COVID-19: I'm Giving Birth During the Coronavirus Pandemic
I've talked a lot about how birth plans never go according to plan.
But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd be delivering during a global health crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ready or not, I'm days away from giving birth to my baby smack in the middle of a national emergency and, here in California, a state-wide "Shelter in Place" order.
While it's undoubtedly a frightening and uncertain time for everyone, some unique challenges pregnant women are currently facing include:
*New and varying restrictions on whether or not birth partners are allowed in the room during delivery
*Bans on hospital visitors, including immediate family
*An alarming lack of essential food and supplies at local stores and online
*Forced postpartum isolation at a time when community support is more vital than ever
*Risk of exposure and a lack of real information about how the coronavirus -- an unbridled, lung-attacking virus -- impacts newborns and their fragile, defenseless lungs
As I prepare to face the unknown, I poured out my fears and hopes for this experience into my writing. The result was an essay that has been selected for publication by Mother.ly.
One pill that has been particularly hard to swallow over the last week is the realization that my 19-month-old daughter, Everly, will not be able to meet her baby brother in the hospital. And, as silly as it sounds, I'm crushed about losing the opportunity to have our first photograph as a family of four captured in that hospital recovery room.
I've included a small sample of the piece below, along with a link to read the full article on Mother.ly. To all my fellow March/April mamas: I see you, I am with you. This is hard.
READ IT ON MOTHER.LY:
"...As I scroll through endless COVID-19 content on Instagram, fear ebbs and flows through my body. I know I should stop. But my fingers can't quit.
Like a ping pong ball, I bounce back and forth between feeling excited butterflies as I imagine my newborn baby boy to feeling a heavy pit in my stomach. I mourn the loss of the birth and fourth trimester I envisioned. I reluctantly accept that so much of this is out of my control.
I feel sorrow and awe for all the medical workers putting themselves at risk each and every day to care for others while knowing that I too will be occupying a hospital bed any day now.
And yet, like all expectant mamas, I can hardly wait to see my baby's sweet face in the flesh. To hold him in my arms, hear his cries and count every last finger and toe. To smell his newborn skin..."