to try to embrace a change they may or may not have anticipated. Much love 💙 Allie will be sharing her reflections next week!
I was waiting for so long
For a miracle to come
Everyone told me to be strong
Hold on and don’t shed a tear
Through darkness and good times
I knew I’d make it through
And the world thought I had it all
But I was waiting for you
I see a light in the sky
It’s almost blinding me
I can’t believe I’ve been touched by an angel
Let the rain come down
And wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul
And drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls
For a new sun
A new day has come
Where it was dark now there’s is light
Where there was pain, now there’s joy
Where there was weakness, I found my strength
All in the eyes of a boy