If you can’t tell by the title, I’m pregnant. And yes, it’s a pandemic. But, it’s not all bad.
Not to belittle anyone’s pregnancy experience – and I’m so glad I’m not a first-time mom right now – but despite all the downsides of being pregnant during a pandemic, there are also some things I’ve come to enjoy. So, in the spirit of looking on the bright side of things, here is a look at some of the things I’m grateful for being pregnant at this time:
It’s Easier to Keep Your Secret
With pregnancy #2, I started showing earlier. This meant it was harder to hide from my coworkers or those that I wasn’t ready to share the news with. And, I had to “fake” drinking at a few holiday happy hours. This is baby #3, and I swear I started showing the I found out! (only slightly joking) But, since I’m working from home and live on Zooms all day long, it has been easier to hide my growing belly. In-person holiday events/gatherings and other happy hours were pretty much nonexistent this year. So, nobody notices what I’m drinking (or not drinking). This meant I could tell people when I was ready.
No Strangers Attempting to Touch My Belly
If you’ve been pregnant, you’ve probably been in this situation: You walk into an elevator. And the stranger next to you takes one look at your belly and exclaims, “Oh, a baby!” and proceeds to rub your stomach. It’s uncomfortable, and if you’re actually in an elevator, you’re somewhat stuck. But, during a pandemic, not only do I have fewer situations with strangers, but people tend to keep their distance. So far, my next door neighbor is the only one to comment on my growing belly, besides my 2-year-old.
Fewer Awkward Comments from Acquaintances
When you have fewer social interactions, you have fewer awkward ones. There are no colleagues looking at you one day and saying, “Hey, you really popped today!” Or clients commenting, “Are you having twins?” Or extended family sharing how much larger/smaller/different you look from their [insert name of someone in their family] who is also pregnant.
Being sick anytime isn’t fun. But being sick when you’re pregnant and not allowed to take most medicines — that’s a new challenge. We’ve been lucky and stayed mostly healthy during the pandemic. Our kids have been home since March 2020, which means they haven’t been at daycare. That, combined with the fact then when I leave the house I’m in a mask, means we’re simply exposed to fewer germs.
Especially in the beginning, life seemed busier. The kids were home, we were watching them while attempting to working full time, and it was nuts. But now that we’ve gotten into a groove and things have settled down, there’s simply more time. No commute means an hour back in my day. No daycare drop off and pickup? That’s more time back. No play dates, board meetings, etc. = more time. That means more time for breakfast on the porch. More time for family walks. More time for baking. More time for nature hikes. While we can mourn for all we’ve lost this past year, I’m grateful to have all the time to spend with my growing family.
Questions for you:
Have you been pregnant during this pandemic? What was it like?
A version of this first appeared on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.