BABY Billie Roma Vallance will finally get to meet her grandparents this weekend.
Lockdown restrictions mean this important family event will be outdoors, so Billie's little cousins get a chance to meet her too.
It has been a surreal time for new parents Ellie and Matt Vallance, who enjoyed the time to bond with their little one largely uninterrupted. Now Billie, just shy of three weeks old, is starting to change and grow and Dr Vallance wanted her parents to be part of that. They will travel from their home in Warracknabeal on Saturday.
"We've had a lot of nice people dropping food and stuff around at the front door. Matt's brother and sister-in-law live in Ballarat and their two children have briefly seen her through the window," Dr Vallance said.
"My parents are coming down. I can't wait. My parents will get their first cuddle with her. My brother's really excited and just seeing his little kids see her for the first time is going to be special."
My parents will get their first cuddle with her. My brother's really excited and just seeing his little kids see her for the first time is going to be special.Ellie Vallance
It has been a long wait of almost two months for most grandparents in regional Victoria to spend time in person with their grandchildren.
The state government's step three to easing restrictions for regional Victoria came into effect on Thursday and will allow for household bubbles. This means families can nominate one other household for up to five people to visit, have over or holiday with.
For grandparents, this means only one set of grandchildren visiting or sleeping over for now - no cousins and no swapping bubbles throughout step three.
Up to 10 people can gather in outdoor spaces and babies under 12 months old, like Billie, do not count.
Dr Vallance said her medical background meant she has seen a lot of pregnancies and largely knew what to expect. What she missed were the celebrations with family and friends along the journey.
Her pregnancy was relatively normal and she had a great obstetrician. Not posting a lot on social media meant a lot of friends did not know she was pregnant.
Dr Vallance has not seen her husband's sister and brother-in-law, who live in Sydney, since she fell pregnant.
Like most families amid the pandemic, FaceTime has been important to the Vallances - but they know it does not compare to spending time in person.
It just makes time when you catch up with family even more important.Ellie Vallance
"I felt I had a quiet pregnancy. A lot of people didn't know, there was no baby shower...it was strange," Dr Vallance said.
"The pandemic's been highlighting lots of challenges and it's easy to get down. We keep trying to find the positives. It just makes time when you catch up with family even more important."
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.