What a year 2020 was. What. A. Year.
In a year of cancellations, where nothing went to plan, our second little adventurer’s birth was no exception.
The newest member of the Grown Up Gap Year family arrived on the scene two weeks overdue and, after a difficult birth, was immediately rushed into intensive care.
After a scary few days with countless consultations and treatment plans, he was finally diagnosed with neonatal meningitis. Dealing with the stress of having a seriously sick baby is difficult enough at the best of times and the added complications of going through that during a pandemic only added to the fear and uncertainty we felt.
For anyone who would like to read more about the experience, I wrote an article about what it was like having a baby in intensive care during Covid-19. In particular, how hard it was to miss out on those special “firsts” you think you’re going to have as a new parent.
However, the good news is that after two weeks of treatment we were able to bring him home. Although he will continue to be under a consultant’s care until he goes to school at least, he has amazed us with the progress he has made. He is the smiliest, happiest, cheekiest little boy we could ever have hoped for and he has completed our family.
Our little adventurer absolutely loves being a big sister and spends hours entertaining him. I just know they are going to have so much fun together.
A change of pace
Looking back over the last few months, it’s been strange how much of our time we’ve spent at home. By the time my first little adventurer was five months old she was a pro at long car journeys, as we drove across the country visiting friends and relatives; we’d already taken our first holiday abroad with her to Bulgaria and she’d even flown business class!
So it feels odd to have spent so much of the new baby’s life in one place.
We felt really lucky to be able to squeeze in one quick trip to Wales between lockdowns, which allowed us to have some really important time with our wider family and gave us the opportunity to take him on his first ever (extremely windy!) trip to the beach.
But other than that we, like most of you reading this, have been trying to fill our days with trips to the parks, afternoons in the garden and baby rhyme times over Zoom.
Sometimes I worry about raising a baby in these times. I’m concerned that he won’t get enough stimulation or see enough people. But one of the benefits of this change of pace is that it has allowed us to slow down and appreciate all of the quality time we can spend together. I’m also so thankful for technology and I only have to see the massive grins he gives his grandparents over Facetime to know that he knows exactly who they are.
So, who knows what the future will bring right now?
Although not much has changed in terms of the Covid-19 situation (hello, Tier 4), we’ve started to look ahead and tentatively begin to put plans into place for future travels. While we currently have no idea when they might be able to happen, it feels so good to even be able to start talking about it.
Whatever happens next, we know we’ll get through it as a family. Because what was the absolute worst year of our lives, was also the best. And we can’t wait to share the journey with our two little adventurers by our sides.