I am currently in my third trimester with my son, and today, I was not okay.
To be honest, I was originally going to write this blog post about staying positive and remaining grateful during this COVID pregnancy. I have been making it a point to remain calm, positive, and hopeful these last few months, which has really helped my mindset, mood, and anxiety levels. I know that everyone is struggling with different challenges, and focusing on the miracle that is growing in me and the health of both myself and my baby is very important.
While it is important to keep positivity and gratefulness near and dear to your heart, it’s also okay to feel sad, mad, angry, stressed, and anxious about how things are going.
That’s where I am at today. And that’s okay.
When I got pregnant back in October, I would have never in a million years imagined that this would be the climate in which I would be going through pregnancy. Any woman who wants to be a mother has pre-determined ideas about how they want their pregnancy to go, and they become excited about the experience.
I pictured my pregnancy to have it’s normal ups and downs throughout the different stages and trimesters while being able to be surrounded, physically, by my friends and family.
I pictured spending this springtime playing at parks with my daughter while enjoying an active pregnancy and being able to go to the gym to stay healthy as my pregnancy progressed.
I imagined being able to customize my birth plan to make it comfortable and intimate, choosing every detail. I was excited about having my family and my daughter come to the hospital to meet the baby and help us celebrate his arrival. I imagined a time filled with love, happiness, togetherness, and bliss.
The reality is that when I was 22 weeks pregnant, the world changed.
Gone are the days where I am able to go to look forward to my OBGYN appointments, which are now lonely, anxiety-provoking trips. Gone are the plans of celebrating my new baby boy with my loved ones.
No more gym. No more parks. No more wandering the aisles of Target to look at and pick out baby supplies. No more controllable birth plan. No more family coming to meet the new family member.
My daughter won’t be able to have that moment in the hospital holding her new sibling that I have pictured for years. A lot has been taken away from this pregnancy experience, while a lot of fear and uncertainty has been added.
It’s hard to be pregnant during a pandemic. It’s REALLY hard.
It’s really scary. It’s really uncertain. And it’s okay to grieve the missed expectations of pregnancy.
I feel like I’m complaining and I know that there are a lot of people who are affected in worse ways by this virus– physically, emotionally, and financially. But one thing that I have learned from talking to my therapist and my support system is that no matter what your situation is, you don’t need to de-value your feelings just because things could be worse. You can feel grateful that things are as good as they are while also feeling sad that things aren’t going as you planned. This goes for families that are going through pregnancy and all other people who have had important events or milestones canceled or changed.
The biggest piece of advice that I have gotten over the last two months is this:
When things are out of control and you’re not feeling okay, focus on the things you CAN control.
One of those things is choosing joy and focusing on the good. You can do this while also acknowledging your negative feelings and allowing yourself to feel them out.
We are all in this together, it is true. We are all fighting different battles and doing our best. We are also all learning a lot about ourselves and what is important in life. There are good things that will come from this, and those are things we should focus on. Let yourself feel all of your feelings and know that hard days are normal and okay. Things WILL get better.
And if you’re also pregnant during a pandemic and need some support, let’s connect and support each other!
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