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Becoming a mother in times of pandemic

8 May 2020 by Emilie Lefebvre-Morasse, Vice-President of Strøm and President of the Strøm Foundation

The most beautiful spring – Emilie has been part of the Strøm team for almost 10 years. She is now the mother of a wonderful 11-week-old boy and her transition to motherhood has been a very special time. On Mother’s Day, she tells us about love and mourning. The wonderful in sorrow. The most beautiful spring of her life.

Throughout my pregnancy, people told me: “You’re going to give birth later than expected, it’s your first one”. I had even organized my plans around the fact that Charles William, my little boy, would be arriving later than March 2, my estimated due date. I had mentally chosen the full moon of March 9. I was visualizing. I kept working. I didn’t feel the need to pack my hospital bag. Of course, I quickly learned that you have absolutely no control over that! My son was born earlier than expected. I came home late one night after work and my water broke during the night. He had chosen the new moon at the end of February instead…

He couldn’t wait to get out. Maybe he felt something big was coming and it was better to be home. The first two weeks of his life were normal and sweet. Charles William met his half-brothers and his half-sister, who were eager to see him and who approached him with fascination. He was rocked by his grandparents who were completely dotty about him, and moved as only those who have seen and lived a lot can be. Then, without really understanding the seriousness of it, we began to hear about the virus. Events unfolded quickly. Schools, spas and other facilities were closed… My maternity leave was going to be different than I had imagined.

The small and not-so-small griefs have followed one another. I had to let go of the idea of going for brunch with other moms, to cancel the appointments at the osteopath for the baby’s well-being, and to postpone the moments spent with grandma and grandpa. Our families see Charles William growing up, awakening to the world at an extraordinary pace, through screens. When I stop and think about the situation, my heart tightens. That’s how I realize that this grief is somehow wonderful. There is beauty in sadness, as it reflects the love and gratitude one bears for what one has lost. We miss human contact. It makes us realize how deep and rich our ties are.

Becoming a parent means getting back to basics. It means realizing that all that matters is the well-being of those you love. It’s about being protective. Our animal instincts are increased tenfold. This confinement in our family unit allows us to create a cocoon to welcome the new member of our clan. An aura of oxytocin emanates, and we become one.

Becoming a mother also means better understanding the cycles of life… Children are living proof that life is continually reinventing itself. They are the hope of tomorrow.

I will remember the spring of 2020 as the most beautiful period of my life, when I became a mother in the most unlikely of circumstances…

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