My heart hurts today. 

It’s officially been three weeks since my husband, who is a nurse in the ICU, has touched or held our baby boy.

That’s 20% of our son’s life.

For 20% of his life, his grandparents have had to look at his sweet face over video chat. For 20% of his life, his father has not been able to rock his baby to sleep, feed him a bottle, snuggle his warm little body, give him a kiss to celebrate rolling over for the first time, or try to make him laugh by blowing raspberries on his tummy. 

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It’s also been 20% of my son’s life that I have been his sole caretaker . . . changing every diaper, doing every middle of the night wake up, feeding every bottle and soothing every cry.

I’m exhausted in every way.

Of course, I’m physically and mentally tired, but oh so emotionally drained. I haven’t hugged or kissed my husband in three weeks. How I long to listen to him breathe while he sleeps next to me or sit close to him on the couch as we watch TV. 

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I wish I could chat with every person who thinks the regulations set in place are overkill or the people who think they are safe from this awful virus. No one is safe.

And every time you go out, every time you spend time with family or friends, and every time you ignore the precautions, it’s one more day or week or month that my brand new little family has to live like this. 

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If only you could hear my husband’s anguish as he goes upstairs to his own room to sleep after a long day as a nurse in the ICU, not able to fully explain to anyone the horrors of what he is seeing. If only you could feel the exhaustion that comes from continuing to work full-time from home while taking care of a 3-month-old. If only you could know the feeling of not being able to hold your first grandchild for a month. 

Stay at home.

For my baby and my husband. For all of my husband’s patients who are so sick, scared, and alone. Stay at home for us all. Please, I’m begging you. 

Tenley Adams

Tenley Adams is a brand new mama to Will (age three months) and wife to Matthew, an intensive care unit Nurse. She is a full-time school speech-language pathologist in rural Indiana. She loves her dachshund named Minnie, naps, chocolate, binge-watching Netflix and Hulu, and most of all her family.