Dear Keegan,

You were born in the midst of a worldwide emergency. You were born on the day the first death occurred in the United States from COVID-19.

The postpartum period was a time I needed the support of friends and family.

The time I knew was going to be hardest for me after what I went through postpartum last time.

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The first week, I didn’t know how I was going to do the daily with four kids. The second week, I thought I was finally getting in the swing of things. At 2-weeks-old, our president declared a national emergency. Schools were closed and people were asked to stay home. Shortly after, our governor declared a “shelter in place,” we were officially stuck at home, and our family and friends were stuck at home as well.

The fourth trimester can be stressful, frustrating, and exhausting. All the hormonal changes, the stress, and the sleep deprivation. Think about the fourth trimester with four kids ages five and under. I’ve been trying to find my new normal in a time of uncertainty for myself, my kids, your daddy’s business, the jobs of my friends and family, the health of my fellow nurses . . . and what about our country? I’ve been trying to find balance in my new role as a mother of four, but each day is unknown, and I wait for news from the president or governor on what this all means for us.

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In our previous world, I would be able to find my new normal and figure out my balance with the support of friends, family, and neighbors. Someone to hold my baby while I clean, do laundry, or nap. Someone to sit with me as our kids run around and play.

At this moment, I am going through so many physical and emotional changes, and I am doing this without my tribe by my side.

My tribe has become virtual. Humans crave social interaction, and right now, I’m craving it. A text, phone call, FaceTimeit’s just not the same.

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Right now, I’m trying to survive. I’m trying to make it through every day without completely losing it. Some days I cry more than others, but every day tears are shed because right now times are hard, homeschooling is hard, managing four kids is hard, living in this uncertain world is hard, being without my tribe is hard, worrying about uncertain finances is hard.

Battling postpartum depression and anxiety virtually is hard and unfair.

But sweet boy, looking at you at the end of the day and knowing all we’ve accomplished makes this all OK. We will survive this, my love. Every little thing is gonna be alright.

I’ll love you forever,

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

Rachel Young

Living the dream: wife, mother of four, avid runner, extreme wine lover and Labor and Delivery nurse.  From Sacramento, California.