WATCH: I’m A New Mom. This Was My First Decision Before Giving Birth During A Pandemic.

Image Courtesy of Ana Teresa Toro and Modesto Lacén

By Ana Teresa Toro, Modesto Lacén

May 12, 2020

Puerto Rican writer Ana Teresa Toro and husband, actor Modesto Lacén, welcomed their son, Nicanor, during the pandemic. Now they know he will show them the new normal.

Now that we have celebrated our first Mother’s Day on quarantine, we have been reflecting a lot on the experience of having brought to light, of having brought Nicanor in such unexpected circumstances, unimaginable…

One can always prepare in all the possible ways of giving birth, they always tell you ‘things will work out as they do.’ But it was impossible to imagine that we were going to have this experience in the midst of a global crisis, in the midst of a situation that scares a lot, above all affecting the realm of health.

RELATED: I’m a Cuban-American Mom-To-Be. This Is How I’m Preparing For A New Baby During The Pandemic.

We went to give birth in the hospital that tended to the first registered case of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico, which in itself gave us a lot of fear. All our plans on how we were going to proceed with giving birth had to change.

WATCH: Ana Teresa Toro y Modesto Lacén share the arrival of their first-born in times of Coronavirus

We had been working on this for some time, almost nine months, with an extraordinary doula. Neither her nor our close relatives could be there. That in itself emotionally affected us, because suddenly the experience of happiness, of a miracle so great, which we wanted to share with the family, could not be shared.

I remember days before the birth talking with our doctor, who is pregnant. She was living through the experience, and I asked her, ‘Doctor, where is my baby safer? Inside or out?’

We were about to give birth, the set date for the birth was March 25, and she said, ‘Out, because you can take the baby home and protect him. On the moment when the birth happens, even if it happened way later [than expected], we’re not even going to know if Modesto will be able to be there at all.”

There were many difficult decisions to make, but we made them for the well-being of Nicanor, for the well-being of our families. I think that my first decision as a mother was to recognize it’s all about him being well and arriving well into the world. Lastly, I wanted to invite you to reflect on these children who are arriving at this time. They are going to show us the way and enlighten the way for us to navigate the new normal that will come to be after this. The world is going to be strange for us, but not for them, and we’ve got to have the humility to learn from them. So, well, that is my reflection for Mother’s Day.

RELATED:  I’m A Doula. Here’s What’s Happening to Mothers Giving Birth During This Crisis

And I don’t want to conclude without recognizing and giving thanks to my mom, Milagros Ortiz. Mom came here and passed the post-birth quarantine with me, with Modesto. She has taught me how to be a mom, how to bathe the baby, even how to calm him down. She did everything first-time mothers need, which is the care and love of someone else. She helped me get up from the bed, she helped me when lactating hurt a lot (which we are working out, thank God). All the same, this is a different journey for everyone, and I think that lactating or not lactating is a decision we should explore freely…but in my case I can count on my mom’s help. I celebrate the experience of being a mom, and I celebrate the experience of having my mom as my mother.



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