Pregnant in the Time of COVID-19

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As I write this, I am almost 16 weeks pregnant with my second baby after two years of trying. I was so excited for all the things that have changed or would be different since my first little guy came in 2016, and now this COVID-19 disaster has blown it all of out of the water.

pregnant

While I support and respect the decisions that are being made and want everyone to do their best to stay safe, I still feel sad to have lost the things I had dreamed about. For example:

  • For my first baby, we lived far away from family. I was so excited to get to share this pregnancy with my family, especially my mom. Now, she’s half a mile away and I’m seeing her less than when I lived in Saint Louis.
  • For my first baby, the genetic screening test that told you the baby’s sex earlier was outrageously expensive. Now, it’s not as new and was affordable. That appointment got canceled as not being necessary since we had no risk factors and weren’t that concerned about genetic testing.
  • For my first baby, my hubby came to all my appointments. This time, that won’t be the case.
  • I love maternity style. I am an apple shape and it’s the only time that I feel like I can pick out clothes I actually like and NOT be offended when someone asks if I am pregnant. Now, I can’t shop and mostly shuffle around the house in sweaters and leggings. 

I know some of these things seem extremely small and insignificant in the face of everything going on here, but also, there’s a ton of uncertainty as pregnant women move forward.

It’s very different from anything any of us expected, especially for those of us expecting! It looks different for those of us in different stages of pregnancy and in different places. So I crowdsourced in one of my “Pregnant During COVID” Facebook groups and asked different women to share their experiences.

I honestly wish I could share every single response with you, but here are a few that capture common feelings, fears, and frustrations from the world right now:

I’m almost 24 weeks and live outside of Venice, Italy. I’ve been under isolation from having gotten sick, appointments canceled, and the reality that at this point, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get my appointments back, as the hospital I’m at is now being flooded with patients from the virus. It’s almost funny that my husband and I tried to plan a baby around deployments to make sure he wouldn’t miss the birth and yet here we are planning the birth with the possibility that he won’t be able to attend and yet will be down the road. In reality, though, I’m happy to have gotten better and still have my life which unfortunately over 5,000 people can’t say the same here.”

Ariana – Italy

“I’m 33 weeks pregnant and scared of what my son will be born into. I live just outside of Dayton. I’m terrified that I will have to deliver alone or that they will take my baby away for weeks if I have any symptoms.”

Christin – Dayton, OH

“I’m 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I live in NorCal. My Midwife appointments have been canceled except for my 36 and 38 weeks appointments. I wouldn’t be too freaked out if my birthing class hadn’t also been canceled. So I feel zero prepared for birth! My mom lives in another state and we have no idea if she will be able to be there for the birth or to help afterward. My baby shower’snow up in the air (likely will be canceled or be done virtually) and my maternity shoot has been canceled. I’m just hoping for a healthy baby and that I can mentally prepare for labor/delivery.”

Amy – California

“I’m 33 weeks in Pittsburgh. I’m 37 years old with my first child and pretty scared, mostly about getting sick or delivering alone. Also, how would I know I was sick right away when a lot of COVID symptoms are similar to regular pregnancy symptoms? Between worry, pregnancy hormones, the canceled baby shower, and extreme isolation from quarantining… I’m having a rough time.”

Tiffany – Pennsylvania

I’m 13 weeks pregnant and 34 years old in Norfolk, VA with my first baby. The biggest change has been not being able to see family, as this is the first child and grandchild on both sides. Also, both of us being out of work due to the mandatory shutdowns in the tattoo industry, knocking loose our savings plan that was going well. We have always planned a home birth so nothing there has been affected.”

Ali – Virginia

“In a time where we want to be prepared, all we can do is take it day by day. As anxiety sets in, and things are out of our control; we are forced to realize that we ARE and WILL be enough for our little one. This reminder is the beauty in the chaos that I am trying to hold onto as we navigate such a scary time.”

Chelsea – Texas

“I’m 20 weeks and live in western Indiana. I’m still working because my job is considered essential and the worse it gets in my area, the more nervous and worried I get. I have an appointment next week pending cancelation. I only leave the house for work and have other people go to the store for me.”

Laura – Indiana

I hope these snippets show you some of what it’s like to be pregnant right now. If you’re pregnant, I’d love to hear your stories, too! Feel free to drop them in the comments. Thinking about each and every Mama and healthcare worker who is navigating bringing new life into this scary world.

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