Yesterday, I pulled out of my driveway to head to my 24 week OB checkup. As I was pulling out, my daughter and husband were waving goodbye in the garage as they were getting ready to get in the pool. I felt my eyes getting hot and filling up with tears. I felt a wave of sadness wash over me because this was one of many OB checkups that I’ve done and will do alone.
I got to the parking lot of the doctor’s office and once I got my “all clear” text to come straight upstairs, I felt the tears welling up again. I took a deep breath, put my mask on, and waddled myself up the stairs.
This was a standard OB checkup. Blood pressure, weight, urine test, heart beat check, and less than 5 minutes with the doctor. They advised me that at my next appointment in 4 weeks (28 weeks), I’ll have my glucose test and will need to fill out all the hospital registration paperwork including scheduling my c-section.
The doctor told me that I can have only one visitor in the room, which will be my husband. Then, we chatted about some of the “what-if” scenarios if my husband, myself, or our baby tests positive for Covid-19.
I checked out and headed back to the parking lot.
That wave of sadness washed over me again.
The closer I got to my car, the more the tears started flowing. This time, I let them. I was going straight home, so I could let myself cry it all out. I had to sit in my car for at least 5 minutes and just let myself feel what I’ve needed to feel for months.
The severity of what being pregnant during a global pandemic means all hit me at once.
A part of me has hung on to some shred of hope that things would be better by now….and especially by the fall. Even though the logical side of me who strongly believes in science and facts knew that things wouldn’t be better for at least the rest of this year.
That reality hit me yesterday. Things aren’t going to get better. Frank isn’t going to magically be able to show up at the next ultrasound.
My entire pregnancy will be different thanks to Covid.
Things will not be better.
If anything, there’s a higher potential for things to be worse.
I felt sad about all the things our family is missing out on during this pregnancy.
At the same time, I was fighting against all the guilt for feeling sad in the first place.
I have a healthy baby. A low-risk pregnancy. I’m in perfect health and thank God everything is going great. What do I possibly have to complain about!!?!?!?
Then, I thought about what I tell all of my clients. You have to feel what YOU feel and drop the guilt and shame around why you’re feeling it. You are entitled to your feelings. Adding an additional helping of guilt and shame just makes you feel worse.
I can be grateful for a healthy pregnancy and feel sad about what we’re missing out on.
I can be excited to meet my son and feel terrified to bring another human into this crazy time.
I can plan his nursery and feel anxiety around all the unknowns that I can’t plan right now.
You don’t have to feel bad about your feelings. You don’t need to compare your suffering with others.
Listen. Everyone is mourning something during this pandemic.
I’m mourning the same type of pregnancy I had with my daughter. The one that included my husband at every single doctor appointment. The one where we would go to Chili’s after every single appointment and talk about how excited we were to meet her and plan all the things we needed to buy. The one where after lunch, we’d go to the stores and buy cute baby stuff. The pregnancy where I could have a baby shower. I had two for my daughter! The one where we could travel and went on a “baby moon.” The one where family and friends got to come to the hospital to meet her.
ALL of that is different this time around.
There won’t be any travel, any baby moon, any baby showers, any doctor’s appointments with my family. I cried thinking about how my daughter is missing out on the experience. She won’t get to hold her brother in the hospital. She won’t get to see him on the ultrasound in real time. My parents won’t get to hold him at the hospital. I don’t even know how visitors will work once we are home. The anxiety around being with family and friends is just too much right now. THAT is not normal.
We took our daughter everywhere once we got home from the hospital. I’m hesitant to that this time around. Being out and about is honestly what kept my postpartum depression away and allowed me to feel good as a new mom. I can’t be locked up at home with two small children without any other outlet.
At two months old, we drove from VA to TX to visit our Houston family so they could meet her. This time? There’s no way we’ll be able to travel that soon, especially not to Houston given the crisis that is going on.
I worry about keeping ALL of us as healthy as possible between now and the due date. I can’t even imagine having to be alone in the operating room without my husband. I can’t even mentally go there thinking about my son getting sick or my daughter.
It’s just too much. It’s heavy AF. It sucks.
Are those things the end of the world?
No. Hmmm, maybe? Joking but not really.
But, nonetheless this is still very serious and everyone is losing something during this pandemic. Just because you haven’t lost a loved one doesn’t mean you’re not losing something. We’ve all lost time, normalcy, sanity, certainty, peace of mind, socializing, human connection, safety, and so much more.
For right now, I’m just going to focus on gratitude for my health, my family, and let myself feel what I need to feel.
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