I'm Pregnant During the Coronavirus Pandemic, & I'm Not OK

Twenty20

pregnancy during a pandemic
Twenty20

What's it like to be pregnant while the world seems to be ending around you? Let me tell you, it's not pretty.

On a recent night, tossing and turning, I was convinced I was infected with the coronavirus, convinced that the shortness of breath, weird body aches, and just blah feeling were the symptoms of COVID-19 starting to creep up, exactly 14 days after I was last at work in New York City. So many thoughts were racing through my head. What had I read about early symptoms? How long do the symptoms take to show up? How long have we been cooped up at home? It feels like months. It's barely been two weeks. 

  • It's been harder than you can even imagine.

    I know (I think) I probably am not infected, but my mind, like many people's, is going to dark, dark places right now. All this is made worse by the fact that I'm 15 weeks pregnant. Yup, expecting during this life-altering, world-changing pandemic. 

    Just four weeks ago, the worst that I was dealing with during this, my third pregnancy, was unbearable morning sickness and the fatigue so common during the first trimester. I was looking forward to my second trimester and the energy that comes with it. I was psyched to be pregnant. My two older kids are in school, so I'd have some time to myself, all my energy to focus on myself, work, and a bunch of projects that were outstanding before maternity leave. 

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  • The weight of the world feels heavier now, more than ever. 

    That is basically all out the window now. I'm on the verge of tears probably 200-plus times during the span of one day. Anything sets it off. Bad news or nice things or thinking about all the things that are changing around me. It feels like the end of the world is here. And I can barely keep it together long enough to get through work, homeschooling my kids, and cooking a yummy breakfast, lunch, and dinner every … single … day. Not to mention, I have no time or energy to focus on myself, my health, my growing belly. 

  • The news isn't helping.

    Yuli Delgado

    I scan news sites for some info, any info, on pregnancy and COVID-19. The hard truth is there isn't much. Every reliable site ends their positive, "Pregnant women don't seem to be affected more than the general population"-type wording with the always disheartening: "But this is a new disease and not much is known about it." It's going through the most unknown of circumstances, with yet another layer of unknown added to that. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the World Health Organization -- none have the answers I need right now.

  • I'm trying really hard to combat the stress, though. 

    I already suffer from an anxiety disorder, and everything that's happening has just been adding anxiety to downright crippling panic. I made the decision to stop my medication during pregnancy, which was fine at first, but once the world started going downhill, I've been questioning that decision. 

    What I can say is that I've slowly been taking steps to combat the overwhelming stress that's been keeping me awake and manifesting as literal pain all over. I've started meditating with some excellent guided meditations on YouTube. I am taking some much-needed breaks with my kids throughout the day, breaking up my work day as best as I can. I either sit with them and just talk or go outside and get some air while they play. 

  • I'm taking comfort in family and things that I know.

    Yuli Delgado

    It may not be the easiest time, physically or emotionally, but I'm trying really hard to focus on the positives in my life right now -- my ridiculously patient and understanding husband; my two gorgeous, smart kids who are already in love with their little sister; our home, which thankfully provides so many different areas for us to work, for our kids to do their schoolwork and play, without being in each other's faces all the time; our community, which has a tight-knit network of generous and kind people at the ready to help; and my parents, who offer words of advice and virtual FaceTime hugs and are OK, despite the fact that we haven't seen them in a couple of weeks.

    I'm thankful for this little girl who's going to come into our lives soon. My one glimmer of hope is that by September, when baby girl is due, things will hopefully (hopefully, hopefully) be a little less uncertain and will be back to a semi-normal state, even though I know we'll never, EVER be the same again -- as a world, as a country, as a town, as a family. And maybe that's a good thing. But for now, I'll cling to that hope and try with all my heart and soul to transmit only the most positive, calming, beautiful feelings to my baby girl. That's all I can really do.

coronavirus health & safety pregnant life