This is a blog post I’ve been trying to write and think through for a while now. I have so many emotions and thoughts about the time we’re living in and specifically how it affects birthing families. As we grapple with the reality of the Coronavirus, I can’t help but have a heavy heart for those who are pregnant or expecting a baby during this time.
The first thing I want to say is if you are expecting whether via pregnancy, surrogacy, or adoption, I know this is a hard time. I know the uncertainty is overwhelming. I know you are feeling so many things and every single one of them is completely valid. None of this is easy. I am right there with you as I’m pregnant with my third child right now, too. You are not alone.
I hope that by coming together and supporting each other, we can find a sense of peace in a time that is anything but peaceful. This is all unprecendented. So if you’re having a hard time knowing how to feel or navigating your ever changing emotions (hello, pregnancy hormones), that is absolutely normal and expected. I hope these simple tools can help you in some way:
Don’t keep all of your emotions inside. This is a general life rule, but especially when you probably have so so many thoughts and feelings about the Coronavirus running through your head, please don’t keep it in. Find a friend who is going through the same thing, or a friend who’s not. Find a therapist if needed or talk to your partner or pastor. We are all dealing with a lot and we need to be willing to lend listening ears, as well. If you’re having a hard time finding someone to talk to, please reach out to me. I find a lot of comfort in talking through this with others so I’d love to chat. You can message me on Instagram or send me an email: email@example.com
Meditation is something that I’m new to practicing but I am trying to build it into my daily routine. I think it can be extremely beneficial to take 10-20 minutes every day to clear your mind and create space to recognize beauty and joy in your life, even during a pandemic.
Prayer can be a way to find peace, as well. Knowing that we can lay our fears down at the foot of the Lord is a comfort unlike any other. Carving out some time to sit in prayer, maybe even with your kiddos, is something you will never regret. The coronavirus and everything it has changed is not taking God by surprise – He knew this would happen and He is still in control.
I know, I know. This word is tossed around like candy and it’s losing it’s sparkle. But it’s so so important as long as you’re paying attention to what you *really* need in order to feel cared for. Self care is not a face mask and a massage once a month. That may be part of what brings you peace, but it’s so much more than that.
Do you need to make time for journaling and getting your feelings onto paper? Is therapy your form of self care? Maybe you need to find 30 minutes to be alone and read? Would having a thoughtful conversation with a friend help you to feel seen and at peace? Everyone is different, so finding what you need is the most important step of this process.
A huge piece of the puzzle if you are pregnant is to be open with your care provider. Make sure that you are letting them know how you’re feeling. Ask all the questions. Keep an open source of communication when it comes to changing policies and new restrictions on your birth plans in regards to the Coronavirus. If you find that your doctor or midwife is not providing you with the emotional support you need during this time, you may want to consider looking into other options. I know this isn’t an easy decision, but I want you to know that your care is important and you deserve to have a supportive and caring provider during pregnany and birth. It may also be helpful to reach out to a local doula for extra support. Currently, the local Winston-Salem, NC and Raleigh, NC hospitals are still allowing partners and one support person into birthing rooms (March 25, 2020).
I hope these tiny tips can help you to navigate this unprecedented time. I plan to come back here soon with tips on how to take your own birth photos and how to find a virtual doula (hint hint: it’s me!). In the meantime, you may enjoy reading through some of my other birth resource blog posts to help comfort and prepare you for the upcoming arrival of your baby.
I am thinking of you all – please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help with anything at all!