We know that your pregnancy isn’t going as planned. That you had to cancel your baby shower and skip on your maternity photoshoot.
We know you had to shop from behind a screen instead of roaming Target endlessly picking out all the baby things.
That is why we are sharing personal stories from Mothers just like you. From healthcare workers on the front lines, to those bringing miracles of life forward with life-threatening restrictions, and the women carrying life who are just trying to make it to their next pre-natal appointment.
Sending so much love to all the mamas and mamas-to-be who are navigating pregnancy during this uncertain and fearful time, whether you're on the front lines or sheltering at home.
"In June 2020 the world was slowly “opening back up” and there finally seemed to be a feeling of a return to normal after three months of living through COVID-19; for many of us the first global pandemic ever experienced. During this time, I developed the “pregnancy itch!” I always knew I wanted three children, but having experience two very high risk pregnancies prior, resulting in premature deliveries (but thankfully healthy and thriving beautiful little girls), I worried about going for a third. My husband, a first responder, and I had extensive talks; factoring in the current state of the world. While we figured surely there might be surges of COVID-19 again, we could not image returning to the state experience in March and April 2020. We decided to let nature take its course. We decided that even in the midst of chaos, life has to continue on.
We became pregnant almost immediately. The summer months held appointments that had slight changes but were easy to accommodate. No significant others at well checks; however, the hospital was allowing a support person at ultrasounds. Great, at least my husband could see baby, we can do this was the thought. Being so high risk and the added in factor of COVID, we desired to keep the pregnancy under wraps until we were in the “clear zone.” Yet, to maintain social distancing we decided the best approach was to let select individuals know as we saw them; I didn’t want to appear rude keeping a distance. Summer quickly transitioned into fall and the world was shaken once again.
Currently, we are experiencing rates of COVID-19 higher than those seen at the start. Hospitals as are rapidly approaching capacity and I would be lying if I say I wasn’t panicked every
time my husband goes out to work; fearing that he might have an exposure. I am now alone at all appointments, masked up and constantly sanitizing hands. As the holidays approach, I turned to online shopping to avoid adding additional risk. Some days I feel stir-crazy and stuck in the house; working from home, being a full time mom at home and having no outlet of release to just run out to the store and browse. My greatest fear now is rates will continue to rise and I will be alone at delivery, or worse test positive and not be able to hold my child after birth. I’m sure I am not alone in these feelings.
They tell you not to google any alignments when you are sick, otherwise you will be diagnosing yourself with a critical life-threatening disease (when in reality you have the common cold). I have tried to take that advice now- pregnant women cannot let the unforeseen risk of the future ruin their moment now. To get through this, we must approach it one day at a time. After all, how amazing is it to be pregnant! This was the goal! This is the goal of so many women right now trying so hard to conceive. The most beautiful aspect of a mother is her strength. Whether this is your first pregnancy or fifth – moms develop strength unlike any other. You push forward for you child. So being pregnant in the pandemic may not be ideal, yet it’s still a blessing. The nursing and care teams replacing your significant other are a blessing; the keep showing up no matter the circumstances and they sense your fears and are giving their all to provide comfort.
No matter the obstetrical faced at the end you will being holding your precious child and all the lonely appointments and unconventional delivers will be behind you. So in the midst of craziness, look for the silver linings. Look for the helpers, look at the beauty of pregnancy, look forward to holding your child and experiencing hopefully normal first. Look at your strength – it’s there I promise you and it will carry you through."
words & photo shared from Bridgett McKinney at the Superhero Project
"33 weeks today, and celebrating my first pregnancy gowned up, sweating, and with a tight N95 cutting into my face. Pregnant mommas on the frontline post pictures to celebrate their pregnancy the only way we can right now. We don’t post pictures of ourselves to brag about working while pregnant. We don’t post to be proud. We post to remember our pregnancy, our experience, our time with our little ones. We post these pictures to find laughter in chaos, to celebrate in the midst of anxiety and fear."
words & photo shared from @taylorpoynter_
"Lyra and I are on our way home! Together we’ve navigated late pregnancy and childbirth during a global pandemic. The uncertainty, the risk of infection, the social isolation, the reconfiguring of postnatal support networks, no visitors (including daddy) after the birth, jitters (her), complicated C-Section recovery with pretty intense pain (me)....it’s been quite the experience. But also so many positives. The number one being the amazing care we’ve received from the team here (from doctors to housekeeping). And a shout out to my amazing friends in my phone for keeping my spirits up. . Baby girl we made it - now the fun starts . . ."
words & photo shared from @one_in_seven
"I honestly never thought I would look like this at a routine OB appointment. It was so strange sitting in my car alone waiting to be called into the office, not having Matt, Amira, or my mom with me (per usual), or having gloves and a mask given to me the second I entered the building. It’s truly eye opening how all of our lives are changing. I’m just SO grateful for the service of our Doctors, Nurses, PAs, and the lengths they’re going to keep us protected! Hope everyone continues to stay safe at home, so we can continue to keep others safe.
words & photo shared from @alexandriahaddad
"As I wait for the arrival of our third sweet baby (any day now) I feel like I have lived a lifetime these past four weeks. every emotion from fear, worry, and anxiety... to peace, strength and courage had flooded my thoughts and being. I think about the first time mom and how scary it must be navigating a different pregnancy and delivery than planned. I think about the mamas missing their baby showers, delivering in the hospital alone, and the postpartum moms who can’t find comfort from helping parents or counselors. the mom who delivered a tiny baby and has to visit the pediatrician multiple times a week... feeling like she is risking her newborn’s health every time she leaves the house. The mom who feels robbed of her joy during a time that should be marked with joyous anticipation... not fear of what kind of world she is bringing new life into. I see you mama, and I’m sorry you are living this. "
words & photo shared from @kaelynalida
"Oh baby the places you’ll go. This baby isn’t even here yet & he or she has already hung out on the frontlines of a pandemic with me.
Tonight was my last shift till this babe comes. For those keeping score at home, I’m going out on leave early. Me & baby are fine but in this tumultuous time in emergency medicine I had to listen to my gut which was telling me to choose the safest path for this babe & for my loves I come home to after every shift.
The decision to go out on leave early is made with a heavy heart as I’m leaving my second family. So much of me wants to stay & ride this out with my coworkers. I think that’s what makes ER nurses unique our inherent pull to the stressful, chaotic, unpredictable scenarios. I’ve never been prouder to work along side my colleagues.
The unknown is always what has attracted to the emergency department but suddenly the unknowns feel very large, unknown specifics of the virus, its effects on pregnancy, unknowns with every patient I’m in contact with.
So tonight I’m doffing one last time, meticulously sanitizing everything from my badge, my pens, my watch. And hanging up my stethoscope for a little while. I’ll be back in the fall, & COVID will probably still be around."
words & photo shared from @sanfrancsico.mama
Healthy, beautiful & just the sweetest thing.
So much about this experience was different than my first two, but not how I expected!
Yes, I had to get tested for #covid19 .
Sure, we had to wear masks the whole time.
I am indeed alone in the hospital now so my husband could go be with the worlds best big sisters.
But I knew all that...
What I didn’t know was that I’d get to watch the procedure through a reflection in the light in the OR and actually LOVE the experience.
I had no idea that at the moment of birth, they’d reduce from a sheet blocking my view to just a plastic screen so we could watch her come into the world and witness - not just hear - her first cry.
I was so surprised when they invited my husband to cut the cord - his first time.
I wasn’t expecting this to be my first birth where I got to experience skin-to-skin & start nursing so soon after delivery.
They’re magic moments that I always felt robbed of because I had to have csections when I once dreamed of natural births.
Today, after bracing myself for delivering during a pandemic in a procedure that I loathe, I found myself staring at the ceiling of the OR that was painted with butterflies - feeling my dads arms wrapped around us all & grateful for so many blessings.
words & photo shared from @amyljacobs
“Had my 36 weeks midwife appointment yesterday which was potentially my last face-to-face one before I give birth (next one is at 40 weeks), & it really hit me how much this pandemic has actually affected my pregnancy.
From reduced midwife appointments, to having to stay in the hospital alone once I give birth, to not being able to have any visitors... I guess because I’ve never been pregnant and this is all out of my control, I’ve accepted this as the normal but I won’t lie, some days it does upset me knowing that it could have been very different.
I realized the other day that I have no pictures whatsoever of me pregnant with any of my friends and family and that made me really sad. I’ve had to organize all her stuff on my own when I would have loved to have my mum or my friends round to help. I had to cancel my baby shower, which is definitely not the end of the world, but it means I’ve spent the last months of my pregnancy really isolated.
I’m not complaining whatsoever as I’m honestly so so grateful that everyone I care about is healthy and that is the most important thing. But I guess it’s good to take a step back and acknowledge that the situation is sad and it’s ok to feel it some days. So just putting this here in case anyone also occasionally feels sad about a few things they may have lost during this time time.”
words & photo shared from @katie_duarte.
Prenatal visits during a pandemic look like this:
• Mask on at all times
• Temperature checks and screening questions in the lobby
• Green dot sticker for clearance to go up to the clinic
• Plastic barriers at the check-in counter
• Doctors and nurses in full PPE
• Last month, no visitors were allowed so that meant FaceTiming my husband during our final ultrasound instead of having him by my side
• Now, visitors are allowed but they must wait outside until you are called back for your appointment and leave immediately after
I’m officially 38 weeks today and so far I haven’t dilated any. So for now, it’s lots of bouncing on my yoga ball, drinking raspberry tea, and eating all the foods to try and help get this process started. ️
words & photo shared from @alwaysbeyourjoy.
“My pregnancy with you taught me faith like I’ve never known.
My delivery with you taught me strength like I’ve never known.
Having a due date during this pandemic was a little stressful. From hospital protocols always changing to hearing all of the rumors about what to expect when I deliver. But it all worked out. Sure, I had to wear a face mask when I delivered but the nurses and hospital staff were so sweet about it.. telling me I could pull it down if I needed to. Seeing all of the hospital staff wear the full gear was strange but you forget about all of that when you’re pushing. Brian was able to be there by my side and my baby was immediately handed to me when she was born. In all honesty, Isla made us forget about everything that was going on outside those 4 walls, it couldn’t have been more perfect ”
words & photo shared from @alyshascholten
“Pregnancy can be hard...
Being pregnant during quarantine has been wild...
Having to wear a mask when it's already hard to breathe ....
Choosing between my doula and my husband in the delivery room ....
Not being able to treat my pregnant back to a massage or get a pedicure (it’s so hard for me to reach my toes!) ....
BUT us pregnant mamas don’t have the option to reschedule or postpone this precious time. We have to make the most of our pregnancies. .
It’s been hard thinking about this being my last pregnancy, but it also reminds me that I have to enjoy every minute. Soak it all in!”
words & photo shared from @kimperryco