Kayleigh on her anxiety about giving birth during a pandemic

baby swaddled in a hospital - essay about giving birth during a pandemic

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

I was scared to become a mom when I first found out I was pregnant. I was even more scared when I realized I had to do it during a pandemic. When all the shut downs and restrictions started to happen, I was about 36 weeks pregnant. This baby was literally coming out any day now.

I had no idea what to expect and the restrictions were changing by the day. My anxiety levels were already high, but not knowing what could happen was making it worse.

At 37 weeks and six days, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy. Although it wasn’t the birth I had imagined, it was still the most amazing day of my life. I’m not going to lie, the first few weeks were super difficult. We didn’t have the extra help we needed. We didn’t get to show off our new baby to our friends and family. I couldn’t see a lactation consultant in person when I really needed to. I felt alone and trapped.

Related: Social distancing doesn’t have to mean loneliness—here’s how to stay connected

Although this pandemic felt almost like a nightmare, there were a lot of good things that came from it too. My boyfriend got to spend an extra five weeks with the baby and me (which was the most amazing thing ever.) The three of us were really able to bond with each other. We were able to save up money and just recently bought a house. 

To all you soon to be moms or current moms out there, just remember you are NOT alone! You can and will get through this. We all will. These past few months has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t change a thing.