To those of you who follow this blog regularly, it’s no surprise that we’re expecting our first child. (If you didn’t know, well now you do :)!)
I mentioned it briefly before, but never made a fancy announcement post for it because I’m honestly not into that. Once our baby’s born, I doubt there’ll be one such fancy announcement here because I care more for our family’s privacy, but I may still share something for kicks and giggles.
Anyways, a global pandemic sure is a curious time to be pregnant and I don’t mean that lightly.
Fellow pregnant women around the world have voiced their concerns and I’ve been there to witness them all–on Reddit, of course.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve come across SO many posts shared by pregnant women where they talk about their stresses, their wishes, the things that they missed out on, etc. all due to this Coronavirus.
I discussed some of their takes on my last post, so now I want to chat with you about my own experience.
(For the record, this post was drafted in late March. I have faith that by the time you’re reading this, things will have more or less calmed down and improved significantly.)
Here’s the thing that almost no one will say to them, I think because of political correctness: It’s not about you. It’s about your baby! But no one dares say this to them either because they don’t think it, or for fear that they’ll be stoned to death because us pregnant women are thought to be delicate little things who can’t deal with reality.
But the problem is that if you keep stressing like that, your immune system will be weakened and you’ll be at greater risk for contracting something bad. Not to mention everything you feel gets passed down to the baby, and do you really want them to be born all stressed out with a number of medical conditions that were likely caused by stress that you could’ve managed?
All that was to say that I don’t have the luxury to worry. Or rather, I choose not to partake in pity parties.
Do I get sad sometimes when I drive by small businesses that have closed (either temporarily or permanently) and have no customers out in their parking lot? Of course, I’m not a monster. Though fortunately some small businesses have been allowed to continue their operations as long as they abide by strict self-imposed guidelines.
But I don’t have the luxury to “miss what could have been” or to wonder what it’d have been like before China sent us this thing because our reality is vastly different now. There’s no “what could’ve been” anymore: that doesn’t exist.
I was chatting with my aunt recently; she’s in her 60s, and like the rest of my family on my parents’ side, she lives in Colombia with her immediate family. Sometime in March Colombians were given the ORDER to stay home–no ifs, ands, or buts. So it’s been hard on her, my uncle, and everyone else there who’s been required by their federal government to not leave their homes. Last I heard, people over 70 (actually, I think it’s everybody!) even get fined for going out!
Anyways, in our chat, she asked my how I was doing (great, I answered honestly), and at some point she mentioned that she never expected to be going through something like this. So I replied something along the lines of, “Neither did I as a pregnant woman!” And I think after that she only said a couple of (unrelated) things and signed off.
OK, my response may have come across a bit… insensitive? But it was truthful! And honestly, as a pregnant woman, I, too, can use some kind of empathy: not everything is about the seniors in our lives. I’m perfectly healthy and happy, and I’m not a delicate little flower, but I do count for two people currently, and the one who you can’t see right now is extremely more vulnerable to a LOT than I could ever be. So I’m not going to sit there and wallow about this when the little being inside me NEEDS me to be strong.
What we’ve “missed out” on, only not.
Because of our current home remodel, there is one main thing I won’t have and that I had made peace with not having a while back. For instance, I’ve always wanted a long babymoon somewhere tropical, preferably Hawaii because we love it. However, because the work we’re doing to the house is significantly more important (I mean, vacations are fun but living in a perfect home is everything), that stopped being a must-have a long time ago.
(Plus, Hawaii doesn’t want any tourists right now!)
Instead of such a trip, we were thinking of going somewhere closer but that wouldn’t have as many tourists. Easy, affordable, comfortable, and still fun. However, now I can’t find the appeal of being around other people, to be honest, even if it’s not that many. I’ve been social distancing my whole life, after all, and I don’t trust others to take care of themselves as well as we do.
So I’m glad I vetoed the trip/staycation for now.
Then there was the maternity photo shoot. Depending on how things go with Coronavirus, I may still schedule this one for later this Spring, but as much as I love our photographer, I’m not broken up about potentially missing it.
How about the nursery? Well as soon as the remodel is finished, I’m sure I’ll have the time (and physical strength? Ha!) to finish ours, but what matters to me the most is getting the essentials that everyone else has been coveting–primarily diapers and formula in case breastfeeding is a no-go (coincidentally, this happens to be the reason why almost everyone else has been stocking up on formula lately). My parents and we have been getting the baby lots of clothes, toys, and things, so we should be stocked up on that front. We’ve also bought several big-ticket items already, so it’s good we have those. The more cutesy nursery items can wait until the pandemonium has calmed down, and I’m OK with that.
But perhaps the funniest thing I’ll have “missed out” on is wearing all my new and adorable maternity clothes. I bought a LOT of darling clothes before Coronavirus was even a thing in the States and there’s a slight chance I may not get to wear them all out like I had planned, which I find amusing in an “Oh well!” kind of way.
Speaking of wearing cute clothes outside, I was also looking forward to attending face-to-face prenatal classes, but they got canceled state-wide (understandably so) for the time being. Fortunately, there are plenty of free online alternatives.
We make plans and God laughs, right :)?
What I’m grateful for
Being pregnant is a beautiful thing, I won’t lie. Are there weird, new symptoms? Of course. But to feel the baby healthily kicking, punching, dancing, hiccuping, etc. as if to remind you constantly that God considered you worthy enough to house someone within you, is beyond spectacular. There’s nothing else like it, and I look forward to meeting this baby!
Besides the act of carrying a baby, I’m very thankful I’m married to the enterprising and dedicated man I get to call my husband. He and my dad have been working on their free time on our remodel (all permitted work that’s impressed even the the inspectors, mind you) and it’s been a gift to see all that this software engineer by day (and unofficial plumber-carpenter by night and weekends) has accomplished. He truly succeeds at whatever he sets his mind to and I look forward to seeing all that our child will learn from him.
Speaking of: My parents have been a blessing. In a world where many women lack a partner and a support system, I know I’m fortunate to have three people (parents + husband) for whom the baby and I are a top priority. This is something I never take for granted, and I think other women who do are fools.
And last but not least, Utah. Utah has dealt with this “crisis” beautifully and I’m very glad that we managed it well early enough so that things never got to the level they did in other states. I say this mainly because elsewhere, hospitals began restricting PARTNERS from being at the delivery. Not just a couple’s guests–like their family and friends–but the mom’s spouse or significant other. There was no way Utah was going to let that happen, and it never did.
Though hospitals prefer pregnant women came alone to their prenatal appointments, husbands were still allowed if they were healthy. And all throughout this mess hospitals kept allowing husbands to be with the mom during labor and delivery. It just doesn’t make sense not to!
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Being pregnant in the United States during a global pandemic isn’t all glitter and roses, but I’m fortunate and blessed to admit that I’ve been doing fine with it. Not only because of all the good things in my life, but also because I don’t have the luxury to get stressed or overwhelmed over something I can’t control.
(Thought you’d also like to know that baby was moving the whole time while I was typing this entire post!)
And in case you had forgotten, I will tell you more about those reactions from other pregnant women re:Coronavirus that I’ve come across online in a future post.
Are you also expecting at this time? How have you felt lately or started to do because of the virus?