Norma's Nest: Pandemic Pregnancy
VANCOUVER -- One of the most common questions I've been asked this year is, “What’s it like being pregnant in a pandemic?”
In many ways, not that bad. There are no strangers coming up to me trying to touch my tummy. There's no FOMO from being too tired to meet up with friends, or from skipping the cocktails at holiday parties – because those things are obviously not happening anyway!
There’s definitely been a major increase in anxiety – what might catching COVID-19 mean for my baby? So I've been sanitizing every inch of my workspace before I sit down, with hand sanitizer that smells like tequila and gives me instant heartburn. (After smelling that so much, I was convinced my baby would come out asking for a nightcap.) The same goes for the anchor desk and the teleprompter knob (anchors do the prompting themselves – bet you didn't know that!) and anything else I come into contact with.
The first potential coronavirus scare in the office left me too scared to go into the station. That's when I realized I needed to tell work I was pregnant. At four-and-a-half months, it was sooner than I wanted to disclose – I was enjoying keeping it between me, my husband and a few close family members – but it was the right time.
Thankfully, our office has been quite careful and everyone is taking it seriously.
Many of my medical appointments have been over the phone. Going to the hospital and the clinic – areas where you know there are sick people at times – has been nerve-wracking. Obviously, these appointments are essential and I want to be there because nothing beats seeing your doctor in person, but I can’t help feeling that each visit elevates my risk. (Let’s not crowd the elevators, people!)
There have also been many appointments my husband Ryan hasn’t been allowed to attend to keep hospital numbers low. So that has been kind of hard. I make sure to record a video every time they take the baby’s heartbeat so he can hear it. I take detailed notes about everything because I can’t trust my baby brain to remember. I am so grateful Ryan has been allowed to come for the ultrasounds – that is so important because as any dad knows, it’s one of the few moments in the journey they can really be a part of.
The pandemic has made some of the funner parts of pregnancy impossible. There was no traditional baby shower, I wasn't able to show off my growing baby bump to friends, and we couldn't take our planned "babymoon" to Victoria. I know it's been hard on our moms not being able to visit, too. My mom would have loved to be here to help me shop and get the house ready for the baby, and she's pretty sad she can't be here for the delivery. I'm sad about that too, but health comes first and that's just the way it is! All I need is for my mom to learn Skype or Zoom so she can meet her grandbaby virtually!
The year 2020 has brought me the greatest joy of my life. It’s been a tough year – an unforgettable year – but unlike most people, I can’t ever say it’s been a bad year. When we found out in May that we were expecting our first baby after nearly 10 years of marriage, it was the happiest moment of our lives. And no virus will take that away. It has given our entire family something to look forward to during this dark and scary time.
I’m a firm believer in positivity and hope, and news of a baby has given us so much hope – and hope is something we need now more than ever.
Until Nest Time,