If you are finding it hard to stay inside 24/7 worrying about a situation that you don’t know for how long it will last, if it will affect you or your loved ones and wondering about when will go be able to walk outside and live like we used to before, then imagine being pregnant in a pandemic. Now think if you were about to give birth any time in the next two weeks. Scary, right?
I never ever thought I would be spending my early weeks of maternity leave stuck at home, not being able to truly enjoy the last moments just the two of us as a couple and going out for a last meal with friends. I had many plans. I even had plans to just go out for coffee on my own, with a book and just enjoy that peace, the smell of coffee and a good read – it is one of my favourite things to do and I for sure didn’t do it often. But this is the least of my worries. Actually, I didn’t worry about this at all but I did feel sad, upset, frustrated with it all. It was like a little bit of my freedom had been taken away from me, from all of us.
But all of these thoughts were just the tip of the iceberg. After two or three days of being at home on my own for 14 hours whilst my husband was working, I found myself panicking about everything else – my parents not being able to travel to the UK to help with the baby as planned, friends not being able to visit when baby is born, my husband contracting the virus because he is a nurse and is at risk, the possibility of not being able to have him as my birth partner due to hospital restrictions, not being able to go for a walk with my little prince without any worries and wondering when we will be able to visit our family.
It is the loneliness that scares me. When you are pregnant and after you deliver your baby, although you need that time in the newborn bubble with your partner, it gets to a point where it is actually nice to have someone coming around, holding the baby and giving you some time for yourself, even if it is just 5 minutes. We don’t know when we will have that. We don’t know when our boy will meet our friends, we don’t know for how long we will have to be stuck at home… and also, when my husband goes back to work and if things continue to be as bad, will it be safe for him to be around the baby? To hold him, bath him, cuddle him without a worry of bringing anything nasty from the hospital? No matter how cautious we are, we are always scared or worried. We will always be.
I worry so much about not being able to leave the house and how it will affect my mental health whilst also looking after a new born baby for the first time ever. Sure, I will go for a walk because luckily I live in a quiet area with not many people around and I know it will be safe but we need social interaction, we need a hug sometimes when all we do is cry. It’s the thought of not having any of that at “easy reach” as I knew I had before. Yes, we can facetime but nothing replaces a hug when we need it the most. I am sure my husband will be the most supportive partner ever, we will be fine. But my support network is so much more than him and he actually also needs that support too!
But for now, I am putting all these feelings aside. I am focusing on the positive things – the fact that I am actually resting, nesting and spending quality time with my husband even if just at home. I am focusing on meeting my baby and that we will be here soon, safe, healthy, perfect. And we will bring him home, a home full of love, joy and happiness. I am tired of the negativity, fear, anxiety, stress and sadness going around. I am choosing happiness, positivity, gratitude and good vibes.
I still get anxious but I am able to step back and do something to change it. I still fear a lot of things but I decided to not fear over things I cannot control. I still cry out of nowhere but I just let it all out and then dance to some jams from The Beatles. The negative feelings still exist but are less frequent. I choose to do something about it and change them, instead of living in fear, anxiety and stress. That is not how I want my baby to know me. That is not how I want to feel like.
Being pregnant in a pandemic is hard but at end stages of a pregnancy I guess it is even harder because you know you’ll be bringing a little human to all of this anytime soon and all you want is to protect him. But we will be ok.
Stay home, stay safe.