COVID baby bust? Not for us.
You've probably heard that the future generation will be known as the "quaranteens" or the "coronials." Like many of us thought, myself included, we were on the cusp of a 'baby boom' this year. With a year of staying home, Netflix marathons weren't the only activity couples were enjoying—so we thought.
The 2021 State of Motherhood survey results had some surprising findings, including that 41% of millennial mothers reported having less sex as a result of the pandemic, leading to more of a baby bust. Conversely, my husband and I took full advantage of spending more quality time at home together.
With that said, the thought of getting pregnant and having a baby during a pandemic made us hesitate. Why would a couple move forward with family planning amid a global pandemic? Getting pregnant right now would involve more social isolation, attending doctor's appointments and ultrasounds alone, the possibility of delivering a baby without a support person, and heightened fear of exposure to COVID-19.
With my husband's business filing for grant money and my fitness business completely shut down, we were on the brink of total financial chaos.
We knew that pregnancy during a pandemic would not be easy and would come with many challenges, but ultimately we decided this was the best decision for our family, and here's why.
Spending more time at home early in the pandemic
With the stay-at-home order in full effect, we found ourselves spending more time at home, which led to an over appreciation for the lifestyle we wanted to live. Spending more uninterrupted time at home led to more opportunities to be intimate, build a stronger bond, and enjoy each other's company. Surprisingly, we grew closer as a couple, which escalated our plans to start a family.
The fear of losing more time
When the pandemic first hit, we had only been married for eight months, and we celebrated our first anniversary in quarantine. We initially wanted to wait until our second anniversary to start trying for a baby, but we quickly realized that family is the number one in our lists of priorities. After talking with my ob-gyn and knowing 60-80% of women get pregnant within 3-6 months, and most healthy couples conceive within a year, we didn't want to risk our chances and wait until the end of the pandemic. As a first-time mom at the age of 28 and hoping for three children, we knew that waiting till the "end" of quarantine was not an option. Unaware of our fertility, how long conception would take, age, and no end to the pandemic in sight, we decided to push forward with starting a family a year early.
Pregnancy at home sounded appealing
Enjoying pregnancy in the comfort of my own home was a perk of a pandemic pregnancy. With my husband at home to help take care of household activities, I was able to cope with pregnancy symptoms much easier than working from a corporate office. Pregnancy symptoms were much easier to handle working from the comfort of my own home which allowed for extra sleep-ins, weekday naps, relieving morning sickness in my personal bathroom, unlimited access to the fridge and pantry made.
We re-evaluated what's important
After spending six months working from home and growing closer to my husband, we had the opportunity to reevaluate what is important to us. We realized that raising children and starting a family of our own was our number one priority. The pandemic taught us that jobs are temporary, tomorrow is not guaranteed, and family is everything. This new lifestyle we were creating showed us the possibilities of remote work, traveling, and raising children at home.
With an unsteady income and uncertainty of how the pandemic would affect our businesses, we were uneasy thinking about the upcoming expenses. And although our grocery bills increased, overall spending decreased. With restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment closed we found alternative ways to "date" that were low cost, outdoors and free. The extra savings made us feel more secure and prepared for upcoming medical bills.
The situation is changing every day, but the ultimate choice lies in each couple. With all life decisions, there is no right or wrong answer—it's all about weighing the pros and cons and what is best for you and your family.