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  • Writer's pictureAarti Pole

Pregnant during a global pandemic

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Well, I think we can all agree - these are strange times to say the least. I know I’m not the only expecting mom who is feeling stressed and uncertain with a global pandemic putting unimaginable strain and burden on our healthcare system. Not to mention a new contagious virus spreading - all while preparing to bring a human into the world.

Yes - it sometimes keeps me up at night, sometimes there are tears, if I’m being honest. For me, the only way I feel somewhat equipped for an unknown scenario - is to feel prepared.  In this case, that's feeling prepared for unpredictability and change.

This is my first pregnancy - so pre-pandemic, I was already grappling with who the 'new me' would be.  I love my current childless freedom and I’ve happily dedicated the past 15+ years of my life to my professional aspirations.  So how do I mentally reconcile taking a step back from it all?  Well that was my concern pre-pandemic. Now, there isn't space in my mind to think about any of this!

With health policies changing quickly, isolation recommendations in place, concerns about space in hospitals, and so many unknowns about the impact of coronavirus on pregnant women and their babies, I’m also a lot less worried about the impending identity change! (silver lining...?)

There are some other smaller things that have come up as a result of the pandemic - that are still disappointing and can feel overwhelming. It's a time that is mean to be full of joy, but right now especially, it doesn't always feel so joyful. My baby shower planned by my loving friends and family back home in Vancouver, was obviously cancelled - that's not a big deal, but I won't see any of the people closest to me, before my baby is born, I can't quite articulate what that feels like. My mom is set to travel here, to Toronto from Vancouver for the baby's arrival. Not just to be part of the joy of her first grandchild, but as my biggest support (aside from my husband of course) as I try to settle into the huge adjustment that is motherhood. At this stage, domestic travel is still open - but will that be the case when I'm due, in June? I don't know. It's fair to say - no one really knows how things could change. I have booked my mom's flight, and I remain hopeful, but it's a tough thing to think about, (and I truthfully do my best not to - too much because it really breaks my heart).

I personally know a lot of women who are due to give birth in the next few months, and like me, they are full of questions. At this stage, I want to equip myself with as much helpful information as possible.  I'm doing my best to do that - by speaking to experts, doctors and fellow moms-to-be about their experience. The conversations at least help me mentally get a handle on the fact that things surrounding my pregnancy, delivery and postnatal care, are subject to change quickly. I need to make peace with this. (It's probably good parenting preparation too!).  I've put the information I've found so far into 2 online pieces for CBC News - I hope they are helpful to some of you! 

As things evolve I intend to keep up to date- and I’ll share whatever I discover! 

Wishing you all good health and a safe pregnancy journey if you're on this wild ride! We will all get through this.

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