Friday 27 March 2020

Pregnant in a Pandemic: Too Many Worries

Well, life got a little weird, didn't it? It feels crazy that a few short weeks ago, my biggest concern was whether or not to have the Glucose Tolerance Test. That feels like a whole other pregnancy now. 

So, in case you were wondering, it is weird to be pregnant during a pandemic. I'm grateful this isn't my first pregnancy because I would definitely have felt much more anxious then. This must be a stressful time to be expecting your first baby, the news is full of fear and official advice keeps changing so it feels like hard work keeping up with what is safe to do during pregnancy. First pregnancies are daunting enough without a global health crisis. 

Pre-pandemic, I was doing really well at staying calm and focusing on the pregnancy. I was walking every day, I had reduced the amount I was working, and I was just trying to stay on top of general life to avoid stress. It felt like I had found a good rhythm. That rhythm is no more. And there's little chance of avoiding stress when it slaps me straight in the face every time I glance at my phone. 

Schools have closed now (you knew that right) which means I've got Ebony and Ember at home with me all day. I'm enjoying it, having them home is lovely, but it's disrupted my routine. I can't work in the week anymore (but you're blogging now, couldn't you just work instead? Ssssh), which means I'm going to have to cram all of my work into the weekend. 

And my morning walks with hypnobirthing audiobooks look a little different now. I have to get up early and Ebony comes with me and she makes me play A-Z of Harry Potter character names pretty much the whole way. It's lovely, but it's not a chance to focus on the birth. And Ebony gets a stitch every morning even though we walk at a snail pace.  

The baby is due in June, and I think it's likely the schools will stay closed until September. So, there will be no time to properly prepare for the birth or listen to my hypnobirthing, and I will probably spend my due date asking the kids not to argue. It's fine, it's just not what I imagined. 

I'm unsure how this is all going to impact on the birth. Lots of trusts are pausing home birth services because of staffing issues or pressure on the ambulance service. As of yet, Stockport is still offering home births and are expecting an increase in demand thanks to coronavirus, but who knows what will be happening in another 11 weeks time. Will we be at the peak of the virus then? If so, a home birth could be out of the question. That fills me with dread so I'm trying to push it out of my head for the time being. 

Then there's the question of how this will affect things after the baby is born. Will vulnerable people still be self-isolating at home? The thought of my parents not meeting their new grandchild is truly awful to me. But again, there is no point worrying about that for now, because it's impossible to predict how things will be in three months. 

For the time being, I'm just trying to take it easy. I'm trying not to get stressed out (easier said than done). I'm going for my morning walk with Ebony, and other than that I am keeping my feet firmly planted at home. I haven't been to a shop in weeks, and I'm fake coughing every time somebody breaks the 2-metre rule on my walks (they move pretty sharpish if you do this). I'm trying to find time to relax every day (much-needed after all the bickering). I'm continuing to eat well and avoid sugary foods. 

I'm trying to focus on the fact that a lot of this is out of my control. All I can do is my best. I want this to be a period of time the kids look back on fondly, I want them to remember the long summer we spent at home together, hiding from the world. I don't want them to remember it as the summer they spent with a heavily pregnant woman who had daily breakdowns. 

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