Have you ever experienced pregnancy in the midst of a pandemic? It’s a first for me. And it is incredibly…surreal. I’m due in 35 days and during what should be the most exciting 35 days, I find myself filled with anxiety, worry, stress and a myriad of other emotions before excitement or joy happen. And that makes me SO MAD.
I feel silly for being mad at a virus; it’s not the virus’ fault that humans are stupid and
can’t won’t follow instructions and stay the hell home. But I’m mad. I’m mad because the experiences in my final days of pregnancy that I had planned for and prepared for aren’t going to happen. What should be weekly appointments with my doctor have been pushed back to every two weeks and my husband can’t join me at them anymore.
The boys will not be allowed to come to the hospital to meet their little sister. It sounds like I may not be able to have visitors, either. The pictures and hospital memories I thought I was going to get no longer exist. All of the things I thought I was going to be able to do, I won’t.
And I’m not alone. I have friends who are in the same boat and none of us really know what to do or how to prepare for an experience we’ve never even thought of before now. I’m terrified to bring a new person into this world. It seems insane. And what does maternity leave look like now. Will I even be able to leave the house? Am I going to be stuck at home for 14 weeks with no human contact outside of a person I can’t talk to?
My trigger for anxiety is situations where I can’t control or predict the outcome. So the last several weeks I have been on high alert. I’m trying to wrap my head around what our new normal looks like for now. My littlest guy’s learning center decided to close to keep everyone as safe as possible – that means working from home with a 1 1/2 year old – not an ideal situation. My oldest guy’s school is doing everything in it’s power to responsibly and safely remain open in an effort to serve the parents who are in the healthcare profession and CAN’T work from home. I definitely appreciate all of the measures they are going through to continue to serve us.
It’s been tough trying to explain in simple terms what’s going on when the oldest asks why we can’t go eat a restaurant, or go to swim class, or soccer practice. Or play at the playground. We’ve been honest telling him all of those things are closed and when he asks why they are all closed we explain that there are a lot of germs making people sick, so they had to close so everyone could clean the germs. It’s the best we have right now and he seems to understand it; but he doesn’t understand why he can’t play with his friends, or why a lot of them aren’t at school anymore.
His birthday is in May and I’m already dreading, fearing and anticipating that it will become one more thing that has to be canceled because of this pandemic. And that’s so unfair for him! Of course we’ll do our best to make the day special for him at home, with just us. But I know he’s really looking forward to this birthday – and I’m going to be heartbroken for him if it doesn’t happen exactly the way he deserves.
I recognize that all of the things I’ve mentioned are just arbitrary moments in life, and that you just adjust and adapt and make the best of the situation at hand. And that’s what we’ll do, but right now, I’m mad about the fact that we have to do that. I’m mad that the experiences and moments I want aren’t going to happen the way they should.
So in a few weeks, hopefully I have my anxiety in check and my thought process shifted to finding the joy and excitement in the coming weeks, but…I’m not there yet. And if you have other friends or family members who are pregnant, especially if they are near the end of their pregnancy, make sure you’re checking on them.
Being pregnant during a pandemic is a wild mind trip.