I am currently 25 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby. I also haven’t left my house in I don’t know how many days….
I vaguely remember when jokes about the coronavirus first started rolling in a few months ago. I actually had to Google it since I had no idea what anyone was talking about. I also remember a few weeks later having a conversation with my team at work about the company starting some planning meetings to prepare “in case” it became it a real threat. I remember just a short time later feeling like I was missing something by not being worried when I was told to start working from home. And even more so that way when we got news from the school district that the kids might not come back after spring break. It didn’t start to feel real until I went in for a routine OB appointment and they scanned my temperature before I went back to the room. And then told me they were pushing my next visit out 6 weeks to “keep me safe.” And then people started asking me if I was worried about my husband not being able to be with me in the delivery room when our son is born this summer. And what once started off as the root of a funny joke, the gravity of this situation was no longer something I could just ignore.
Present day reality is: I am working from home full time, 6 months pregnant, trying to homeschool 3 older children. My husband, an essential employee, is still going to work. He has become our link to the outside world – something I am both extremely grateful for and also very nervous about. I am worried about our health, job security, and mental well-being. On top of all that, I am trying to figure out how to prepare for the arrival of our final child. I should use this time to paint his nursery, stock up on baby supplies, and nest but instead I find myself kind of paralyzed. How do you move forward and when forward is still so unknown at this point?
In some ways, I feel almost guilty even talking about my pregnancy and the impact of COVID-19. I am healthy and so far, have had a very normal pregnancy. I still have 3 months. There are women facing delivery in days or weeks that must be even more scared of what is to come. This is also my 4th child…and not that it makes it any less special or important, but we have done this before, we know what to expect at a basic level. My heart goes out to all those first time moms who are navigating emotions on top of emotions at this time. In my case, I am kind of grieving the loss of the “lasts”. This is for sure my last baby so these are my final times to hear a heartbeat on a doppler, share baby kicks with family and friends, celebrate the arrival of a new addition to the family. And that is hard. There won’t be a next time for us.
It is not that I feel bad for myself. Or at least I am trying not to. Quite the opposite. I feel very grateful that the pace of life has slowed down for me, even under these circumstances. I get to be with my kids more, I have time to walk and workout, take naps, and lean into enjoying free time – something I truly rarely had before I was forced to have it. That said, I still have days of sadness. Not about anything in particular…just missing human connection, routine, and the somewhat predictability of my old life – much like I am sure everyone is feeling, pregnant or not.
All I can do at this point is wait and hope. Hope that things will have calmed down by his due date in July. Wait to see what things will change between now and then. Hope for the continued health and safety of me, my family, and this growing baby. Because right now, that is all I can do. And that is all that really matters anyway.