Pandemics like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be scary for anyone, but when you are in your third trimester and approaching your due date, it adds an extra level of stress and worry. I am due toward the middle of May with my third son, and initially I wasn’t too concerned. Everything I was hearing was “Such and such a place is closed for two weeks until the end of March.” I figured this whole thing would have passed long before my due date, but I am now hearing of places being closed for up to eight weeks, which tells me that they are planning for the effects of COVID-19 to last much longer.
This has of course created several stressors in my life.
First and foremost, I am concerned for my unborn baby and my family’s health and wellness. We are taking precautions to stay safe and healthy. We have avoided any unnecessary outings for the past week or so, but I’ve needed to make daring trips to the store to scavenge for food and goods we need. I did not panic and hoard stuff, so we are mostly making do with what we have and what I can buy. We’ve been increasing our vitamins and up until a few days ago, had been taking elderberry syrup (until I saw an article stating that it could have an opposite effect regarding this virus). But there have been several “secondary stressors” that have come from this as well.
I am somewhat of a type A personality, so I like to have things planned and for them to run smoothly. With the upcoming birth of my baby, I had originally planned for some family and a friend to fly out from California, where I am originally from, to come help and of course see the baby. But with everything that is going on for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely this will be possible and I will need to come up with alternative childcare options for my other children, or worse comes to worse, not have my husband with me at the hospital. Another concern is my scheduled c-section: if this is still a pandemic at that time, could my baby contract COVID-19 from being in the hospital? What if I catch it right before it’s time for my scheduled c-section?
Another secondary stressor is hearing about so many places closing, particularly churches. My amazing husband is a church pianist and choir director, and I just got news last night that all of the churches in our Dioceses will be suspending the weekend Masses for the time being, so there are many uncertainties and a lot is up in the air right now regarding work and income. I am hearing about churches around the country suspending their services anywhere from two to eight weeks. I promise I am not being selfish. If it has to be done to protect people, I completely understand, but it is still a lingering possibility that could cause a hardship for us and a lot of anxiety for me.
I know catching COVID-19 isn’t always a death sentence. Though I have these concerns and am taking precautions, I’ve read up on the statistics and facts, and know that this virus is causing many complications in people’s lives. And in my situation, I obviously have many concerns. Maybe I needed to write this as a little therapy for myself, but I also hope that it will let other pregnant women know that they are not alone and we will all get through this together.