Giving Birth in Times of Pandemic

Or rather how to make a happy event way more stressful than it should be!

Yeah, well I was told a few weeks ago that I would be giving birth to my long-awaited child in a full-blown pandemic. What does that mean?

It means no visitors neither at the hospital nor at home. For many, it also means delivering alone. And there’s a lot of anxiety related to the fear of baby getting sick while science hasn’t gathered much information regarding the virus’ consequences on newborns.

It means I will give birth while wearing a mask, and while the midwife wears an astronaut suit. Moreover, it means I will have to go through most of the labour at home since I won’t be admitted to the hospital until I’m well into it.

It also means that I–and all moms-to-be–won’t be allowed all the help friends and family could’ve brought to the new family.

WAY MORE WEIGHT UPON MY SHOULDERS

I am in quite a delicate situation, even without the pandemic… Let me explain.

During summertime, my husband’s job is especially demanding. We always knew, and we always hoped for our little bundle of joy to make his way into life during another season. But you know as well as I do that we have no control over when we will be conceiving. Thus, I will give birth at the very beginning of my sweetheart’s busy season. Yep…

So, we knew since the beginning that having a baby near June would be trying for us. Unfortunately, I will not be granted my husband’s support.

He can work for 80 hours per week, and more during summertime. It’s a fact, and I have always known I had no control over that.

#STAYHOME, NOT ALWAYS AS SIMPLE AS IT SEEMS

But in a normal world, with a family in Quebec that can hop on a plane to come to me, I would probably have had the help I needed to take care of my baby.

But when in time of a pandemic, there surely are no options regarding travelling. So to ours and my family’s (they also can’t wait to meet baby) great despair, well there’s no chance we will gather –or get me any help anytime soon.

I am lucky my in-laws live two blocks away, but it’s still pretty complicated. As you know, with #StayHome and the social distancing measures, nothing is as simple as it could have been.

At one point or the other, I simply know I won’t be able to handle it all by myself, pandemic or not. I will need time to sleep, to take a walk outside, in peace, to clear my head because I can understand how hard it’s going to be to rapidly go from young adult to mom, without any support. Now that’s why so many women suffer from post-partum.

AT A CROSSROADS

So here we are, at a crossroads… On the one hand, I follow the rules and risk extreme fatigue and post-partum. On the other, I allow two relatives near my baby, and remain considerably sane… But everything comes with great risks.

It’s so unfair having to make such decisions…

Moms who gave birth at this time of the year, a year ago, didn’t have to ask themselves who they would let near the baby. They didn’t have to introduce their child to their family on the other side of a patio door or through a Facetime call.

They didn’t have to worry about buying all the essentials online, they went shopping and received help from experts. They had a photographer, a doula, and maybe a few relatives in the delivery room.

They had the chance to have a baby shower, to do cardio-stroller classes with new moms, to do postnatal yoga in a group with their babies… Us? NOTHING.

Yeah, this beautiful event turned sour in an instant.

Hard times call for me to turn to moms on Facebook groups I follow to try and get some support, to share our experiences, and to support each other through all of this. We often hear about how it takes a whole village to raise a child… but ours has shrunk to the essential: parents.

I tell myself someday we will look back on the past and think it wasn’t easy to give birth to a child in times of pandemic. How we wished we could’ve had the support and help we needed, but couldn’t…

And that we were more than super moms as these times made history.

This post was translated from French to English by:

Judith Marcoux
Hi! I’m Judith, lab technician in research for almost eight years now and second-year student in translation. I discovered the joys of travelling in my late twenties, and I now enjoy exploring bustling cities as much as the great outdoors. True animal lover, I appreciate the simple things in life and see no problem in eating sushi with a side of poutine! #dontjudgeme ?

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