Pregnancy During the Pandemic

There were so many thoughts and feelings to process, but I found that talking to others helped as well as accepting the fact that it happened, and I got through it.

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I became pregnant shortly before the pandemic began. What was supposed to be a time of joy ultimately became a time of panic. Anxiety completely took over my mind and body and fear of the unknown also began to settle in comfortably. Naturally, I wanted to be around my family and friends, but that was taken away from me and I was introduced to an unknown concept at the time known as social distancing. So, with nothing but time on my hands, I began to get creative and make video calls and phone calls, but none of that could compare to the warm embraces from my mom that I desperately craved. A hug from my mom makes me feel like everything is okay, even in the ongoing chaos.

During this time of uncertainty, I found a way to channel all my fears and frustrations by tapping into my creative side and learning the latest DIY’s that TikTok could offer. This took my mind off the isolation temporarily before realizing that no number of viral dances, nail hacks, or recipes could distract me from what was happening in the world. As my pregnancy progressed, I was required to come in more frequently due to advanced maternal age, and with every ultrasound, checkup, and nutrition appointment scheduled, I knew that I had to go in completely alone. There was no shoulder to cry on when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was surrounded by doctors and nurses with their faces concealed by masks, which only deepened my feelings of isolation.

I remember the absolute fear that consumed me when it was time to schedule my induction. Again, this should have been a happy event as I felt more than ready for my daughter to make her grand entrance. However, the excitement was overshadowed by the fact that I had to take the dreaded Covid test. This simple test would determine if I would have to deliver my baby alone or not. If the test was negative, I would be allowed to have my partner present. If the test was positive, I would have to be alone for the duration of my stay and miss the much-needed support and advocacy associated with having someone with you while going through such a scary yet joyful experience. Who would support me in processing all the emotions that giving birth would bring up? What if something went wrong? Who was going to coach me through the pushing? Thankfully, the test came back negative, and I was able to have my partner in the room with me. However, my mother was missing, and she had never missed the birth of one of her grandchildren before, but I had to accept that this was our new normal.

On the day of our discharge, I was excited to come home with our new bundle of joy, but I also knew we would be entering an empty home. No visitors at all because safety first, right? I understood how serious the pandemic was and did not take it lightly that we were losing so many people. That daily thought caused me plenty of sleepless nights, but was I selfish to want to be surrounded by loved ones during such a sacred time in my life? Again, we got creative and figured out a way to make the best of things and I worked on practicing gratitude to remain healthy. I let myself sit through and accept all my feelings including losing time with family, the lonely days, and isolating doctor appointments.  There were so many thoughts and feelings to process, but I found that talking to others helped as well as accepting the fact that it happened, and I got through it. It is okay to not be okay sometimes. I know I am not the only mom who experienced this during the pandemic, but I wanted to share my story on how this whole experience helped shape me into the woman that I am today.