WOW.. What a journey it has been. I have pretty much experienced my whole pregnancy whilst in some form of lockdown, so I thought it was only right that I document this journey and share my own experience of pregnancy and Coronavirus as after all, this doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. As always, I promise to be honest and open, so I really hope this offers any comfort to those who need it during this time and may be experiencing a similar thing, or simply allows for good reading and understanding from those who are not currently going through this, but may be able to better support those that are off the back of it.
Where to start
Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. What an emotional rollercoaster it has been. I think this is actually going to feel a little like therapy getting all of this down. I promise not to make it too long, but let’s go back to the beginning shall we! We first found out that we were pregnant on the 11th March, and we thought we were around 4 weeks at this point. Like many at this early stage, we didn’t want to share the news with anybody yet so we kept it to ourselves. We were busy thinking about how we would like to share it with our parents and knew that we wanted to include Little Bear in on this. After some thought, we got the cutest photo to capture it and decided to pop it in to a video (Little Bear was coming up to his first birthday, so we thought combining a video of his firsts and his big moments was rather apt, whilst sharing at the end that his biggest achievement was yet to happen: Becoming a big brother).
I know I am biased, but it’s a cute photo right! It’s also crazy to think that we were using the tree to prop him up there as he couldn’t yet stand fully on his own, and now I spend my days chasing around after him and pulling him down off things he has climbed up.
Anyway, unfortunately we were unable to share the video with our family before we were then put into lockdown on the 24th March. After waiting for news that we were going to come out and still not receiving it, (in fact the restrictions were getting tighter) we realised that we were not going to have the privilege of telling them to their face. So over Zoom call it was! We were still able to show the video, and in fact we recorded their reactions which was nice and something we probably wouldn’t have done if we were face to face. But WOW… Getting the older generation to work out Zoom Technology was not easy ha! Sorry Mum and Dad, but we got there in the end!
Life in Lockdown
It would be wrong of me to say that Coronavirus and lockdown has been all bad as it has actually allowed us to make some changes which were necessary. Of course, at the beginning we had some work to do to get our heads around it, as both being self-employed, our incomes were taken from us immediately, but out of this came commitment and determination to make things happen and work for our growing family, which is where Personal Development Time was born (be sure to check out our story if you haven’t read it before). Honestly, the initial motivation, and me having the opportunity to get my head stuck in to something outside of being a Mum felt really good and invigorating.
However, it became time for things to change and Adam had to go back to work. This is the point at which I would say it most definitely became the most difficult as I was then left hormonal and pregnant whilst trying to look after a 1-year-old. I had no access to my support network as we couldn’t mix, and couldn’t get out anywhere for a change of scenery or to hit the refresh button.
What hit us the hardest
It would definitely be fair to say that Coronavirus has pretty much hit everybody hard in one way or another. The things that we found the most difficult in this pregnancy whilst also dealing with Coronavirus were:
- Experiencing so much uncertainty: Many times it has felt impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and going through this whilst we had decided to grow our family left us feeling anxious as to what the immediate future held, how our finances would be, what support we would have around and how we would all be affected.
- Missing out on those key moments: Whilst I completely understand the importance of protecting everybody, missing out on key moments that we will never have the opportunity of getting back, such as both attending the scans and being able to see the baby was really hard. This became the most difficult during our later scans when there seemed to be so much conflict with the restrictions and they didn’t all seem to make sense. This is definitely where the frustration and anger with the situation started to creep in. There has also been a lot on anxiety that goes with this, as having to experience these moments on your own, when you have no certainty that everything is OK until you are there is not pleasant to go through (as I am sure many will relate to, and my heart goes out to all of those who were put in that horrible situation and had to work out dealing with any news that they really shouldn’t have to receive on their own.)
- Not being able to do all the things we did with Little Bear: There has been no shopping around and getting excited by visiting baby shops, I have been unable to attend any prenatal exercise classes and we have seen very little of our family to share our journey with. I think you are always conscious second time round to ensure you do things similar and treat them equally from the very start (more mum guilt hey!), but not being able to do these things, to me, are all part of the enjoyment of pregnancy.
My own battle
So time to be very honest and open, because I know that so many of us have indeed had our own battles going on during this time. The first thing I really want to say is that if this is you, then you are absolutely not alone, and there is no shame in admitting that things have got too much either.
I think when you think of a pregnancy, you associate it with a time in which you “should” be excited and full of joy. However, I know that this is so far from the reality for so many due to one reason or another. Now we have been very lucky in that we had a very straight forward pregnancy with Little Bear and did not experience any complications in trying to fall pregnant either time. So one would think there is therefore no reason to feel anything other than that joy and excitement right!
But unfortunately, that has not been my experience this time round. I have in fact found it all a bit too much at times: With my hormones being all over the place, circumstances being far from normal with Coronavirus and me still working out this whole mummy thing being just 18 months in to it. So the last 9 months have been a challenge to say the least.
It was actually at a routine midwife appointment where I found the courage to be open and honest enough to say that I am struggling, and had gone past the point where I felt like I could control this myself. I did need professional help! Very quickly I was offered some counselling sessions, and started my journey working through how I was feeling. I feel extremely grateful to have been able to do this, as just talking through things with somebody that was not involved in them was a real help.
What were my takeaways? Well, I am not going to say that everything magically got better, but I did find myself come to a point of acceptance with everything. Hey! Times were hard, finances had been shaken for everyone, support networks weren’t there in the same way as before, socialising was out of the equation and normal life had been totally taken away. I mean when you put it like that, it’s no wonder it has us running in the opposite direction to get away from it all! So in the end I arrived at a point where I actually didn’t wish for this to be any different from what it was, I simply allowed myself to “feel all the feels”, and accept that it is just a part of this journey, and that is OK! I did also manage to massively work on the pressure that I put upon myself, and somehow (through an amazing therapist), removed some of it, which just felt incredible. It is something I am still working on, but it has most definitely improved.
There is hope
Within all of these struggles and difficulties, we have had the opportunity to experience some lovely moments that we would never have had if it weren’t for lockdown and Coronavirus, and they will stay ingrained in our hearts and our minds forever.
Sat here now with very little time to go until the next chapter of our story begins I honestly feel like I do not know where this pregnancy has gone. In many ways the days have felt incredibly long, but the 9 months as a whole has gone so quickly that I almost feel like I should have a whole pregnancy that I need to go through yet. Honestly, this saddens me slightly, as we don’t know if this is the last time that I will experience being pregnant, and I so wish that overall it would have been more enjoyable, but hey, the journey has been what it has and I cannot change that. What we do have is our future to look forward to as a family of 5 ( including the dog of course), and a heap of gratitude that we have got through this together.
We are now faced with new challenges as we enter into this new chapter, which includes now having a baby during lockdown too! We have just entered the second lockdown so will definitely be bringing our baby in to the world during these uncertain times. I honestly did not expect this to be the case, and back in March when all of this began I was actually very grateful that we weren’t due until November, thinking that this would all be a distant memory by then. So of course, we head in to this new phase feeling slightly anxious as to what lies ahead (as are so many), but we have many lessons that we have learnt along the way from the first lockdown and have been given many opportuntiies to grow. We will indeed face this with as much positivity as we can, and no doubt will be back shortly to share our journey. In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up then don’t hesitate to head over to Instagram or Facebook to follow us.
If you have or are experiencing your pregnancy during lockdown then I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment below or connect on social media. After all, we are all in this together!
Sending love and positivity at a time when we all need it the most.