There are a number of things that make pregnancy in a pandemic a bit different and unique. And until you’ve experienced it versus a normal pregnancy you don’t realize just how much it affects you.
For our first pregnancy my husband came to every single doctor/midwife appointment and ultrasound. He was so excited and didn’t want to miss a thing. Fast forward to our pandemic pregnancy and there are different rules for different places. Doctor and midwife appointments are a solo event which didn’t bother me a whole lot because I knew if I needed him I could call my husband on speakerphone for the appointment. Thankfully we have had a normal, healthy pregnancy and none of these solo conversations have involved bad news. But my heart truly goes out to the pregnant moms who have to face difficult and scary conversations on their own.
For our first ultrasound he was allowed to come with me. However once I was transferred to my midwives for care we were sent to a different ultrasound office. They had told me when booking the appointment that I had to go alone and I had come to terms with that. Then on the morning of the appointment my husband wanted to phone their office to see if the rules had changed. Me, with my foggy baby brain, gave him the phone number to the wrong ultrasound office who had said he was welcome to come.
He ended up changing around his whole work schedule only for us to realize that we were waiting at two different locations. I felt terrible enough for the mistake but it only got worse when I confirmed with the receptionist that he was not able to come in with me and I also wouldn’t be allowed to FaceTime him during the ultrasound.
This was the first time in the whole pregnancy where it really hit me – mostly because I had gotten both of our hopes up. I ended up crying quietly (under my mask) during the entire ultrasound while watching our baby on the screen. Obviously this was not a reaction I expected to have but it felt so much more real that things were different this time around.
Back to my first pregnancy and first labour in the hospital we had our families sitting in the waiting room while Ads made her appearance into the world. We also had my mom in the room with us for support through the whole thing. Nowadays there’s no one in the waiting rooms to come in and meet the baby in her first moments. And depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the area, there may only be one support person allowed in the delivery room.
I do know that at the height of the pandemic there were some mothers who were forced to go through the whole thing alone which I can’t even imagine.
Some hospitals may or may not be allowing anyone to come visit the baby once you’re in recovery. It seems to depend on the area and the cases. Assuming and hoping that everything goes smoothly, my midwives are planning to have me head home the same day so we will have everyone meet her once we get home.
All in all, there are plenty of things different about a second pregnancy already. Throw a bunch of added rules and restrictions from the pandemic on top of it and it’s like whole other experience. Thankfully it seems as though we’re nearing the end of a lot of the restrictions in Ontario. Fortunately it doesn’t seem as though there will be another lock down this winter season so there shouldn’t be any other huge letdowns.
To all the other moms who have been pregnant, had babies, or even those who have been going to fertility clinics during this difficult time – hang in there. You’re doing great! And remember, we’re all in this together.