2020 has come and gone in what has simultaneously felt like ten years but also only a few days. This year decided to throw COVID, murder hornets, stay at home orders, economic struggles, elections, civil rights movements, and everything else in between at us. To top that off, many of the warriors in our TTC community had the blessing of being pregnant in the pandemic. We can all acknowledge that being pregnant is an incredible miracle, but it also added nausea, swelling, heartburn, headaches, and the constant raging hormones causing ridiculous mood swings to the list of stressors this year. Not to mention the extra layer of emotional whirlwind for those who were pregnant after infertility or loss. In fact, if you are still struggling with that, Infertility Gave Me Gratitude, Pregnancy Gave Me Humility could help you navigate some of those feelings.
Momma, I see you and I get it! You did not go through all of that alone. A whole community of women went through this! Everyone who was pregnant in the pandemic went through a pregnancy that can only be understood by the other warrior women who experienced the same struggles. There were so many funny, joyful, heartbreaking, and just plain bizarre experiences that surrounded this experience. I hope reading this list makes you laugh and maybe cry as you realize that you did not sit in this ridiculous situation alone! Here are a few things stuck out to me:
1) Having all the COVID symptoms with no COVID.
I remember having to fill out the paper every single doctor's appointment that asked if I had experienced shortness of breath. Every single time I sighed, rolled my eyes, and told the nurse that I always had shortness of breath because of the melon sized baby kicking my lungs!
2) Finding new hobbies to help you cope with pregnancy.
Some people harnessed their inner DIY and rocked their nursery design. Others took some time to work on themselves through journaling, reading, or exercising. I know that working through my Good Grief Journals a few times a week helped me feel a little less overwhelmed.
3) Masks making every situation feel so much warmer.
Wearing a mask to the store was definitely a necessity, but man feeling your hot breath on your face for any amount of time makes the whole thing feel so much warmer! So pregnancy in July with a mask basically made it feel like you might die from heat exhaustion while trying to grocery shop.
4) Telemedicine appointments.
The doctor hops on, asks if the baby is moving, asks if you have any questions or concerns, and then signs off. The whole thing is literally two minutes long!
5) Creative baby showers.
Some of us had drive by baby showers while others did it over zoom. But what we can all say is that it took a little extra brain power to figure out how to get all the things our precious little ones would need!
6) Scouring Pinterest for DIY photography tips.
Who knew those cute newborn or maternity pictures were so hard to make happen? To those of you who actually took pictures, I commend you! I was able to get a few good maternity pictures for the Pregnancy Journey Journal, but my postpartum brain totally skipped over any newborn pictures!
7) Flying solo to your doctors appointments.
Plenty of moms do this already, but in that first pregnancy a lot of us had intended on our loved ones being at every single appointment. Needless to say that did not happen!
8) The emotional whiplash that came while you waited to hear if you would be giving birth without your support person.
Momma, this one hit us all hard. But, whatever the outcome was for you, you did it. Good job! And, if your bundle of joy has yet to come, you were built to do this no matter what the circumstances. You will do great!
9) No visitors in the hospital.
This one was tough, but looking back I am actually incredibly grateful for the alone time I got to bond with my new little one without the pressure of visitors.
10) The overwhelming joy of your little miracle’s arrival!
You know how they say that you can’t really know joy unless you have felt real pain? Well I think this pandemic brought everyone a new level of heartache and pain. It has been such a wild ride, but in the end there was this perfect little baby in your arms and all of that heartache was replaced with a bright, undeniable joy.
Whether your little miracle is arriving in 2021 or you are snuggling your precious baby as you read this, you should be proud. My sweet momma, you did it! You survived this crazy year. No one can ever call that a small feat! You overcame every challenge thrown your way and made the best decisions for your body and your baby. And you were not alone in this journey! I hope this list helps you see that many of us all had similar experiences being pregnant in a pandemic. Looking back, it wasn’t all bad! Honestly, we should probably take a moment to acknowledge some of the major positives of being pregnant in the pandemic:
- Working from home makes napping whenever you want a lot easier. Heaven knows pregnancy survival requires naps!
- Makeup became completely optional. No need to cover up the bags under your eyes from pregnancy insomnia if you aren’t leaving the house.
- No one expected you to wear real pants. Pajamas all day every day. (This one might have been my favorite perk to being pregnant in the pandemic!)
- Saying no to having company over is a lot easier when you can blame it on the government.
- No one could blame you for buying all the baby things off of amazon. Honestly, what else were you supposed to do with your time?
- Every store figured out how to bring what you wanted to your car. Game changer!
- You could have any food craving delivered straight to your house. You didn’t even have to get off your couch!
- Everyone became a clean freak. Being sick on top of being pregnant is absolutely no fun, so the amount of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes being used is a huge thing to be grateful for. Keep those germs away from me!
2021 is here, and it is a new start. Sure, most of our 2020 problems are rolling into the new year, but we have the opportunity to be prepared for a lot of those things now as opposed to last year. The pandemic is still here, more murder hornet nests have been found, and the economy is still slowly healing. I am sure new hard things are coming our way in 2021, but, in all honesty, we are all so good at rolling with the punches at this point that each of us will be fine! And, if you are wanting some extra help or healing in this new year, look into our Good Grief Journals. We currently have prompt journals focusing on grief, anxiety, infertility, IVF, miscarriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. Each journal includes unique pages and prompts to invite healing and self reflection.
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