Being Pregnant During a Pandemic

When I imagined being pregnant, never did being quarantined due to a pandemic or the fear of viral infection ever cross my mind. Yet, here we are.

For the first week and half, I was extremely anxious. My scheduled ultrasound, which was supposed to reassure me that the baby is okay and the pregnancy is on track, was switched to a phone call. While it was great to get some questions answered, it wasn’t exactly comforting. Food was difficult to come by, so it became very challenging to reach my daily nutritional requirements, especially protein. I started losing sleep, waking up around 4 or 5am every morning and unable to get back to sleep because my brain wouldn’t stop turning. I also run a small business which has taken a hit – we’re currently in the process of moving out of our office entirely to save money on rent, and are struggling to get clients. I was so worried about my 12 week NT scan being cancelled, I was having actual nightmares about it.

But they didn’t cancel my NT scan, and on Monday my husband and I loaded up into the car and schlepped ourselves the 15 minutes (which used to take 30 minutes) to the hospital. When we arrived, a man in a mask stopped us at the door and asked us questions like, have we been out of the country in the past 2 months? Have we been in contact with anyone who’s had COVID-19? Are we there to visit anyone with COVID-19? Do we have any of the symptoms? Then they gave us a blue sticker to attach to our jackets, indicating we were “safe,” before allowing us into the building.

12-week ultrasound

My husband wasn’t allowed into the room for the actual ultrasound, and was sent to the lobby for the blood test because they received new information / rules while we were up there. But wow – what a relief it was to see that little baby kicking and moving, and to hear the heart beat! Once I knew she (ultrasound’s best guess at the gender this early on) was okay, I could breath again. It was like a wave washed over me, calming me, and I felt like everything was right in the world again. Nothing really changed – the world is still on lockdown – but my baby was okay. And they even let me record the heart beat for my husband, something they don’t usually allow, since he wasn’t allowed in and they felt bad about it.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I was able to keep my appointment, and I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy all around. I’m part of a group of first-time moms in their 30s on the BabyCenter app (which has been extremely helpful and comforting during this time) and some of them are going through this while also suffering from morning sickness and digestive issues. Many of them have had their NT scans now and are also breathing a sigh of relief, but others haven’t had any reassurance at all that things are on track and their baby is okay. A few have ordered dopplers to listen to the heartbeat on their own, giving themselves comfort.

Pregnancy reveal photo

Now I’m doing my best to stay busy and keep my mind off of the COVID-19 pandemic going on outside. We’re watching movies and Netflix, playing board games, going for the occasional walk (being careful to steer clear of others on the sidewalk), cooking, and working on other personal projects. I tried playing video games, but realized as fun as it was, Super Mario was stressing me out way too much which was probably not good for the baby! And while I’m not ready to actually start on the nursery yet, given that I’m still in the first trimester, I have planned it out, completed my baby registry, took pregnancy reveal photos for social media, and started researching possible babymoons that I can hopefully take when this is all over. I even looked up virtual baby shower ideas, just in case this lasts longer than expected and I need a back-up plan.

My stress over the business has even eased up a little bit. While we’re not nearly as busy as before, the fire department hired us to do create some videos to spread information among the County to all emergency responders about how to respond to COVID-19 emergency situations. And my employees and myself seem to be doing just fine working remotely from home.

We have a long way to go before this over, but there’s really nothing that can be done so I’m trying not to stress over it. I could be in a worse situation – as many others are – and so there’s no need for me to complain at this point. I’m doing my best to help others as much as I can remotely (i.e. donating elastic bands to neighbors who are creating masks for health care workers), to keep myself occupied and my mind off the pandemic, and just continuing to put one foot in front of the other.

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