This Is What Being Pregnant During Coronavirus Is Like
A Westchester mom shares her experience with the uncertainties and fears surrounding pregnancy during coronavirus quarantine.
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When I return home to my family, I take off all my clothing and put it directly in the washing machine, before vigorously washing my hands yet again. I pull out my phone and update the news apps for the latest facts and figures. How likely is it that I contract the virus before giving birth? How likely is it that I already had COVID-19 this winter during one of the countless illnesses that brought me to my knees during the first trimester? What stories can I find of other pregnant women who have given birth during this pandemic? How did they do it? How are they now? What can I learn from them?
I’ve always been a diligent planner but now I’m finding I need to track and micromanage everything from germs to groceries. I keep careful count of yogurt pouches and toilet paper rolls. And I don’t wait until Monday morning to figure out meals and needs for the week. Still, each day is full of immediate and sometimes pressing matters (Looming deadlines! Bathroom leak! The dog broke through the fence again!), so any swirling pregnancy thoughts are put on the backburner.
Every couple of nights though, after the kids are in bed and all urgent emails are answered, I allow myself some space to have all the scary, catastrophic thoughts of what could happen: getting the virus this spring or summer, going into labor too early, giving birth alone, losing a close family member or friend.
It’s hard to tell if the constant heartburn I’m feeling is pregnancy-related or a symptom of the low-level anxiety that I’ve been batting around for months. I would probably be planning for a home birth right now if I didn’t have a C-section with my second daughter. But having a full medical team at-the-ready seems essential given the cumulative risk.
If I’m feeling optimistic and assuming all goes well, after giving birth I’ll ask to be released from the hospital as soon as possible. I want to be home. Home is the only place that truly feels safe.