Hello, my name is Janelle (“J”), and I’m writing this from the comfort of my home, where my husband, dog, myself and our baby-in-utero have been isolating for the better part of a week.
As I write this, I am 26 weeks pregnant, during a global pandemic.
How did we get here? I slowly started paying more attention to the new coronavirus, starting in mid-January 2020. It felt as though more news related to the coronavirus began trickling into our lives week by week, then day by day — be it a report on NPR, conversations with colleagues or glares from my fellow passengers during a flight as I sneezed into my elbow.
That brings us to today, as we continue to adjust to the practice of “social distancing” (sidebar: entirely new-to-us terms entered our lexicon overnight) and to what everyone says is our “new normal.”
Processing this has been a rollercoaster. It feels surreal, and with updates and changes on a daily basis, I feel as though I’m floating in space, in some sort of weird time continuum. I turn to my husband every few days to ask him, “this is really happening, right?” to hours later feeling as though I’m buried by an avalanche of anxiety and emotion. At times I’m too overwhelmed to think about our next meal and then, on to the next worry, wondering if we should be stockpiling food, and if it’s too soon to be thinking about buying diapers and wipes months in advance. It comes in waves — cascading over me all at once, then petering out, slowly creeping back again and again.
I guess that’s probably where a lot of us land — it’s a traumatic experience, period. We’ll all come out of this with different experiences, none “less than” the other. This is difficult for everyone, and most all of us will struggle in some way(s).
Full Disclosure: This is my first pandemic. Oh, and my first pregnancy. Newly married, in a new-to-us house, which often has several “projects” going simultaneously.
My pandemic experience has been complicated by my pregnancy, which I’ve found to be isolating in and of itself. I’ve hit peak anxiety at times, spent hours scouring the web’s endless abyss, searching, pleading, begging for anything related to pregnancy and the virus (there’s not much, but more on that later) that will help calm my nerves, but only mounting them instead.
My friend Brian asked me to describe how I’ve felt about my experience thus far, and to be honest, I can’t find the words. Or maybe I find too many of them, uncovering more day by day: “confused,” “terrified,” “unsettled,” “panicked,” “disappointed,” “unsure.”
So, pen to paper — err — blog, rather.
As we prepare for
Here’s what I’ll be sharing:
- Resources I’m using to navigate these uncertain times.
- A safe, virtual place to connect with other expectant moms (Obviously, I know I’m not the only mom-to-be with the same thoughts and concerns, and through connection and common interests, we can find solutions to the problems both large and small that our new landscape presents).
- General pregnancy updates – unrelated to the coronavirus. I’m excited to walk through this with the virtual community, much in the way I would have participated in a physical activity until a few weeks ago.
A note on what this will not be: — it will not be a place to loathe or complain, nor a place for pity. While this pregnancy might be taking place during a global pandemic, it is not a burden. I feel incredibly lucky to be on my journey to motherhood, whatever that ends up looking like, and to have the basics. Our situation could be worse, and when I write that, I’m thinking of moms who live in poverty, war or refuge.
Now, about me:
- I’m a 30-something mom-to-be, due with our first child this summer.
- My husband and I live with our dog in a tiny mountain town, in Colorado’s Crystal Valley.
- In the way of pregnancy, I’m just kind of navigating it as I go. Lots of reading and research, and feeling incredibly grateful to be healthy thus far.