Well, here we are. I’ll start by saying that I’m disappointed in the direction the coronavirus pandemic is headed in the U.S. As a staunch “rule follower,” I can’t help but wonder if we would be in a better place today if we could have tolerated lockdown for even a handful of more weeks.
While there is still some uncertainty related to coronavirus and pregnancy, I wanted to share a few resources that have been published in the last few weeks. Now that our daughter is here, my husband and I are having real-time conversations with our parents, family and friends about if and how they’re safely able to meet her. Those articles (below) have helped us address some of our concerns, and I’m also happy to see that more research is being done on how the two conditions relate.
Before I dive into that, though, I thought it was worth sharing this article published a few months ago by For the Church, and the importance of extending grace — Navigating Different COVID-19 Recovery Convictions. In the past weeks, I’ve seen disagreements among friends and family alike about what is “safe”; who feels “comfortable”; who we “trust.” The only thing that has become clear is that there is no clear, one-size-fits-all answer. While this is not research or evidence-based, it’s human.
From For the Church’s editor, Charles Smith, who back in April wrote, “Prediction: one of the most challenging aspects of the #COVID19 recovery will be disagreements over acceptable post-COVID social norms between friends & family. Hurt feelings will abound if we’re not careful. Extend lots of grace. Everyone is different.”
Three months ago, I can’t imagine Smith knew how spot-on his prophecy would be. That said, principles from article still hold true when it comes to empathy and understanding approaches other than our own:
1. Optimistic people are a blessing to my life. It keeps me hopeful about the future and enables me to embrace uncertainty as opportunity.
2. Cautious people are a blessing to my life. It keeps me sensitive to the needs and concerns of others and enables me to make prudent decisions.
3. Different gifts and approaches make us all more effective. Pride demands that everyone do things the way we demand. Read 1 Corinthians 12 and celebrate different gifts.
4. People matter more than my opinion. Being in healthy relationships with people is a privilege that requires me to love others above myself. When I am highly opinionated, I can needlessly hurt others.
In the end, these attitudes prepare our hearts and minds to do one thing above all else: choose love. Preserving valuable relationships and developing healthy teams, churches, and families is more important than winning arguments, or being (more) right.
Coronavirus and Pregnancy-Related Resources
Centers for Disease Control, If You Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding, or Caring for Young Children — the CDC updated its guidelines to include pregnant and nursing mothers in the “high risk” category for COVID-19. I was personally surprised this took so long; published the day our daughter was born, our county had categorized pregnant women as higher risk back in March. Better late than never, I suppose.
Mayo Clinic, COVID-19 in Babies and Children — the Mayo Clinic published its first report on the virus and newborns earlier this month. It is now statistically confirmed that not only can newborns contract the virus, but that they are also at higher risk of severe illness, if contracted.
The New York Times, When Can Grandparents Meet the Newborn? — by far one of the most comprehensive (and cautious) guides. We’ve been following this as closely as possible, including our two week quarantine immediately following our hospital dismissal. That said, some of the recommendations here, such as a two week quarantine for visiting grandparents upon arrival are just not logistically possible for our family. We’ll try to integrate best practices where possible, though, such as spending time outside, not dining indoors, etc.