Pregnant During a Pandemic

I’ve never been great with timing, but man is this an interesting turn of events.

Today I am 30 weeks and five days pregnant. That’s still 65 days until my due date, or as my doctor reminded me the other day, at least 45 days until my going into labor wouldn’t be considered “preterm.”

Also today, the governor of Maryland shut down all restaurants, bars, movie theatres and gyms. Businesses and schools are closing their doors and turning to working remotely (honestly – something I’ve been preparing for my whole life; I thrive with virtual work). There is a part of me though, that small recess of my brain that still holds on very tightly to my old anxiety habits, that worries all this isolating will reawaken my hermit tendencies in an unhealthy way. Setting a reminder now: go outside. Go on a walk. Take deep breaths and remember your world exists outside of your house, too.

It’s strange to watch the news with this small baby boy kicking around in my stomach and see people at their best and their worst. To see volunteer nurses and doctors step up; to see people getting into fights in grocery stores over toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It’s weird to see people say that this is both a huge overreaction and an under-reaction.

I don’t like the most common phrase people have turned to in order to dismiss the chaos. “This will only really affect people 55+, I’ll take my chances.” It’s horrible to see there are those that would be okay with some people getting sick (perhaps to the point of being critically ill or fatally ill) as long as they don’t actually get that sick and can keep living their life. I’d like to say that’s not the majority of people, just the louder ones that always grab my attention in unfortunate ways. People, I hope, are mostly good and will make the small sacrifice of sitting on their couch watching Netflix instead of going out and proceeding with life, uninterrupted.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, and with any luck (no pun intended) everyone will stay home and stay safe. Social distancing is an excellent way to practice not drinking and driving or getting publicly intoxicated. I hope everyone takes it as serious as they should. Not for themselves but for their older relatives and neighbors and coworkers. For those with underlying health conditions or autoimmune diseases (HI CELIAC! THANKS! LOVE YOU!), or the pregnant stranger who still needs to run to the store and pick up toilet paper, not because she’s hoarding but because she’s actually starting to run low (GREAT JOB ERICA!).

I’ve never been great with timing, and if I had a choice, I would obviously choose not to be pregnant during a pandemic. But hey, that’s life. I will have to be cautious and hope others are as well. I will have to try to keep my eye on my health and try not to worry too much, though there’s a lot to worry about beyond the basic “we’re out of food.” I don’t want to have this small boy any earlier than necessary. I don’t want his first days in the world to be so bizarre and have our family potentially out of reach for health reasons. But if it comes to it, we’ll make do, we’ll adapt, we’ll push on. It’s what we’ve done before, and it’s what we’ll do now, no matter the strange circumstances we come up against.

So stay home and wash your hands. And if you can help it, try not to be pregnant during a pandemic.

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