Two Months of Quinn Evelyn

      I am writing this whilst snuggled up on the couch with our darling wee girl sleeping next to me. We have just returned home from Quinn’s 6 weeks immunisations. Which couldn’t have come at a better time.

      It has been a wild few weeks with the Coronavirus outbreak, the uncertainty is scary, and changes are happening on the daily. We are currently at an Alert Level 2 and we are waiting eagerly to hear the government’s announcement on what is to come. Today, Monday 23rd March, Jacinda Arden has just announced we have moved to Alert Level 3 and in 48 hours to Alert Level 4. New Zealand must be in complete lock down for a minimum of 4 weeks. All non-essential businesses must shut their doors, schools must close, and everyone must stay home.  

      I knew it was coming, we watched other countries around the world do the same. Tourist hotspots once filled with thousands of people every day now completely empty. It was only 6 months ago that Matt and I were travelling through France, Italy and Switzerland. It’s crazy to think how quickly it all can change. Jacinda Arden’s speech brought tears to my eyes. Her words were so powerful and honest, and it was exactly what we needed to do to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our country. For that, I am grateful. So, like the Colosseum in Italy, the Eiffel Tower in France and the Mountains in Switzerland, all standing in isolation, we must do the same. Because as Jacinda said so perfectly, “Italy had 102 cases, once.”

      The seriousness of Coronavirus was brought to my attention firsthand this morning at the doctor’s office. We had a lunchtime appointment for Quinn’s jabs, but I received a phone call and a text message from our doctor early that morning to ask if we could come in as soon as possible before patients started filling the waiting room, and while everything was clean and sterile. On arrival, Matt and I witnessed a huge sign outside the door that read “STOP! Due to COVID-19…” and an elderly lady was turned away from staff inside the medical centre. The doors were locked, and no one could enter unless they had an appointment. We had to confirm who we were before they opened the doors for us. Apart from one other mum and baby, the centre was empty, but the phones were ringing nonstop. It kind of felt like we were in some sort of movie as there was visible nervous tension and a very eerie feeling. Matt witnessed a man outside wearing snorkel goggles over his eyes, yellow rubber gloves on his hands and a mask over his mouth. Was this to be our new normal? How long would this last?

      With all gatherings and events now cancelled, the one event we got to attend and maybe our last for a while, was WOMAD. Matt and I love the vibe of WOMAD and if we can, we try to go most years! We are so lucky that this epic festival is right here on our doorstep at Pukekura Park, just a 10-minute walk from our house. We were a little sceptical whether we would go this year with Quinn only being 5 weeks old and the feeling of, not if, but when COVID-19 might hit our province. I believe timing is everything and if WOMAD had been a week later, or perhaps even a few days later, it would have been cancelled. At that point in time, however, it had been given the go ahead and so during the week leading up, we brought tickets! I did question myself “am I a bad Mum for going along?” I also had fears of judgement from others. Mum guilt is a strong feeling and in the back of my mind I was hyper aware about keeping our distance from other revellers as much as possible and to make sure no one touched her. Once we were in the mix of it all and saw the thousands of people, babies and children included, it definitely eased my mind. 7 hours went by super quick in the hot sun, catching up with family and friends, eating delicious food and listening to great sounds! We bought Quinn some cute earmuffs that totally suited the WOMAD fashion and of course to protect her ears. Quinn is a super easy baby and we know we can take her along anywhere! I’m hoping to make WOMAD a family tradition from now on as Quinn loved it as much as we do. The festivities must have worn her out as she slept for a solid 8 hours straight that night, haha!

      As of tomorrow, Matt will work from home. We are very lucky he can still work during this uncertain time, as many New Zealanders have been forced to stop work. With Quinn being so young, it is a blessing that his workdays can be spent with her and watch her grow. It has also been great to have an extra pair of hands to help out when needed and to allow me to have longer showers without having to worry that she’s all by herself! Quinn is a lot more alert and interactive now. She gives us a big smile at the sound of our voice and follows us around the room with her eyes. We love to have random conversations with her, and she will respond with “oohs”, “ahhs” and “squeaks” which are the sweetest sounds to hear.

      Quinn is growing so fast! It’s like catch 22 as we want her to grow up to reveal more of her personality but at the same time my little newborn is becoming not so little anymore. She is now in size 2 nappies and has outgrown most of her newborn clothes. Her thin thighs have beefed up with the most squish-able rolls. Even her wrists have chubby creases too. Her neck control is growing stronger every day and her dainty head reminds me of those little cats that sit in your car and bob away, haha! She’s doing all her growing by enjoying a feed at a speedy pace. We often call her the “guzzler” as she drinks so fast, especially in the mornings after her big sleep.

      Quinn continues to love her sleep! So, no complaints here. It surprises me that no matter how different the day goes her night routine stays the same. Usually after a cluster feeding evening, we put her down to sleep around 9pm – 10pm and she will generally sleep right through to anywhere between 4am -6am. I’ll then feed her, and she’ll fall asleep again until about 8am – 9am. We know this won’t last forever and a few people are quick to point out, “just wait until… “ but right now we are very grateful and will continue to live in the present while getting all the sleep that we can. 

      Quinn lost the top of her hair around 4 weeks old. I thought it may grow back blonde, as that is what happened to me as a baby, but it has stayed brunette, just a little lighter than when she was born. It will be interesting to see how it turns out!

      This month, we entered a new season, my favourite, Autumn. This has been a welcome change after such a hot Summer. I’m not the biggest fan of swimming at the beach in the cold sea water but I think I ended up spending most of December and January, heavily pregnant, at the beach cooling down! With day light savings over, the nights are becoming darker a lot earlier which is perfect to hunker down while in isolation. Especially if this continues for longer than 4 weeks.

      A high this month has been Quinn’s play gym. The toys dangling above her keep her mesmerised and she finds it hilarious when she can kick and punch the toys and they rattle back at her. A low this month has been the effects of Coronavirus. It has impacted most people in some way. My sister, Sophie, had booked flights from Melbourne to come home for a wedding and to meet Quinn. However, of course, the wedding had to be postponed with the country in lockdown and because Sophie had started her new job recently, having to self-isolate both in New Zealand and Australia, it would have never been viable for her. Thank goodness for Facetime as I know the grandparents are missing Quinn too!

      Quinn’s life has doubled since my last blog and with that, she has doubled our love. We cannot wait to see what the next month brings… other than staying safe at home, until all of this is over… I’m sure there will still be lots more “oohs and “ahhs” and exciting times to be had. Two months as a family of 3 and many more months to come.

      We love you Quinn Evelyn, you are just the best!   

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