Welcoming a new life in 2020

JOYOUS OCCASION: Ruth Pike-Elliot, right, and her wife, Bren, celebrated the birth of their son, Ollie, in June. Photo courtesy of Pike-Elliot

When we last spoke with Ruth Pike-Elliot in May, she was weeks away from delivering her first child. Quarantining at home, she and her wife, Bren, partook in virtual baby showers and telehealth appointments.

Seven months later, the couple and their infant son, Ollie, continue to follow guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It was sad to break a long-standing tradition of having family out in the waiting room to hold the baby the very next day,” Pike-Elliot says.

Relatives finally had the chance to meet Ollie in person following a two-week quarantine.

Since that time, the Pike-Elliots have entertained relatives and friends on their front porch. Guests eager to hold the baby have been required to wash their hands and wear masks. “It’s a strange feeling to be so vigilant with sanitation,” Pike-Elliot says. “It makes it hard to relax into the support and friendship of guests.”

Still, Pike-Elliot remains optimistic about the new year. “2020 is coming to a welcome close,” she says. “I’m so grateful to be a mother and I am hopeful we can create a new trajectory including being able to share this bundle of joy more freely in 2021.”

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, comes out on March 23, 2021.

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