Two months after the COVID-19 pandemic, I discovered I was pregnant.
The backdrop of a global public health crisis was not what I wanted when I decided to grow my family. If there is one thing that parenthood taught me, it’s that sometimes life can give you poopy diapers. It’s okay to accept it.
My bump grew as 2020 progressed, and the number of COVID-19-related cases increased. In January, my “coronnial” son was born.
It was not easy to be pregnant during a pandemic, but I learned to persevere, adapt and endure like a mother.
Precautions for early pregnancy
My emotions were quickly mixed when I saw the two pink lines on my pregnancy test. I was both excited and worried. What would I do if I received COVID-19? Would it be okay? What about my baby?
Medical experts did not know at the time how COVID-19 affected pregnant women. We were thought to be more susceptible to the disease due to pregnancy, which can sometimes lead to a weaker immune system. However, no one knows for certain.
“Early on, we didn’t know very much,” agrees Dr. Ali Lewis, my obstetrician-gynecologist at Meridian Women’s Health at UW Medical Center – Northwest. “Our advice was to do all you can to avoid unnecessary exposures, to use hand hygiene, and to mask as much as possible.
Some of these adjustments were easy for me. I am fortunate to have the means to purchase hand sanitizer and face masks. I am able to work remotely because of my job. My partner is supportive and took over grocery shopping and other tasks without complaining.
However, there were other decisions that were more difficult.
I wasn’t sure if to send our 3-year-old daughter to day care or let her stay at home, as she might be exposed to the virus. My mother would be looking after our daughter while I was in the hospital. I didn’t know if she should begin quarantining before my due date in case I go into labor too early.
Every family outing and interaction during those nine months provoked a mini-debate: How can I stay safe while also managing my mental health? Is the risk worth it?