After I found out one of my best friends was pregnant during this tough time, I was jumping for joy, but also worried. I wondered, “Will she be able to have all of her friends and family with her? Will she be alone? How are they going to protect her and Baby from the virus? What is the hospital setting like now, is it even enjoyable?” My mind was spinning.
Months following her successful, yet challenging delivery, I found out I was having another baby girl. Surely this would all calm down by my due date, March 25 right? No it hasn’t, and looking ahead, no it won’t. Safety precautions are continuing to remain in-place and right now, it’s looking like friends and family can’t come visit our newest arrival until we safely return home.
This isn’t news to any mama expecting in the 2020 year, and more than likely, they are experiencing something very similar. Most local hospitals are not allowing spouses or significant others to come to doctor visits or ultrasounds, and only one person can accompany you during delivery time. This makes a pregnant mom feel alone, amongst all of the other hardships we have to face this year.
From one pregnant mama to another, I pulled together some of my best advice from my recent, personal experiences.
Ask for Help
The later I get in my pregnancy, the harder it is to stay focused with my kids’ online learning. The best advice I can give is to ask for help. If you’re at all like me, asking for help is somewhat of a struggle. “I’ve got this” or “This isn’t anything I can’t handle” may be common thoughts that cross your mind. But during this time to avoid feeling overwhelmed and over-the-edge, if you have the extra help at home or you have someone who can come safely to your home and take over. Whether they take over online learning for you here and there, or just help with the house work, this can help keep you sane.
Make Time for YOU
Grab your purse, put on some comfy clothes, hit the road or go for a walk. Whatever you like to do to catch some “me time” – now is the time to do it. Looking forward, I realize I will soon have an extra member of the family that will need me 24/7. This little person will change my life inside and out, so if I can set aside an hour or two to do something I love, you better believe I have two feet out the door. Of course, having a supportive partner or someone who can take over any duties for you is helpful, especially if you have other kiddos running around.
Let It Go
Sometimes the dishes, laundry, messy post-Christmas house can wait. Of course it feels great to wake up to an empty sink and sparkly clean home, but sometimes you need to just “let it go.” When I have my kids asking if we can finally play that board game or watch a movie with them, I sometimes say “In a minute” or “After I …” When I put things into perspective I think, “Things are really going to get busy once Baby arrives. Will I have the time I have now to give my other little’s individual attention?” Sure I will, but it will be a challenge. Let the dishes go and play a game of Monopoly with your kids. The dishes will be there later, I promise.
Move a Little
I don’t know about you, but a refreshing walk or a little yoga really does my body good. And during this stressful time, my levels significantly decrease once I take a nice and brisk 15-minute walk. It doesn’t take much, but if you are having a healthy pregnancy and you have the green light to exercise, do it. Releasing those stress hormones and getting some happy endorphins will help lift up your mood, mama!
Call Your Family
The hardest part of expecting during the pandemic has not being able to share it with my extended family. No big baby showers, no shopping, no seeing each other as often as we were, and here comes the loneliness. Although you may have your immediate family home by your side, not being able to physically chit-chat with your mom, siblings or best friends as often can take a toll on your mental health. Use your resources – phone, Zoom or Skype – and make the call. Find ways to interact with one another, catch up and laugh a little, or a lot. I found it comforting Zooming with family and opening presents we had sent to one another, or doing a Zoom reveal party. It wasn’t the same, but I felt like I was sharing my life with those who I love, while keeping them safe at the same time.
Nonetheless, we have to get through this and we will. Some days you will feel blue, others maybe more uplifted, but the challenges pregnant couples have to face these days is not how we pictured it. Whether it’s your first bundle or fourth, the challenge is real. My final advice is to hang in there, stay healthy and keep your head high! This is way easier said than done – I know from personal experience because some days I can’t even follow my own advice – and if you have to take a day of nothing, go ahead. Go easy on yourself and do YOU. On the days where the challenge is just too much, take a deep breath and try again the next day. You’re body is already going through a lot, no one ever said we have to be super mom right now or ever – doing your best is the best you can do!