Being Pregnant Amidst Uncertainty

March 16th, 2020: I started writing this post when I was 38 weeks but then had some things come now on my due date I'm finally finishing it. I’m walking around like an elderly elephant. During Week 38 I had some sort of flu-like illness (not the virus!) and I can say I never ever want to give birth while sick. I started having contractions while also puking my guts up and I'd like to never experience that again. I spent a whole day in bed but am recovered now and just trying to avoid any other illnesses. 

My emotions are a little crazy right now. I’ve reached the point where I’d like to hole up and hide from everyone but alas, life doesn’t stop. So instead I will answer the same 700 questions every time I go out in public and try not to go into a hormone filled rage: No, it's not twins. No, baby isn’t “too big.” Yes, I know I look like I could give birth at any moment.  It's a little ironic that I wrote all of that and that we're now all being told to stay home if we can. Not a problem for me! I'm kidding around a little but I don't say that to make light of other people's situations. I know this is a frustrating time for many, I'm just trying to share a little humor. Believe me, all this craziness makes me nervous too. It's frightening to go to a checkup and see all these restrictions being enacted and special policies put in place.

If my pregnancy app doesn’t stop popping up saying, “IS YOUR BABY HERE YET?” I’m going to chuck my phone across the room. 😂 Kidding of course, but Baby Center needs to take a chill pill. It's been saying that since Week 35 or something. Babies are like wizards: “they are never late, nor are they early. They arrive precisely when they mean to." 🧙‍♂️ 

I am so, so looking forward to holding a newborn baby, being able to walk again, being able to see my feet again, not making grunting noises when I stand up, not feeling like a beached whale....I suppose you could say I may be just a *wee* bit OVER my pregnancy at this time. We don't really have anything else to do now other than wait. The bassinet is assembled, birth kit is in order, clothes and blankets are washed and put away, food is stocked up...and now we wait.

March 23, 2020: 41 Weeks. I'm not surprised I'm here again. Almost every pregnancy of mine has been overdue. It's weird because as much as I want her to get here, I'm also worried about what happens when she DOES get here. Things are getting nuts with this virus and at least when she's in the womb I know she's okay there.

April 3rd, 2020: Our sweet baby has been here with us for one full week! The world has gotten pretty crazy in the last few weeks and I am so glad her birth went well. The next post I write will be her birth story - I'm working on it - but I just wanted to share something kind of cool I got to do just this past week. Our local news station WTHI recently interviewed me about homebirth, being a doula, and being pregnant during this pandemic. It was a neat experience. You can check it out at the link below:

The only things I would add would be that:
  • This was not my first homebirth. I've had several. I didn't choose homebirth because of the corona virus. I am definitely happy that I chose homebirth because of it NOW but it wasn't one of my initial reasons.
  • Homebirth in our area is offered by midwives. Your OB-GYN may or may not be familiar with the choices in your area so you may have to find out about them other channels - different providers, motherhood related groups, online, etc.
  • Many doulas are offering virtual support options now so you don't have to "choose" between them or your partner. And regardless, they would love to help you navigate your pregnancy and childbirth. You can find more information about doulas through Doula Match, DONA International, or New Beginnings Doula Training.

Ten Ways to Help Others

*I apologize for not getting this post up on Friday as originally intended...however if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll know why! :)

The world is pretty crazy right now. With families all over the country being confined to their homes, out of school or work, having to work from home, or limited to the activities they can do, there's a lot of uncertainty - and with that comes anxiousness, frustration, and boredom. To try and help a little bit, I'm going to be posting a Top Ten List each day for the next five days with things for families to do, ways to relax, or other helpful tips.

Today's post is all about helping others! It's hard being stuck at home - especially if you've got kids, are older and alone, are an extroverted person, etc. But it's also hard having to continue to go to work and to put yourself in harm's way like many of our doctors, medical staff, grocery workers, food service workers, and countless others are doing daily. So let's take a look at some things we can do (from our own homes!) to help out some of those people who are in need or who are doing hard things daily:

10. Check on your friends, family, and neighbors - Have you checked in with the elderly in your neighborhood? What about your aunt that is a nurse at the local hospital? Your cousin that works at the grocery store? Your friend that is a single mom? Call, text, email, or video chat to see how your friends, family, and neighbors are doing. A healthcare worker that's putting in extra time at work may need a dog walked, an elderly neighbor could use groceries...there's lots of possibilities.

9. Order delivery/carry out and TIP generously - Many restaurants across the country have been forced to close their dine-in options. This is understandable of course, but puts a lot of stress on them. One way we can help to support them is to order delivery or carry-out food and then tip them generously for their services.

8. Buy gift cards or certificates from local businesses to help them keep their doors open - Another option for local restaurants and other businesses is to consider ordering gift certificates for them. Not only will that help them monetarily but you'll also have an outing already planned for when restrictions and the like are lifted in the future.

7. Send a card/note - Nursing homes around the country have been closed to visitors. Why not take some time to fill out some cards or even a handwritten note to drop off for the local residents? Up until just recently ours were accepting drop off deliveries at the door - I think now they may have to be mailed. This is also a great idea for elderly neighbors or family members you can't visit right now - drop them in the mail or make a short car trip to drop off at their door. (Just remember to let them know they have mail waiting!)

6. Make up a care package or meal to drop off  - If you're able to, consider making a meal, healthy snack, or a care package of some kind for neighbors or friends. Let them know you'll be coming by or ask when is a good time and then ding, dong, ditch! (Only in a good way, not a mean way!) Another idea: a friend of mine on Facebook organized a large group of people to make food (separately, at their own homes) and then collected it all & delivered to the local hospital!

5. Order or pick up groceries for someone else - All across the country people are staying at home and trying to avoid going out for anything unless absolutely necessary. However, life still goes on and people still need groceries, household supplies, etc. So if you're healthy and going out, call someone you know who may be more at risk or unable to venture out and see what you can pick up for them. Or if you're in a part of the country that offers delivery, utilize that service.

4. Use your skills to help your community - Check local community groups and see what people in your area are in need of and how you can help them. (This will obviously vary, depending on where you are.) Local to us I've seen nursing homes asking for people who sew to make cloth masks, parents asking for homework help/educational resources, and people working together to make meals for our local healthcare workers.

3, 2, and 1. Give/Donate/Volunteer - Check in with local food pantries, community centers, group homes, nursing homes, etc. to see what they’re in need of. And of course, donations of money are always good if you're unable to collect things for them. Some places to consider: Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, homeless shelters, and the Red Cross. If you’re healthy and able, consider donating blood or volunteering with one of those organizations or a local non-profit that needs volunteers. Obviously this is another one that will depend on your personal health, your state/community guidelines, etc. Please follow all rules and use your best judgement on keeping yourself safe.

If you enjoyed today's list, make sure you check out these others:
Monday: Top Ten Virtual Field Trips
Tuesday: Top Ten Easy Arts & Crafts
Wednesday: Top Ten Life Skills to Learn
Thursday: Top Ten Ways To Relax
Friday: Ten Ways to Help Others