Pandemic Pregnancy

Pandemic Pregnancy

Being pregnant is hard enough, but being pregnant during a pandemic is a whole other battle. I was lucky enough to go through my first pregnancy pre-COVID, so I had the support of my husband throughout the entire process. He was able to come to my appointments, sonograms, ask questions and overall be present. Which was great because I had hyperemesis and I was hospitalized, he was able to be by my side. Later I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa and he was my support.

Now, many doctor’s and hospitals are limiting prenatal appointments to the person who is pregnant. That means no support during these visits which makes all the difference. If a soon-to-be mother is faced with bad news or a tough decision it means she has to do it alone.

I thought to myself “oh, at least my husband was able to be there once,” thinking he did not mind too much to be missing out this time. It wasn’t until we sat down with the first sonogram I realized how much this affected him. I can only imagine how difficult this is to first time parents who are missing out on vital experiences together.

It’s easy to be frustrated with the situation as a parent to be. Especially when local mandates allow 6 people to dine together at a restaurant, yet my own husband can’t sit with me in the doctor’s office. It doesn’t seem fair that pregnant women have to do this alone. But there is no one stronger than a mother, and this just proves that point. Thankfully, being pregnant during a pandemic is not all bad.

Pros vs Cons

As with anything, there are pros and cons. Let’s start with the good:

Pros

  • People can’t touch your belly.
    I don’t know what it is about seeing a pregnant woman that gives people the urge, or think they have the right, to touch her growing bump. I even had strangers in the airport do this to me!
  • No need for maternity clothes, or clothes at all
    Maternity clothes are not cheap. Plus they’re only good for a short amount of time. Well staying home all day means you can wear your partner/husband/baby daddy’s tees and sweats and no one will know.
  • No need trying to be cute (when you’re really uncomfortable)
    Trying to look cute when pregnant is tough. The first trimester you’re trying not to throw up all day, and by the third you are over it. So not having to spend any time or energy on looking “normal” (aka not sick and sweaty) is a blessing in disguise
  • Less unsolicited pregnancy advice
    In the age of social media, it’s easy for people to have their opinion and think you automatically want to hear it. I’m not saying you won’t get any unsolicited advice, but definitely less since you won’t be out strolling around town and people are keeping their distance
  • More time bonding with older children
    While more time at home with our kids can be stressful, it’s great to have more one on one moments before the new baby gets here

    and then the not so good….

Cons

  • People won’t see you pregnant
    Yes while it’s a blessing to not have to try and look like this glowing radiant goddess when you feel otherwise, it kind of sucks that our closest friends and family won’t get to see how our bump grows and grows. It’s moments like these that are fleeting and we won’t get back, especially if this is your first
  • Our partner missing all the firsts
    First time we see the baby, first time we hear the heartbeat – our other half is missing these moments. I know it’s obvious but it’s a crappy downside of this pandemic. We can sit at a restaurant together but not in our prenatal appointments….
  • Extra Stress
    Being pregnant is stressful already but with the mandates changing every minute, our birth plans are up in the air, not knowing whether our partner will be present for the birth, and so many new thoughts that pregnant women didn’t have to worry about before. Stress is no good on a pregnancy or the baby, but do not tell a pregnant women to just take it easy… just leave chocolate and run away
  • Missing our baby shower
    It’s like a rite of passage, a moment our loved ones can come together and celebrate the new baby and mom. With so many restrictions and risks, baby showers have moved to zoom and it’s just not the same

With all the uncertainty we can’t deny that growing a life is a blessing no matter the season. Sure, this isn’t how we pictured our pregnancy but consider this a great lesson in parenthood – be adaptable to any situation. The world has adapted and there are options for soon to be parents to enjoy this process as much as possible.

Surprising options

I started doing some research and I came across Wonders of my Belly (W.O.M.B) which offers personal, private ultrasounds in the comfort of your own home. Nearing my 15th week, I thought not only would this be a great surprise for my husband to experience, but we would also be able to learn the sex of our baby.

Andrea was incredibly receptive, answered all my questions, and was able to accommodate us quickly for an appointment. The entire week prior all I told my husband was there’s a surprise on X date at X time and it’s going to happen at home. He just can’t wait for surprises and tried to guess every chance he got! The leading contender was that it was an at home couples massage which, I wish!

This is an absolutely vital service that has allowed many parents to be the chance to see and hear their baby for the first time, together. Not only is this great for mom and dad, but grandparents and siblings can join in on witnessing these special moments. If you’re not in Long Island, try a quick google search to see if this is offered near you!

Virtual Support

While we can’t attend many classes in person, the internet has not shut down and allows parents-to-be to access vital classes. Many great resources like The Nesting Place Long Island and Be Her Village have offered online classes. From childbirth preparation courses, to VBAC information sessions, and even prenatal yoga – the internet is the best option for expectant parents to prepare as much as possible.

Photo courtesy of The Nesting Place LI

I personally have been taking advantage of The Nesting Place’s virtual and in person classes. If you didn’t know, I’m a c-section mama fighting for a VBAC. Their VBAC session answered any questions I had, validated my feelings towards my last birth and made me feel empowered for my second one. I have also been attending their prenatal yoga sessions and all safety measures are being taken. If you don’t feel comfortable or are not from the area, I HIGHLY recommend taking one of their many virtual classes. I have never felt as empowered or prepared during either of my pregnancies until I found The Nesting Place. They also have great support groups and classes for the postpartum stage and classes for babies and toddlers!

Making the most of it

Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, being pregnant in a pandemic was not how anyone could have imagined! We have no choice but to make the most out of a weird situation. As I mentioned above, this is a great lesson in parenting. As parents we have to be as adaptable as possible in any given situation with babies/kids. Remember, as for support if and when you need it. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you have to go through this alone. Feel free to shoot me an email or my messages on Instagram are always open to you!

Let this also be a reminder to reach out to the moms-to-be in your life and offer support any way you can. Maybe it’s dropping off a meal (this will be VITAL once she has the baby), offering to watch older kids, or a surprise at home spa day. Being pregnant during this pandemic can feel isolating so check in when you can.

Share your thoughts!