My 2020 story – Kate Lehman

In January of 2020, we put a deposit on a puppy.  We found out a week later that we were expecting a baby.  We brought home our puppy on January 30, just as my morning sickness was ramping up.

In February, we cancelled our plans to go visit family during our daughter’s school break because I was feel so sick because of my pregnancy.  We had no idea we wouldn’t see most of our family for at least a year because of our cancelled trip.

In March, just as I was starting to feel less sick, our daughter turned 6.  Her
birthday was on March 13, which was the Friday they closed school.  Her teacher told her they would sing happy birthday to her on Monday when they went back to school.  That turned into two weeks and then eventually turned into not going back to the school building until September.  She still says the virus started on her birthday.  My
husband stopped traveling for work and started working from home, which was a huge, wonderful change from him traveling the world and being gone so often.  We had no idea he would work from home the rest of the year and well into 2021.

In April, we celebrated Easter by watching mass on our tv.  We FaceTimed with family and had our first Girl Scout meeting online.

In May, I went to my ultrasound by myself as nobody but the patient was allowed in the hospital/medical building.  I found out we were going to have a baby boy by myself.  I came home and had a gender reveal in my kitchen with my husband and daughter, then sent a picture to family.

June, July and August were spent by our pool in the backyard.  Instead of constant friends over to swim with us, we had one family at a time and only had somebody over every couple weeks instead of almost every day like other years.  We had individual snacks and hand sanitizer ready for each get together.  My brother and his family came to visit for a few days from another state and got here one day before the travel restrictions went into place that told visitors from other states to quarantine or get a negative covid test before they visited Massachusetts.  Our daughter had an occasional outdoor play date or FaceTime play date with friends from school to try to stay in touch.  I hosted friends around the firepit to help stay in touch with my friends.  We were also creative in the way we got the new baby’s room ready as I couldn’t help much with furniture rearranging or painting and we didn’t want anybody to come in our house to help us.  We also cancelled our family trip to the beach in NC as the virus was too much of a risk to travel.

September brought the birth of our new baby, which came with its own challenges.  My parents had to quarantine before coming from another state to help.  They couldn’t come to the hospital to visit.  My husband could be with me, but could only leave the hospital once a day.  We had to wear a mask every time somebody came into the room to check on us.  Friends were worried to come meet the baby or bring us food or presents.  Many friends met our son from a distance in the driveway, where they dropped off a meal or a present for us to pick up after they left.  Family was all too far away to come meet him.  If we didn’t have our son, we wouldn’t have seen my parents all year.  September also brought the toughest choice of the year, but we chose to send our daughter to first grade using the hybrid model of in person learning every other week in the morning and learning from home every afternoon and the alternative week in the morning.

In October my sister and her family came from another state, after getting a negative test, as I was experiencing complications from my delivery and needed extra help with a newborn and a first grader doing 75% virtual learning.  We were so happy to have family here for two weeks.

In November we rented a beach house in Maine for a long weekend away by ourselves.  We enjoyed the empty beach and change of scenery.  The week after we got back, Maine put travel restrictions in place for residents of Massachusetts.  We went away just in time!  We tried to have Thanksgiving with my cousin who lives nearby, but we were unsuccessful getting a covid test.  Appointments were all booked and free testing sites had such long lines people waited hours and they wouldn’t let anybody else in line.  Instead, my cousin made some of the meal and I made some of the meal and we traded meals in the garage.

In December we shipped Christmas boxes to our family around the country.  We packed presents, cookies, chex mix and paper strips to make Christmas ornaments.  We FaceTimed each family and watched them open the box.  The day after Christmas we had a video call and made Christmas ornaments all together.

2020 was not the year we expected it to be and our son will grow up to hear an unbelievable story about the year he was born!

Kate Lehman