Published on April 28, 2020

Future mommy diaries

My pregnancy during this virus has been like a roller coaster

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

Finally, my third trimester of pregnancy, and I was even somewhat prepared for when the baby arrives.

But because of COVID-19,we had to become prepared again - differently.

It felt like I had lost all control and that the virus took over. We entered unchartered waters. I had to figure this out because the baby is not waiting until the virus goes away.

This is a scary time, especially for pregnant mothers. Research I have read state that pregnant women are considered more at risk for respiratory infections like COVID-19. Those with diabetes are considered even more at risk. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes a few weeks ago.

Another study says that a mother can’t pass the virus to the infant, but they aren’t 100% sure. Yet another study says that the virus cannot be passed through breast milk. They are still recommending that mothers breastfeed the baby, if possible.

Maybe I should stop reading all these articles and studies and just get the information straight from those who do this kind of thing every day. But wait. My labor and delivery classes and hospital tours have been canceled.

Please remind me not to get pregnant right before the next pandemic. Once is enough.

Now, I won’t step a foot inside the hospital until it’s time to deliver. The second or third time, I’ve heard from my mother who had three kids, it gets easier - fewer nervous jitters. Practice makes perfect. But this is my first time.

I found a couple of classes on-line. The hospital gave me directions on where to go when I got there. That should come in handy.

Husbands not allowed? Who am I going to blame and scream at during the painful part? He’s going to have to sneak in somehow, I thought, maybe dressed as a doctor or a nurse. That policy has since changed to one visitor being allowed during labor and delivery. (I’ll have to return his doctor costume.

Husbands are not allowed to any doctor’s appointments? He loves hearing the baby’s heartbeat at these appointments. I recorded the heartbeat for him with my phone. I now do this at every appointment.

We canceled and then rescheduled the baby shower, only to have to cancel it again. We decided to turn it into a digital shower. We will live stream it on Facebook for our friends and family.

Visitors are not allowed at the hospital. (Note to myself: Buy more doctor costumes.) But, I realized that would be too risky. That many doctors would not be crowded into one room. Someone would probably tell on us. Our visitors will meet our baby boy digitally for now.
Pandemic-era pregnancies present some other obstacles also, like shopping. Except for my toilet paper hunt, that task falls on David. But I do some curbside pickup or use a third-party shopper service.

It’s tough to find certain brands of wipes and diapers, hand sanitizers, paper towels and toilet paper. I recently read a mommy blog advising to stock up on these things due to being cooped up in the house after delivery. The trick this year is finding them in the stores.

If you have been able to find enough of these now rare and valuable items, you either know a supermarket insider, or are much luckier than most of us. I, for one, have no such connections, but have learned how to make my own wipes and hand sanitizers.

There is also anxiety and fear of the unknown every time I go to my appointments. I feel like I could be putting us at risk while also trying to protect us and make sure everything is O.K. Fear of contracting the virus in the hospital during delivery, or the baby contracting the virus. Fear of loved ones contracting the virus.

I keep telling myself, “don’t freak out; don’t panic; stay positive.”

I cannot control what this virus will do, only what I do to keep away from it. The rest is not up to me, or us.

Chin up, good attitude, good hygiene, cover face and wash your hands - a lot.

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)