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Pregnant During a Pandemic: Everything Changes
Going through a global pandemic in the world is one thing, but I can confidently say being pregnant during a pandemic is a whole other experience. Since I got pregnant, people asked me: “what’s your birth plan?”. And my answer was sorta simple: take the classes at the hospital, trust my doctors, go to the hospital, have a baby, come home.
I wasn’t really overthinking it. Brett and I also weren’t that concerned considering we have a great hospital close by that our friends and family have delivered at for years. Well, who knew that “simple” plan of mine would be totally rocked. And here we are, having to rethink everything. And here I am, pregnant during a pandemic.
Being pregnant (37 weeks, due 4/27/20) during COVID-19 has been something we never could have planned for. Initially, everything changed at work. Go home, filming postponed, projects are closed, you can’t leave your house. WAIT, WHAT?!
Then it was social contact that changed. No grocery stores, no Target runs, no hardware store trips (this might seem trivial, but I go to the local Home Depot very regularly). Stay home and “shelter in place”…WAIT, WHAT?!
Then it got real – no guests at the hospital, no grandmas and grandpas to help you, no doula, no photographer, no flowers to be sent or balloons in your room, and HOPEFULLY your husband will be able to be there… WAIT, WHAT?! I mean, I already have my hospital bag packed!
But honestly, none of it really made me miss a beat. Well OF COURSE the grandparents not being there in the first couple of hours breaks my heart. And losing my photographer was sad because I really LOVE photos… but you know. None of it got to me until the part where they said Brett might not be there at the hospital with me.
Then It Hit Me
I wouldn’t say I “lost it,” but it really hit home and made this all seem very real. For me, that’s the one part of my birth plan I don’t just want, I NEED. And being pregnant during a pandemic I would need him even more! Would we pivot and have the baby at home so Brett could be there? I don’t think so. For us, the medical risk is too high for mama and baby. (There’s a good chance I’ll need a c-section, so home delivery really isn’t an option.)
Would we drive to another county or state so Brett could be there? Again, I don’t think so. Delivering in a random hospital sounds scary to both of us. So we realized pretty quickly that this challenge was just one more we would have to roll with.
And honestly, we’re fine! Of course it’s not ideal, but if it happens, it happens. This is such an important time in our lives to keep perspective. We all know (although sometimes we forget) that unfortunately there’s always someone who has it much worse than we do. And those are the people we should be focused on helping.
Babies are born every second in much worse conditions and scenarios than what we’re facing, and that reaches back way before the COVID-19 crisis. My heart goes out to every woman who’s had to deliver without a significant other or partner or support system there, but also it’s important not to forget this happens every single day all over the world. Military spouses deliver without partners all the time. Single moms, couples with other kids at home, folks that can’t leave work… the list goes on and each story helps put our current situation into very clear focus. If these strong women and families can do it, so can we.
So I Just Wanna Say
THANK YOU to all the courageous women who have entered into childbirth and then parenthood in less than ideal conditions. You’ve shown us that not only can it be done, but done with grace and humility. I hope to have this baby in the most comfortable, easy, pain-free way possible – but if none of that happens, know it’s going to be OK.
Never in a million years would I have expected our plans to change this much. But I also never would have expected to be reading a post about a mother delivering a baby during COVID-19 in Thailand, and felt so close to her. I know every woman who’s pregnant during this time is asking the same questions right now.
So to all the pregnant ladies out there – no matter what continent you’re on or what your original birth plan was, I hope you can find peace knowing you’re not alone. It’s OK to be nervous. It’s OK to be scared. But it’s also OK to be confident and resilient.
Let’s look to those that have gone before us, calm our minds, and be as strong as possible for our growing families. We’re all in this together – we’ve got this.