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The Artist Behind the Music: New Mother Shares Struggle With COVID

FlourishAnyway is a psychologist and music enthusiast who enjoys promoting talented artists and learning about the people behind the music.

Leanne Pearson shares the story of her battle with COVID at 37 weeks pregnant, followed by delivery complications and an emergency c-section. The relentlessly positive musician captures the joy of pregnancy and motherhood in her song, "Little Man."

Leanne Pearson shares the story of her battle with COVID at 37 weeks pregnant, followed by delivery complications and an emergency c-section. The relentlessly positive musician captures the joy of pregnancy and motherhood in her song, "Little Man."

Leanne Pearson Is a Voice of Positive Energy

Baby, oh, baby! Powered by a relentlessly positive attitude and a voice to match, Canadian singer-songwriter Leanne Pearson is a woman of indomitable spirit. When she wrote her country pop song, "Little Man" as a personal love song addressed to her unborn son, Pearson had no idea how much she would need that positive energy on her challenging journey to motherhood. It helped her face down COVID-19 and other serious health issues late in her pregnancy, followed by a difficult delivery.

"Little Man" Reflects Euphoria of Pregnancy and Impending Motherhood

In the months leading up to her son's birth, both Pearson's body and heart expanded to accommodate the new life growing within her. The award-winning musician was inspired to write a country pop single called “Little Man” (2022) when she felt her baby kick while cradling her pregnant belly in the middle of the night. It is an enthusiastic celebration of pregnancy and motherhood wherein the talented singer calls out gleefully to the unborn child she cannot wait to meet. The upbeat tune balances both the suspense and patience of impending parenthood in a manner that all parents and parents-to-be can appreciate.

Capturing the euphoria of impending motherhood, the autobiographical song features an expectant mother who addresses her unborn child. The narrator is high on anticipation as she ponders what her son will look like and who he will ultimately become. She inquires whether he will one day change the larger world just as he has already altered hers. The woman eagerly awaits the beginning of this new chapter in her life, when she will be able to hold him, meet him, and hear his first cries.

What is particularly endearing about "Little Man" is the way the heartfelt song captures the hopeful positivity, the sweet naivete of a first-time parent. Pearson wonders, for example, whether the baby will allow his parents to sleep through the night (sorry, probably not until about 6 months!). In addition, Pearson couldn't know at this point just how challenging the final leg of her pregnancy journey would become, thanks to COVID-19 and a difficult delivery. In the bliss of a full baby bump, none of us ever really knows what surprises might lie ahead.

Although double-vaccinated, Pearson was diagnosed with COVID-19 at 37 weeks pregnant and was in and out of the hospital. She also struggled with shingles and laryngitis. Her social media community proved to be a godsend of support.

Although double-vaccinated, Pearson was diagnosed with COVID-19 at 37 weeks pregnant and was in and out of the hospital. She also struggled with shingles and laryngitis. Her social media community proved to be a godsend of support.

Struggles With COVID-19 and a Difficult Birth

At 37 weeks pregnant, Pearson found herself in and out of the hospital with COVID-19, even though she had been double-vaccinated. Throughout the pandemic she had remained healthy, but when the expectant mother most needed her strength, she had contracted the virus. (COVID-19 has killed millions across the globe and carries special elevated risks for pregnant women, including stillbirth.)

Pearson explained that in her situation, "The most concerning symptoms were severe trouble breathing, coughing, and drops in oxygen levels. The doctors believe my asthma may be to blame for this respiratory reaction to COVID, despite having had my asthma under control for years."

The most concerning symptoms were severe trouble breathing, coughing, and drops in oxygen levels. The doctors believe my asthma may be to blame for this respiratory reaction to COVID, despite having had my asthma under control for years.

— Leanne Pearson (on her bout with COVID-19 at 37 weeks of pregnancy)

Adding to the struggle, shortly after her COVID-19 diagnosis, Pearson was also diagnosed with shingles and laryngitis (particularly not good for a singer). "When it rains, it pours!" she said. These developments left her feeling "scared, confused," as she considered how the cascade of medical issues might impact not only her but also her bun in the oven and his upcoming delivery.

When she couldn't get in touch with her team of doctors over the New Year's holiday, Pearson turned to social media for advice and support. She has more than 23,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. "The outpouring of support was incredible. Labor and delivery nurses, OBs, other pregnant women, so many people reached out."

The singer-songwriter looks forward to the birth of her little man in the hospital, wearing cat socks for good luck.

The singer-songwriter looks forward to the birth of her little man in the hospital, wearing cat socks for good luck.

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When Levi's delivery date arrived at last, Pearson would need the positive attitude and sense of humor that her grandfather had instilled in her. After more than 25 hours of labor and "scary complications with the epidural," her son, Levi, entered the world via emergency cesarean section.

Pearson underwent general anesthesia, and her husband, Jordan, wasn't permitted in the operating room. As a result, the couple didn't get to hear their baby's first cries up close for themselves, as Pearson had alluded to in her song. Thanks to an enterprising nurse, however, that important moment was captured for them on an iPhone.

The proud new mother finally gets to hold her little man unassisted two days after delivery. She and husband Jordan Riley named their son Levi.

The proud new mother finally gets to hold her little man unassisted two days after delivery. She and husband Jordan Riley named their son Levi.

Their little man, Levi, was born healthy and happy. "Right after Levi was born, we fell in love with being parents, and the role of Mom and Dad just came natural to us! Seeing his little face changed our whole world!" Having a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the singer to value the small things in life like laughing and having fun. Moreover, she values her relationship with her husband even more. "At a time when neither Jordan nor I could travel, and we were stuck at home, it made me realize how great of a relationship we have."

The couple first met in 2017 in a Nashville bar when American Jordan Riley bought the Manitoba-born and bred singer a Bud Light. As they say, the rest is history.

Love Refused to Be Outsmarted

Just as COVID-19 made life difficult when it came to giving birth in 2022, the virus had thrown obstacles in the couple's path earlier when they were making plans to marry. Due to travel restrictions, they were forcibly separated for four months prior to tying the knot in 2020. Pearson's 2021 song, "Miles Away" describes how difficult it was to cope with the distance between them.

Love refused to be outsmarted by the virus. "We had to postpone our wedding so many times due to COVID. We decided to elope, but we wanted to make it fun and memorable! We live streamed the wedding for our family and friends, who thought we were just going down to the courthouse." Pearson explained.

Virtual guests were surprised when the couple was married at the Elvis Chapel by none other than the King of Rock 'n Roll himself (well, at least his facsimile). The couple's cat, Winnie, served as The Cat of Honor. Named in honor of Winnipeg where Pearson is from, Winnie was adopted from the Nashville Humane Association. Winnie is a frequent subject of Pearson's social media posts as well as her 2021 song, "Caturday."

"Winnie has gone through a lot of changes lately: a big move from Nashville to Winnipeg, her first hotel stay, her first plane ride, a new place [to live], new people, and now a new baby!" Pearson said. "She has surprised us with how well she has adapted to these changes. So far, she seems to love her new baby brother."

The family now resides happily in Manitoba, Canada.

© 2022 FlourishAnyway

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