Being pregnant in and of itself is difficult. Physical changes, aches, hormonal changes, morning sickness, (more like all day sickness), are just a few of the things that make pregnancy a difficult season in life for some. This is my third pregnancy but by far the hardest. Even though it has been a completely normal healthy pregnancy, morning sickness kicked my ass for almost 2/3 if this pregnancy and then borderline anemia (which I didn’t find out about until I was about 30 weeks) left me feeling constantly weak and tired. Add living through a global pandemic to the mix and you’ve got a cocktail of anxiety and depression!
Now after sounding like a whiny bitch, things improved so much for me during the third trimester! I had so much more energy, until recently when I’ve gotten uncomfortably huge haha.
Joel had to travel to Singapore and India for work in January, with layovers in Japan and South Korea. It was right before shit started going down with COVID-19 so no one really knew much about it and had no idea what it would become. At home in North Carolina, I started feeling like supermom taking care of the kids and apartment while pregnant all by myself for a couple of weeks. Then the news started picking up more stories and information about the coronavirus. While in Singapore, Joel noticed very few people were out and about and everyone was wearing masks, (they had already sold out everywhere so he couldn’t find one). we started getting more and more concerned as information was coming out. This was also during Lunar New Year so there was a lot of travel taking place between China and Singapore.
Before returning home, Joel had to stop in India for a few days. The day he left they had their first confirmed case. After he got home he showered and changed but we were all pretty paranoid about him being exposed during travel and layovers. Fortunately, none of us got sick or displayed any symptoms and we were relieved he got home right before travel restrictions were being put in place.
More information was becoming available and the US started getting confirmed cases and we all know how that went… We had been planning on taking Brayden to Lego Land for his birthday in March before any social distancing or stay at home orders were put into effect. We were initially most concerned about me going into labor if we waited and went to close to his birthday. (Definitely didn’t happen haha as I write this I’m currently about 4 days past my due date *insert crying emoji*). So we thought about going in February but decided against it to avoid any exposure to COVID-19.
March is when shit really hit the fan in NC. We had social distancing recommendations then a mandatory stay at home order with non-essential businesses being shut down.
To be perfectly honest, I thought I was fine. I didn’t understand why everyone was making a big deal about being quarantined. I was annoyed about people complaining that they would be stuck inside with their spouse all day, etc. After a couple of weeks though I really started to struggle. I’m already on medication for depression and anxiety and pregnancy always makes it worse for me. Adding not being able to go anywhere or see anyone outside of my apartment has been very hard for me. I’ve been trying to keep things in perspective. Joel has been able to work from home this whole time so I have had a lot of help with the kids and been able to sleep a lot!
We have been so nervous about either of us being exposed especially since I’ll be giving birth any day now. The thought of being positive for COVID-19 for labor and delivery is terrifying. Of potentially giving it to my baby, the nurses, midwives, or other women and their babies. Of having to be moved to a different area of the hospital, not being able to have anyone with me. It’s all been getting to me and I’ve had a couple of meltdowns.
After my 34 week appointment, I usually have an appointment every week but was switched to every 2 weeks to keep exposure chances low with fewer people at the clinic. Also at that appt. Right before the clinic and hospital started implicating stricter restrictions on visitors etc. Joel has always gone to every prenatal appointment for all of our kids. It’s always been very important to both of us. I remember my mom always going alone or taking me with her when she had my brother because my dad couldn’t take time off of work, so I always wanted Joel to go with me. Thankfully he’s had jobs that allow him to do that.
Well at this appointment, the state had already advised everyone to practice social distancing. Schools were closed I believe and we didn’t have anyone to watch the kids so we had to take them with us. I didn’t see the situation since I went straight to the bathroom with the kids while Joel checked us in. But apparently there was a whole group of people wearing masks getting their temperatures checked and the nurse was trying to get them to leave. This group came into an ob-gyn office even though they were displaying COVID-19 symptoms. The receptionists were very proactive and sanitized everything and had us sit away from the area the group had been in then advised us to take the kids to the car so they wouldn’t catch anything. I really love the UNC OBGYN office on Weaver Dairy Road!
Thankfully we were not close to the group of people and never got sick or displayed any symptoms. But the policies did change again and now partners can not go to prenatal appointments anymore. So Joel’s streak of being at every appointment got messed up right at the end of this pregnancy lol.
We have our hospital bags packed and thankfully, so far we are allowed to have one support person with us during labor and delivery and recovery but they can not leave the room so we need to load of on snacks.
While this is a scary time for everyone, as I’m finishing this post I am about 3 weeks postpartum and had a wonderful experience giving birth. So if you’re pregnant right now during this pandemic, don’t worry yourself about how your hospital stay and delivery will go. The midwives, doctors, and nurses I saw made me so comfortable and made sure we were safe!
hospitals and health care workers are doing an amazing job not only caring for COVID patients but also protecting and taking care of patients who are being seen for non-COVID reasons.