Updated: Aug 10
Ever have a time in your life that felt like a total and complete shit show? You’ve fallen into the dirt, and people and life just keep dumping more and more dirt on you to where you feel like you’re buried in despair. That’s how I felt in my COVID pregnancy. We need to normalize talking about what we experienced during COVID, so we can all heal.
I got pregnant right in the heart of COVID a mere two weeks after Erik proposed in July 2020. It was my first pregnancy. What is normally a time where people dote on you a little extra, you’re supposed to be glowing, and pittering around decorating a nursery was none of those things and actually pretty horrible for me. I was extremely sick almost the entire pregnancy. I was planning a wedding. To most people that would be fun and exciting, but to me, the girl who already planned two failed weddings and had tons of old wounds regarding weddings and desperately wanted to just elope without the fuss or attention, it was mentally and physically overwhelming.
Right after our wedding, which was the beginning of my second trimester, we bought our home which was a HUD house and needed everything done to it before it was ready for us to move into. We spent late nights fixing plumbing, laying floors, and doing other random work just getting the place livable enough for our second move of my pregnancy. (Once from Erik’s apartment into mine and a storage unit then again from my apartment and the storage unit to the house.) The insane hormones and mood alterations were not something Erik or I were even remotely prepared for let alone something our infant relationship was prepared for. We accidentally (happy accident as Bob Ross would say) got pregnant at just under 3 months of dating.
Until I finally met my amazing midwife in the third trimester, no one even mentioned how the pregnancy hormones would alter me before AND after the baby. For me, this dramatic difference lasted until I was done breastfeeding when Eli was 21 months old.
Erik barely knew who I was normally. However, throw some crazy hormones into the mix. Add a dash of our own personal trauma from our past marriages and relationships rearing their ugly heads.
Also, at this time, the group of friends who I considered my best friends fell apart due to COVID. I took this hard and grieved deeply.
Throw in health complications that made being forced to wear a mask at work all day, make me feel like I was unable to breathe and dying with absolutely no care, concern, or arrangements made for me to adjust for this.
When I reached out to my former primary doctor to help me with this, she refused to take me seriously enough to even see me, let alone help me. Then, I got shamed at work for being difficult and told that my wedding and pregnancy were inconvenient for the company.
Being there at this time was near unbearable. God had mercy on me when the new company, that bought out my company, sent us all to work from home. Just before receiving the news, I had actually drafted up my resignation letter and was ready to quit with no health insurance available to a pregnant girl because I felt so strongly that the way my body responded to me wearing the mask was hurting not only me but also the baby.
Medically, the first OBGYN I was seeing was very cold, bossy about MY birth experience, and wasn't letting even Erik into the appointments with me. Early on, I switched to another OBGYN who let Erik in, but also wasn’t respectful of what I wanted for my birth or my body. Then, on the day they told me I had a complicated pregnancy, Erik was no longer allowed in. In a state of overwhelm, I literally sat in the office sobbing unable to pull myself together with a doctor who stared at me awkwardly clearly not knowing what to do.
Additionally, Erik was looking at getting forced to take the V. against his will and beliefs or face getting fired. We felt like our freedoms and livelihood were at stake. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life on so many levels. Fast forward a few months after Eli was born and this is exactly what happened.
Regardless of where you stood on the issues, everyone was afraid. Afraid for health of yourself and loved ones or afraid for the state of your country and future as you knew it. Everyone was afraid, and everyone was doing the best they could with that fear.
It was really hard.
It felt like life would be hard forever.
My sense of self and sense of stability was completely under construction. My relationship was new, my marriage was new, being a homeowner was new, becoming a mom was new. My besties up until that point were gone. The world as I knew it was gone. My sense of freedom, safety, and trust in our government were gone.
I’m the kind of girl that doesn’t particularly enjoy going through big change. Although much of what was happening in my life was wonderful, and I felt over the moon and my like my life was finally falling into place, my identity was rocked. It was a lot to be on my plate all at the same time with out the isolation from friends and family that would normally support me and the state of the world insanity we called COVID.
I didn’t know how to be a wife, a homeowner, a soon to be mom, or how to handle the new COVID way of life that was thrust upon us. I didn’t know how to do any of it. I felt buried in the chaos and confusion of it all.
I now realize I wasn’t buried; I was planted.
This time birthed not only a new tiny human, but a whole new wiser, stronger, more compassionate version of me. The me that I was always meant to be.
Nonetheless, my body definitely held on to all of this, and had to be sat with, so I could fully process. Erik kept talking about wanting to try for a second child, but it was bone chillingly terrifying to me. I eventually figured out it was more than being afraid of all the usual things like being tired, and not particularly wanting to experience childbirth again. I realized my body was associating pregnancy with my whole world falling apart due to the implications of COVID.
Anyone else have traumatizing experiences during COVID? I feel like this needs to be more of a regular discussion. What we went through as a whole, regardless of where you stood on various issues, was trauma inflicting. We shouldn’t be stuffing down our experiences, shoving past, and pretending everything is fine. We need to tenderly address our wounds, so we can properly heal.
If it feels like the world as you know it is falling down, TRUST for your own sense of peace.... or don't if you can't. Talk to Him. Cry to Him. Yell to Him. Sit in silence with Him. God can handle our anger, fear, and doubt. Do your best to hold on to God’s promises. He is with you in this darkness, and through it, you will grow, if you want to. He can and will do big things in and through you.