What it’s like being pregnant during a pandemic
Back in February, before Coronavirus became a household name, I found out I was pregnant. Little did I know I was going to spend this time being pregnant during a pandemic. I wanted to share a little bit about what it has been like being pregnant and some of the feelings that I have had so far.
Let’s Start From the Beginning
Late fall, over Thanksgiving, I had a miscarriage. I was only six weeks, and the sac never formed. However, I was sad nonetheless. We decided that we wanted to try again, and I got pregnant right away in February.
Coming from losing a pregnancy a few months before that, and my previous miscarriage experiences, I was already a bit nervous. However, feeling all the main pregnancy symptoms early, I felt that this time I had a sticky baby.
A few weeks after finding out, the topic of Coronavirus was in the news more and more. Right after my eight week appointment, my state shut down. At first, I tried to think about this in a way that I need rest, and everything will be okay. However, seeing how serious things were getting, I started feeling more restless. I struggled to keep up with my work, even though a lot of my contracts were already being cancelled because of the virus.
Going to appointments…
As I neared my 12 week appointment, I started to fear actually going to my ob/gyn appointment. I had been looking forward to the appointment because we were going to get to see the baby on the ultrasound. Also, I started struggling with my asthma again and had to call my pulmonologist. He put me on a daily inhaler.
Between the threat of the virus and now dealing with asthma, I started having panic attacks more and started having trouble sleeping. As it stands, I suffer from PTSD, Anxiety, and OCD. Also, one of my triggers is illness, which is something I didn’t quite realize until I had a really bad PTSD episode a few years ago when everyone had a stomach bug. Needless to say, most days, I am pretty stressed.
Going to the OB-GYN during a Pandemic
My 12 week appointment was quite a surreal experience. Many of my pregnant friends have said their spouses haven’t been allowed to accompany them. Before my appointment, I called to ask about new procedures. They said my husband could come, but no one else could. We both had to wear masks to be allowed to enter. There was a nurse waiting for us at the door. She did temperature checks and then the regular check in stuff. We had to sanitize our hands in front of her before being allowed to enter. We had to sit apart. There were only a few people allowed in the waiting room. Many people had to wait in their vehicles until space opened. It all seemed so unreal.
I was so happy to see my baby on the ultrasound. However, I was just nervous about everything else…from the actual appointment to even having to pee in a cup as you do at these things. We had a whole system set up at the back door for as soon as we got home. My son sat the laundry basket there for us. We stripped, took showers right away, and disinfected the doors immediately too. Was it overkill? Probably. However, with so many unknowns and me having an immuno-compromised system on top of asthma and pregnancy, we tend to go over the top just in case.
How I feel being pregnant during a pandemic
My emotions are all over the place. Being pregnant during a pandemic robs a mama of joy. I feel tired from being pregnant, and then I feel tired from trying to cope day to day. All the things I planned to do before having the baby are pretty much on hold. The desire to want to work on the house and get things ready for a baby is dulled by the constant exhaustion my husband and I are feeling.
I wasn’t sure I was going to have anymore babies after Crankles, even though I wanted one more so she wouldn’t be alone. Between the miscarriages and then the health issues I faced after that, I thought we were done. When my doctors gave us the green light to try if we wanted, I was elated. However, this virus has overshadowed so much of that joy. I feel like I go between wondering what is going to happen and being fiercely protective of this little one.
As for bonding, I don’t feel like I am doing all the things to create that bond. I spoke of some of the ways I am trying to cope in a post on my sister blog the other week. However, I still feel disconnected at times. There are times I wish this was all a dream. I have bizarre dreams. A lot of times, I just feel like I am in some sort of limbo.
Dealing with the past and present
Because of my history of miscarriages and the threat from the pandemic, I also still fear losing the baby. This, of course, makes bonding even that much harder. I keep rubbing my belly. Also, I take selfies to keep showing myself this is real. Sometimes, I just remind myself that the baby has a strong heartbeat. I just need to keep reassuring myself.
The emotional stress of this makes me feel overwhelmed at times. Since we are stuck at home, I find myself separating myself from the kids and my husband a lot. I feel moody and don’t want to say something I don’t mean. If this was a normal time, I would be seeing a therapist at this point. At the very least, I would have friends to share my feelings. However, I don’t feel comfortable messaging my friends most of the time. I know they are stressed too. Therefore, I don’t want to feel like a burden.
Why I am sharing my story of being pregnant during a pandemic
For the last 10 years of blogging here, I shared personal stories throughout this blog. My reasons for sharing my stories are that I know others can relate to them.
If you are pregnant during this pandemic, I want you to know you aren’t alone. Your feelings are perfectly valid. If you feel robbed of joy, that is perfectly understandable.
If you aren’t pregnant, maybe you know someone who is. Perhaps this might give you some insight how they might be feeling right now.
This is a really strange time…
While we all handle things differently, this point in history makes for a difficult time for us all. I know I should be reaching out more and am going to try. Also, I will keep trying to find ways to help me find normalcy in all of this. Right now, writing is therapeutic. I feel if I can get this all out, it helps…and it might help someone else.
Remember to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to deal with your emotions. Your emotions are valid.
If you found this helpful, please be sure to share. Also, be sure to follow me on social media for more parenting and homeschool stories.