Finding out you're pregnant during a pandemic like Covid-19 for your first pregnancy is far from ideal. As I write this post, I’m 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant (April, 12th 2020). This will be my last Easter without a child.
I'm writing this post to be published after we announce the pregnancy. Finding out I'm pregnant during a pandemic was a shock. Covid-19 has turned everyone's life upside down and we have all felt the effects on some level. Being pregnant during a pandemic was never our intention.
My feelings, our history, and how I found out I am pregnant during Covid-19, a first time pregnancy journey entry of many to come.
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This blog originally started as an online journal documenting my engagement, wedding, and morphed into a beauty and lifestyle blog. The topics have shifted over the last 8 years, but the core of sharing my life has always remained the same. It seems fitting to document and journal about my first pregnancy here.
Let’s set the record straight that this baby was not conceived during quarantine. In fact once quarantine started, we had a discussion about taking “trying to conceive” off the table till life became more stable. Why wait? Honestly most of it for me was financial and the worry of bringing in a new life in such uncertain times. Financially, health, racism, logistics, it just seemed like the wrong time... again.
Wrong Time Again. Our History With TTC
Chris and I met in early 2010 and married in September of 2012. While I knew I wanted kids, I was not ready at the time. Looking back at the person I was even a few years ago, I’m happy we did not have kids. Emotionally and mentally I was not in a place to be a good mother.
Many of you may know I deal with depression which wasn’t fully managed till about 2 years ago. At the end of 2015 we started to think about having a baby. We even stopped using condoms (I had stopped birth control shortly after moving in with Chris in 2010 because of the severe mood swings and manic episodes I was having). We were not trying, but also okay if there was an oops.
That year my mom had an unexpected and severe stroke during a biopsy late summer. It shattering our world. Baby was off the table.
After almost a year of a new normal with my mom’s health and seeing my mom recovering and happy, we started to talk about having a baby once again at the end of 2016. I desperately wanted my mom to be around for our first child and she seemed to be recovering and healthy enough that this might happen.
Death and Grief
At the end of November, 2016 my mom caught the flu at her nursing home and never fully recovered. It progressively got worse and due to her weakened immune system from her stroke and other health issues, she was sent to the ICU on Christmas Eve of 2016. It's important to note how the flu led to a series of events that would cause me to lose my mom. Covid-19 is a horrible virus that puts those we love at even a greater risk than the flu.
Mom passed away early February of 2017 and it was everything I could do to just live. So baby was off the table once again as I dealt with my grief. Without my mom in the world, I wasn't sure I wanted children. During this period of grief I was destroying my own health. Hormonally I was imbalanced. I became estrogen dominant. My mental health had also declined. My doctors were concerned about my depression, the rapid weight gain, and poor lab results.
Preparing For Baby
After a lot of work, I started to be myself again and feel ready to talk about having a baby in 2019. We wanted to have certain things in place like being debt free was important to me. Having health insurance a good living space, and more. So we started to take steps to cut back on living expenses and save as much as we could.
You may remember that I went on a No Buy Journey to curb my emotional spending. Along the way during 2019 I found a new passion to help others and learn more about nutrition. I studied to become a certified nutritionist through Precision Nutrition and a certified health coach through Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.
After my own health struggles, I knew there was a need for people who could help guide others in the ever saturated and confusing topic of health and nutrition, especially in the social media space. Wanting to make sure I was as healthy as I could be for my family, this new avenue made sense for us. It also aligned with my beliefs in beauty. You have to feel good to look good and to be healthy from the outside in was similar to the motto that started this blog; dress yourself happy. Beauty from the outside in, inside out.
Chris became a certified personal trainer through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Which to me just made sense based on his lifelong passion for sports and fitness. He just finally made it official and began taking clients late 2019. With his new career path that made him feel happy and fulfilled, I was ready to think about seriously trying.
This brings us to early 2020. Chris and I were seriously thinking about having a child now. So I called to make my appointment for my yearly exam. Found out that my OB had retired! Literally broke down on the phone because that’s how much I loved her. Made an appointment with the new OB with lots of reservations and had a good cry.
It may seem silly, but when you’ve lost your mom and you are about to become one or think about becoming one, every little thing feels different. Every little thing matters.
Part of me thought, "I waited too long to have a kid and look at what happened. I won’t have the doctor I trusted and wanted." Because I am deathly afraid of pregnancy and labor this means a lot to me.
Chris came along for my check up and we met with the new doctor who we both immediately fell in love with and trusted. With everything looking normal and a few tips from the doctor we knew we could start trying to conceive. I had gotten all my vaccinations my previous doctor recommended a month ago just to be safe.
We waited an extra month just to be safe because of the vaccinations. We felt good, but nervous. Prepared as much as we could, the universe decided to laugh at us. Finally in early March it just happened.
Chris and I were not trying, but it happened to be “green week” which Chris did not know at the time. We had sex 1 time during that time frame. I told him it was green week and then we forgot about it. It might be important to note that both Chris and I were eating a carnivore diet at this time.
Finding Out I Am Pregnant During a Pandemic
Time went by and I didn’t think anything of it. I was more concerned about Covid-19 and what stay at home orders meant as it was looking like Covid-19 was about to hit the U.S. hard.
We were cautious about leaving the house before the quarantine started and was very aware of hygiene and distancing ourselves. But when we heard that businesses were ordered to close, we became a little worried. Never in our lives had we heard of this happening.
Trying to conceive was taken off the table immediately as we were figuring out how to survive the quarantine financially. Luckily we had been saving, unfortunately we are now living off of it during this time and not fully debt free. Not the ideal time to find out you're pregnant during a pandemic.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
My app told me I was about 5 days away from my period when the quarantine was in full effect, so my moodiness made sense. Plus we were in a pandemic, who wouldn't be a little off mentally? I had some food cravings, but to be honest not anything strange. There was one night I ate ½ a Costco pizza which was unusual for me. But for the most part I ate what I normally ate with my weakly treat meal of Dave’s Hot Chicken.
My period was now 5 days late, unusual for me. I’m someone who was always 2-3 day early, maybe 1 day late at most, but I’d been very consistent since living a mostly ketogenic lifestyle for the past 3 years. I was a little concerned, mostly annoyed, but did not think anything of it. Breast tenderness was severe and I thought that was odd, but again I’d had that before during my period. Just not this bad. I was still working out like normal, maybe I was a little tired here and there, but again didn’t think much of it.
Chris and I had been joking I was pregnant one night and he said I wasn’t so I took it at that. A few days later we were at the dinner table and I brought up how I was still late. He said he had thought I was pregnant a week ago. I was in shock and said how would that be possible, then he reminded me it was and I checked my app. It was possible.
We decided to get a pregnancy test the next day. The second I dipped the test in the urine it started to show positive.
How I Feel Being Pregnant During a Pandemic Covid-19
I felt a little numb. Maybe it was my mind protecting itself from stressing because stress is not good for the baby, but I just couldn’t believe it. When you spend most of your adult life trying to not get pregnant and then you do, it’s just strange.
It’s still surreal and we can’t really wrap our minds around it yet. Chris immediately wanted to tell people and we decided to tell family and a few close friends because even if something happens, we don’t want to be alone during this time.
Both Chris and I lost our moms and are doing this blind, we have each other, but want to have a community to talk to as well, so we decided to share the news with close friends and family. Plus with the quarantine, it’s been strange.
We’re in this little bubble of us and while we FaceTime family and friends, it still doesn’t feel real. Who to tell and when to share the news is a personal decision and this was the right decision for us.
At first I started panicking and to be honest I still am a little. All these worries come up about how we will afford a baby, the medical costs. Where will we move our office so the baby can have a nursery? Who will be in our baby's life? Will Chris be able to be in the room with me to hear its heartbeat, see its first ultrasound? Will the pandemic calm down enough so we can do these things that normally soon to be parents get to experience?
These are all things on my mind, mainly how the pandemic will affect this pregnancy and our lives and the ability to provide for our unborn baby.