Getting Pregnant During COVID-19 Has Actually Been an Unexpected Blessing
I found out that I was pregnant for the first time only six weeks after marrying my husband (oops). But we tried our second baby for almost a year before we got pregnant - and frustratingly, it took even longer to get pregnant with our third and fourth babies. Needless to say, I learned a long time ago that there is never a perfect time to get pregnant, and even if it did, life doesn't work that way. That lesson was brought home even more clearly when I suffered a loss of pregnancy at the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Then I realized how much I wanted another baby and how, in an age of so much global pain and suffering and dealing with my personal loss, we needed the joy of expecting a little more than ever.
My first reaction when I found out I was pregnant again last June was overwhelming gratitude and excitement. I would be lying if I said that these emotions are not followed by a trace of fear. After all, every time I watched the news I saw stories about how no one really knew how the virus would affect pregnant women and their babies - although many reports suggested that COVID-19 was not passed on to the fetus has been. Even so, pregnancy means immunosuppression, so it was probably more likely now that I got infected.
Related: I am very grateful for my pregnancy, but I find the experience very uncomfortable
Why I am not enjoying my pregnancy
But here's the thing: this isn't my first rodeo, and while every pregnancy is different, they share a healthy amount of anxiety. Sure, being pregnant during a pandemic is scary, but there are a million other reasons to worry when building a fragile, short human. If we weren't facing a pandemic, it wouldn't be like everything was definitely going smoothly. After my miscarriage, I learned that nothing is guaranteed.
I've even found that pregnancy during a pandemic has its benefits. For one, it was easy to hide my pregnancy in quarantine until I was ready to share the news with my family and friends, which was especially important given my recent miscarriage. But now that my tummy is big and I can't keep it locked up, I can get away with stretchy pants and other comfortable clothes since we're still at home. After all, it is a blessing that my husband is working from home for the first time in 13 years of marriage. In fact, during the pandemic, his commute was the only time he has traveled less than two hours each way - nowadays he walks from bed to his desk! And with all his extra time, he can fix me a plate of Velveeta clams and cheese on request; or pancakes or chilled beans or whatever I crave that day.
All in all, I still have a great feeling for pregnant people who have to go to prenatal appointments alone - my doctor's office allows partners to accompany patients, but I know this can vary depending on the practice. And obviously there are downsides to being pregnant at such an uncertain time. I wonder if I need to wear a face mask during my delivery and if my children can visit me and their new siblings in the hospital. Still, in the end I wouldn't change anything about the timing of this pregnancy. This baby was one of the few bright spots in such a bleak time in our lives. And besides, who knows what would have happened if we waited to get pregnant - it could have taken years like my other kids, or it didn't happen at all. I can only feel grateful and hope and pray that I will have a healthy baby in my arms early next year.
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