This is a strange time, for so many, but as a pregnant mom, it feels even more uncertain. I find myself feeling extra vulnerable, and opted to self-quarantine about 2 weeks before it was an order from the Governor of Oregon, where I live.

maternity leave

Being pregnant comes with it’s own challenges. Morning sickness (that lasts all day), swollen feet, feeling tired and then wanting to snap at those around me (pregnancy rage – it’s a real thing.) But pregnant on top of a global pandemic? It’s downright crazy. 

How this pregnancy is different during the Coronavirus: 

TBH, the early part of my pregnancy I was grateful for shelter-in-place orders. It was easier to hide my horrible morning sickness this time around (this is my second pregnancy, I also have a 3-year-old girl at home), and I was home more during the day so it was easier to nap when my toddler did. 

But doctors appointments looked different (more phone appointments, less in-person appointments), I couldn’t get to my normal recommended dental cleanings (extra important during pregnancy) because they were closed down until April, and my stress level and general anxiety was through the roof. 

As the pregnancy progressed, my family figured out how to cope with COVID-19 better. We figured out activities for our toddler, better routines, and ways for me to still get work done even though I was now the primary caregiver and without daycare options (We found a great babysitter! We reduced screen time and used it when necessary! I got up early or worked late as I could and energy level allowed to meet my deadlines!) 

But my pregnancy felt affected in another way: I felt more isolated and less excited than I would have normally. I wanted to be “cute, pregnant, and out and about.” But we were mostly at home, my new maternity clothes I bought for in-person client meetings and meeting up with friends collecting dust in the closet; my sweatpants and t-shirts in heavy rotation. The things I was doing in month 5,6 and 7 of my pregnancy the first time around were not options for me during this pregnancy. And not just because I am a second-time mom with a toddler in tow, but because they are literally not open or not safe to participate in. 

So I did different things this pregnancy. I had Zoom calls and stood up to show my belly as often as possible. I had a virtual baby shower. I learned how to take tummy selfies. I learned to manage crazy pregnancy cravings to the very essentials of what I wanted and needed because my husband was now going to the grocery store instead of me. I’ve had to wear a mask and be super hot and uncomfortable, but I still believe it’s the best way to protect myself. We’ve been without childcare I’ve had to tell my family from a COVID-19 spiking area “Sorry, I’m pregnant, I can’t visit you right now.” Even though that is hard, thankfully, they’ve been understanding. My toddler isn’t having a birthday party this year – but that is also in part due to the fact that my due date is 3 days before her birthday (we really did great on the planning of that one, ha!) 

Preparing for birth during the Coronavirus: 

Now, I’m in the final week of my pregnancy and looking forward to the birth and labor process. During Coronavirust that will look the most different.

I was told that when we arrive at the hospital, my husband and I will be given a rapid COVID-19 test, and we have to wait for the results before we can go to the delivery room. If it’s positive, I hear I’ll have to wear a mask during delivery (ugh!), and the doctors, nurses, and staff will also be masked and wearing extra protective gear. I am hopeful that it will be negative. 

My toddler can’t be in the hospital or visit us while we are there. I can only have one support person (my husband) and he can not come and go as he pleases – nope, not even to the car in case we forgot something. Currently, the rule is that he can leave as needed but then cannot come back until the next calendar day. So he could leave at 9 pm, and then return at 12 am, but it’s a weird rule… I also heard that the hospital is likely to discharge us earlier than if we were not in a global pandemic, which is a blessing but also a little worrying, because I want to make sure that we have enough healing time and that the baby is healthy before we head home. 

Then there’s the getting ready for the trip to the hospital that I’m most anxious about. We live 30 minutes from the hospital, and we have to call someone to come and stay with our toddler since we’ll both be leaving. So not only do I have to time contractions, be laboring at home, and mentally preparing for birth, but I also have to be thinking about when to make the call to a friend (at any hour of the day or night) and making sure we have enough time to get them to our house, then get ourselves to the hospital. It’s a crazy timeline, and COVID-19 has made it more complicated for sure. 

We’ve had to worry about so much more this pregnancy, and so many things that are “normal” about being pregnant are getting overshadowed by the pandemic. 

Positives about being pregnant during the pandemic: 

One positive is that I’m home more and resting more. In January I set out for this year to be a “nesting” year. My word for the year is Cocoon. When I chose that word, I had no idea I would be cocooning so much and in this way, but many good things have come out of it. We’ve bonded as a family in a new way. My husband and I learned to better communicate (and are still learning) even though it’s hard at times. We acknowledge that this is HARD, and even just that acknowledgment is a step towards stress and anxiety relief. We’ve cooked more, gone on walks more, and appreciated the little things more. 

I have been filled with gratitude for my clients, who have continued to work with me during COVID-19, and support me and my crazy, unpredictable schedule as a pregnant working mom at home with a 3-year-old. 

I’ve realized that even though something like a Zoom call doesn’t initially sound that appealing when I jump off the meeting I do feel refreshed, fulfilled, and glad I took time for some social interaction. 

I found other pregnant moms and we were able to swap stories, fears, and strategies for Fall of 2020 and returning to work in an uncertain time in the future. And chat about the best maternity leggings 🙂 

If you are pregnant right now, you are not alone. Find your community or reach out to me on Instagram @thebossbump and let me know what’s been hard, and what’s been wonderful, about being pregnant in the time of Coronavirus.