I bet none of us expected to add a viral pandemic to our list of pregnancy worries, did we? I know I didn't. Being an already anxious person, this was the last thing I imagined would happen.
To be honest, up until a few days ago I had been handling this pandemic pretty well. I was socially isolating myself, washing my hands constantly and not touching my face. It wasn't until a few days ago that sudden panic started to set it.
I saw an article about mothers having to deliver without ANY support due to the COVID-19 risk. I mean, I understand why hospitals have protocols, and I even understand why so many are enforcing this, but my heart still aches for these mamas.
My anxiety continued to increase when I saw more news reports of babies taken away from mother's infected with COVID-19 for two weeks. (Note: I'm trying to ignore articles like this, because they do not help my anxiety). Again, I understand why they have these rules, but it just doesn't seem fair.
Then my mind started to race. I had thoughts of, "What if it happens to me?"
I'll be the first to admit that originally I didn't understand the severity of this virus and how it can affect not just myself, but mostly the at-risk population around me. Teachers, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are exposed to so many viruses daily, so I assumed this was another one I needed to be aware of, but not overly concerned about.
Boy, was I wrong.
But to be completely honest, the biggest stressor during this pandemic hasn't had anything to do with contracting the virus. It's been having to face my anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) head-on. During my entire pregnancy up until this point, I've feared losing my baby. While my OB-GYN assures me only a small percentage of pregnancies result in stillbirth or other complications, my brain automatically resorts to thinking that will happen to me. A lot of my anxiety has to do with the fact that I've battled anxiety and PTSD for over 10 years.
About 10 years ago, I had a near death experience. As a result, my body developed PTSD and is frequently in fight, flight or freeze mode when I'm faced with any kind of anxiety—even if it seems small. Usually when I'm teaching 16 preschoolers full-time, my mind doesn't have time to wander and stress over worries about my baby's health. Work is good for my busy mind. However, since school has been closed due to the pandemic, I've been alone with my anxious thoughts and sometimes that feels even scarier than the virus itself.
So mamas, if you're anything like me, I'm sorry you're faced with an added stressor during your pregnancy. This should be such a happy time for us.
We should be able to freely wander the baby aisle of Target, picking things out for the nursery.
We shouldn't have to cancel our baby showers.
We shouldn't have to go to doctor appointments without our significant others.
We shouldn't have to isolate from our loved ones that live far away.
We shouldn't have to worry about the possibility of having to deliver alone.
We shouldn't, but we do. Ultimately, my point is that we're facing this uneasy time together. We're now in a special group of our own because we're growing our babies during a monumental time in our world's history. We're strong. We're going to get through this. And our babies are going to come out just as strong, too.
Our babies represent the joy, light and hope that shines so bright during dark times in our world.
I'm here for you, mamas.
I'm here when you need to vent.
I'm here when you need someone to pray for you.
I'm here to help you get through this!
This originally appeared on Rocky Mountain Wifey.