7 May 2020

Pregnant in a Pandemic - How I'm Feeling

When you first start trying to get pregnant or see the little blue lines on a test, you envision your pregnancy and what it'll be like. Will you feel ill, how big will you get, what will your maternity wardrobe look like, who will plan your shower etc. I don't think anyone ever imagines they'd be spending a large chunk of it stuck at home, isolated from their friends and family. But that's where we currently stand.

I get asked a lot how I'm finding being pregnant in isolation, and while I usually answer that person, when I saw Hannah Gale's post talking to other pregnant women about how they felt, I was inspired to write about my own experience and feelings. Because - to put it bluntly - it's weird and it actually bloody sucks.

I know everyone is missing out on something, some huge things, and everyone is missing someone. It's a really difficult situation and it's completely unprecedented. No one really knows when this will end, or what the world is going to be like when it's over. And when you're pregnant with your first baby, that's really quite scary.

Lockdown for me started the week after our 20 weeks scan thankfully, so Adam was still able to join me for all my scans - whereas I know others who aren't as lucky. But for me, this effectively means that the entire last half of my pregnancy will be dictated by Covid. 

This part of my pregnancy is where the most changes have happened - my belly is now a lot bigger than the last time I saw anyone, and baby's kicks are well and truly felt and seen by the outside world. Or, as it's known at the moment - my husband. And none of my friends or family can experience it with us. Which, having waited with us for almost three years to feel this and join us on this journey, isn't just hard for me - it's hard for them as well. 

One thing that really helped to get me through all of the fertility drama, was the idea that when I did get pregnant it would be magical, even if I felt like shit. I would share everything with our Mum's, my friends, I'd get everyone to feel kicks, we'd go on a little babymoon, get the nursery done all properly and have a lovely baby shower - something I feel I've earnt after planning a couple whilst going through treatment. 

Well, I think it's safe to say that Covid has meant I've had to say goodbye to all of that. There are some moments when I feel okay because I know it's out of my control - no one planned this, it's no one's fault - it's just what it is and it's better to stay safe and keep everyone healthy. But then there are the times when I just feel really down and sad about how much of this experience is being taken away from us. Especially considering the fact this could be my only pregnancy. I also know it's not just hard for us, it's hard for our Mum's who have waited for this as long as we have or my lovely friends who keep sending me little care packages because they are just amazing, my Dad who cried when I told him I was finally pregnant, or my brother in law who seems genuinely fascinated and weirded out by the fact I'm growing a human in my belly. There are so many people outside of "us" that are missing out on this incredible journey and I do find it hard that we can't share it with them in person. We send photos, videos, and have video calls - but it's not the same. 

Not only are we sad about those around us missing out on these moments - we're missing some of our own as well. Pram shopping with my parents - we ended up going off of recommendations and reviews online instead of being able to go and test loads out and play and ask lots of annoying questions. We had to cancel our babymoon (that one hurt, not going to lie), and chances are my baby shower will also be moved/cancelled. Our baby group classes where we were hoping to make lots of new baby friends will now be online. However, we're trying to make the most of it. 

We know we're so lucky to be where we are - especially compared to this time last year where I had honestly given up on us ever being pregnant. And sometimes it is nice to just have moments with the two of you - like singing the Pokemon song together every day, doing the nursery together instead of getting someone in to paint it, enjoying the little milestones we get. 

I absolutely love being pregnant - and I absolutely refuse to let Covid ruin the experience for me. I don't want to look back on this pregnancy and only remember that we were in isolation for it. I want to remember all the lovely little moments we had, the care packages we received, sharing the pram on Facetime, and receiving recordings from my mother in law reading to the baby. This could be my only pregnancy, and I don't want to look back on it and feel sad that moments were missed. I want to look back and remember the moments we were still able to have and salvage. 

Saying that of course I would like to be able to see my family before baby comes. I want our parents to feel the baby kick and move, I want to be able to share part of the late stage of the pregnancy with them. And more than anything, I really want my husband there with me for the whole of my labour and I want our family to be able to cuddle baby once it arrives. Those moments I really hope I don't have to lose. But - if we do, we will deal with it as we need to - like many other new mummies have done. 

It's a very different pregnancy experience to what I ever imagined - it's scary, it's annoying and it's sad - but it's still a pregnancy experience. I'm still lucky enough to be growing this fidgety bundle of joy who likes Pokemon and gangster shows. If this is my only pregnancy, well then it's certainly one to remember. We will continue to make the most of the situation, as we've done so far. I'm just really grateful for the moments we were able to have before all of this that others in their early pregnancies aren't. I wouldn't wish being pregnant at this time on anyone, but if you are - there are definitely ways to make the most of it. Just try to look on the bright side and remember, you have something incredibly special happening right now - so while you may not be able to go out and do anything, try to make the little moments you do get as special as possible.

Also nesting - best time-wasting activity ever when you're in lockdown. Just saying.

How are you coping in lockdown?

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