I am currently a little over halfway through my fourth pregnancy and each one has been extremely different. But this time, a little thing called a GLOBAL PANDEMIC has caused even more changes throughout this pregnancy journey.
The most obvious differences this time around have included wearing a mask everywhere, having some of our in-person doctor visits canceled and replaced with phone calls (what was the point of that?), and perhaps even having to alter our delivery plans.
In the beginning, I was very doom and gloom after taking a positive pregnancy test just days before our state was to go into a stay-at-home order. After many months of this ‘new normal’, I have started to look on the bright side of being pregnant during a pandemic.
#1 – It’s Easy to Hide a Pregnancy
If you’ve been pregnant before, do you remember the days when you had to pretend you were drinking at a work function so your boss didn’t suspect you were pregnant? Think back to trying your best to choke back any vomit at gatherings with friends or family so you didn’t have to admit to anyone your secret before you were ready. These scenarios are not issues when you become pregnant during a pandemic.
If you don’t see your friends and family in-person there are no pregnancy clues for them to pick up on. Virtual work meetings don’t show your growing belly. Never has it been easier to keep a pregnancy under wraps than during quarantine.
#2 – No Public Commentary
I don’t know what it is about strangers (especially old men) who feel the need to comment on a pregnant woman’s body but it used to happen to me all the time.
“You look like you’re ready to pop.”
“Sure you don’t have two in there?”
“Wow, you’re going to have your hands full.”
But when you rarely go in public anymore, and when you do everyone is wearing masks and standing six feet apart, those idiotic comments suddenly stop – hurray! Plus, not one person has touched my belly this pregnancy (besides my husband and kids) and I am not hating it.
#3 – Hubs is Home to Help
I have to give him credit, my husband has been working from home since March and his work ethic is fantastic. Especially given the fact he has two crazy toddlers running, screaming, and often crying on the floor directly above him.
Since he is at the house all day I am able to take advantage of nap time to run errands alone – something I never was able to do before. No longer do I have to take kids with me to prenatal visits. First of all, it’s now against the rules. Also, I schedule the appointment during nap time, hand my husband the monitor, and head out the door. Sweet freedom!
#4 – Loungewear is the New Pink
Comfort is key during pregnancy. As a woman going through her fourth pregnancy, I popped immediately this time. I brought out the maternity clothes sooner than I have before. But that’s okay because everyone has a new dress code these days (unless, of course, you are an essential worker – thank you!!). Joggers, oversized t-shirts, top knots, and four-day-old hair is the norm these days when many women have been working from home for months. I threw out my maternity nylons and tights because I don’t ever plan on wearing them again.
#5 – We Have Never Been Healthier
Since March, no one in my immediate family has gotten sick (knock on wood!!). This is unheard of for us. No colds, no flu, etc. Obviously, this is because we haven’t been around any germy kids sneezing into our mouths at playdates or library story times. My kids are also now pros at washing their hands (although they still need reminders). When you stay away from people you don’t get sick as often.
I understand that our immune systems are most likely suffering because of this but for now let me enjoy the fact that we have all been feeling great while still being terrified of getting very, very sick.
#6 – “Self Care” is Trendy
The image of the superhero mom trying to juggle it all perfectly in heels is out the window. We are now encouraged to take time for ourselves. It doesn’t always happen, but I think as a whole moms are feeling a little less guilty about taking some me-time.
Grocery pick-up every week – duh, it’s a pandemic. Getting a monthly meal subscription so I don’t have to plan some meals, absolutely. Having take-out once a week, of course I’m supporting local businesses!
We all recognize that this is a really hard year and are giving each other (and ourselves) some grace to relax our standards and expectations.
#7 – Super Strict Visitor Guidelines
Visitors after giving birth is always a very touchy and sometimes stressful subject. I get that everyone wants to see the new baby but your body has just been through hell and back (hello – about to have my FOURTH c-section). New moms are running on very little sleep, your hormones are nuts, and now you have to be pleasant to germ-filled people who want to hold your baby?
I am truly thankful so many friends and family love us but we are going to skip the holidays. Instead, this year we will most likely be spending a lovely holiday season quarantined at home with our little family and I’m okay with that.
Yes, there are a ton of downfalls when you’re pregnant during a pandemic. I especially feel bad for women going through their first (and possibly only) pregnancy during this unprecedented time. But I have to say, being pregnant during a pandemic isn’t all bad.