I felt like I needed to document something during this crazy time, as I am expecting my second child in just a few days and the world is in a state I never could have imagined. I mean Disney World has been closed for months and you can’t even eat inside a restaurant, for goodness sake! But for real, being pregnant during the Coronavirus Pandemic has got me feeling all sorts of ways.
When it Started
The week it started to get bad in Michigan, I felt so uncertain about what I should do. At work, it was business as usual as the week began, but I wasn’t sure if I should be there. There was so much talk about vulnerable populations, and being pregnant I was definitely included in that. I had a doctor appointment that Monday (March 16) and when I told my doctor I worked in a clinic setting, he asked if I would be able to work from home. At the time I couldn’t even fathom how that would look. I was also so worried about using personal/vacation time that I would desperately need once the baby was here and for when E starts school in September (eek – don’t even get me started on that one).
There was just so much unknown at the time, that I was going to ride the week out and see how things progressed. Wednesday (March 18), Stan was sent home and I started to feel really uncomfortable about going to work. If he was going to be home, should I even be going? I struggled with the decision to pull E from daycare that day but decided if Stan was home, she should be, too, and he went and picked her up on the way home. The next day, I found out I was being sent home that afternoon (March 19) and by Monday the next week we were all told we would be working from home for the foreseeable future.
Working from Home
Working from home has been challenging to say the least. Thankfully, the transition to running a clinic over the phone wasn’t too bad and things have actually been going pretty smoothly. It’s amazing how things can adapt in ways you wouldn’t even think possible when they need to. But the problem has been keeping E busy all day while I work, which includes a lot of phone calls meaning she can’t be screaming or talking to me in the background when I’m on the phone. She has made big improvements when it comes to playing by herself and she has basically mastered the TV remote switching between Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+, knowing exactly where all her shows are! Haha! She even knows how to change the input on the TV after Dad plays Xbox. LOL!
She misses school and her friends, teachers, and family a lot. She talks about all the things she can’t do “until the sickness is over.” And as soon as it’s safe to go places, we will be going to all of the places. She has kept pretty busy though, we’ve done lots of crafts and she was spent lots and lots of time outside.
I am glad Stan is also working from home, but he is really busy with meetings all. day. long. most days. And when he’s not in meetings he has to get things done for meetings. I have a little bit more flexibility to help E out with things during the day so most of her day lands on me. However, Stan has been really good about taking her on bike rides everyday at the end of his work day. They consistently ride 2-3 miles, sometimes more everyday (when it’s not raining or snowing or 90 degrees – the weather has been crazy)! That gives me a nice break and is one of my favorite parts of the day!
E learned how to ride her bike on two wheels right in the beginning of quarantine and she has been a riding machine since. She hopped right on and took off. I was pretty impressed. They will sometimes ride 5 or 6 miles in one bike ride! I credit her quick learning to using a balance bike, I would definitely recommend one if you have a toddler!
As of right now, my co-workers will be working remotely until July 1 (not me because maternity leave should start any day now – hopefully!). Stan’s return to work is currently unknown. He is also operating at 65% salary. He works in the auto industry designing/manufacturing auto parts, so there are a lot more factors in the future for his company. But we will cross our fingers and hope for the best and hope the decrease in salary isn’t permanent!
I have got to say, it is not the worst thing in the world to spend your third trimester in quarantine. Not having to physically go to the office, find work clothes to wear, or cart E around to daycare and activities, has been pretty nice. It has been really hard for me to move around lately. I have a lot more pain this time in my muscles and ligaments around my belly so getting up and down or in and out of the car is HARD. I got a belly band and it has done wonders, but jeez I am sore and this belly is HUGE this time!
The virus has made me a little anxious as I get further along. The closer I get to delivery the more paranoid I am about either me or Stan getting it. If one of us has it, we won’t be together during delivery. That really is my biggest fear. During the worst of it in Michigan, there were hospitals right down the road from where I will be delivering that weren’t even allowing a partner in the delivery room. I couldn’t even imagine having a baby without my husband there. I am so glad the timing has worked out the way it has for me and this baby was tucked away safely as the peak passed.
I haven’t gone into a store since the beginning of March. Stan does all the shopping and he calls me on a video call sometimes and we “walk through” the store together! I miss shopping and being in charge of what is purchased. Haha! He has done a good job and he is a good sport about following all my detailed lists. He says he can’t wait for me to do the shopping again, though! I have been busy buying all things baby online and our delivery guys probably hate how many times they have to come to our house each week! But the nursery is set up and most things are stocked! We are way more ready this time than we were with Evelyn! We were still digging through gift bags from our baby shower when we brought her home. Haha!
The other thing that has kept me up at night is the fact that E can’t come to the hospital to meet her brother or sister when they are born. I know she doesn’t care and really won’t even know the difference, but it’s just one of those moments I’ve always envisioned in my mind. Her coming into the room, climbing up into that hospital bed while she holds her new sibling for the first time and all of us gathered on the bed as our first experience as a family of four. Our parents would be there and they would take our first photo of four and she would probably be sweet to me for 5 minutes until she realizes she has to share her mommy. And then she’ll probably get all cranky and cry and not want to leave, but I guess I’ll never know. I know we will have that moment in another way, but it doesn’t feel the same to me.
What kills me even more is we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl and I do not want to miss her reaction or have to watch it over Facetime when she finds out if she has a sister or a brother. I am excited for the surprise, but I think if I had known this was going to play out this way, we probably would have found out if it was a boy or girl when she was with us at my 20 week ultrasound. So I don’t really know what we’re going to do about that. I’m leaning towards not telling anyone what it is until we are home and she meets baby in person. I just feel like I can’t miss out on that reaction. I don’t want her to meet her sibling over Facetime. So I am crossing my fingers that everything goes smoothly and we can high tail it out of that hospital ASAP and just go home.
In the grand scheme of things it could be worse. We had to say goodbye to Stan’s grandma through a window when she was sick with covid-19. One of the lowest points of this whole pandemic. That was awful. So I know things could be worse and a lot of people have bigger things to worry about. But all those things big or small can leave a hole in your heart and I’m not going to feel bad about mourning that moment with my girl and our parents.
Other Things I am Missing
There have been a few other things that have made me sad during quarantine. Missing family is a big one. We had my mom come over a few weekends ago because I just couldn’t take it anymore! E missed her so much and goodness, months without a break from being responsible for your child, that is just wrong!! And it also makes me sad that no one even gets to see this big ‘ol belly! My mom wanted to come to see it in all it’s glory because she knew it would probably be the last time before baby was here. I’m kind of mad we didn’t get a picture together. Ugh. I miss showing off my pregnant belly, it’s one of my favorite parts of pregnancy (and there are not many for me!). Because when else can you just let everything hang out and wear whatever and still look cute-ish!? Those maternity clothes cost a lot of money so I’ve been wearing nice clothes and dresses I bought for work around the house just because!
We also had to cancel our Baby Sprinkle. I wasn’t fond of the idea of having one in the first place, but E desperately wanted to have “a party for her baby” after going to a few baby showers. So I agreed. She picked out some decorations and was looking forward to it. But like everything else and in her sweet little voice, “It was cancelled because of the sickness.” I’m sure she’s over it, because, well, she’s 4. But it makes me sad because it’s more memories we missed out on. She wouldn’t remember, but I would.
I also miss dumb things like going out for dinner on Friday night, or going to the movies for a date night. It blows my mind how the world has just completely shut down. And makes me nervous for what the future will look like. I’m sure it won’t be “normal” for a long time and whenever normal does come around it probably won’t ever be like the old normal.
I have heard lots of people talk about their silver linings during the pandemic and this quarantine. I definitely see some positives, the biggest being all the extra time at home to spend with E. Even though it is hard, it really couldn’t have come at a better time. Being able to spend the last two months together right before we add a new baby to the mix, how precious is that? Every moment has not been great but sleeping in later than normal, watching tv in the mornings before the work day, having breakfast and lunch together, and just getting to be with each other doing random things right in the middle of the day is my biggest silver lining.
We’ve also gotten so much done around the house, because there is literally nothing else to do or spend money on! It’s also why we’re ready this time for a baby. I wouldn’t have any energy if I was going to the office each day and then coming home and to clean, make dinner, and put things away like I would have been doing. So time is for sure my biggest silver lining.
We’ve slowed down a lot and taken time to do things we probably wouldn’t have normally done. Like weekend walks or the dad/daughter bike rides everyday. We’ve had to get creative with things to do and just going for a simple drive on nice days with the windows down is now one of our normal activities. Even when we’ve gone to do something like walk around at the nature center, E is still excited to get home. She says she loves her home and that makes me feel like I am at least doing something right and she won’t be too damaged from all the neglect and TV time during the days!
I am so close to having this baby (38 weeks + 4days)! Baby is so low and my doctor said as soon as contractions start I better get to the hospital ASAP. She said it will probably come fast and I am crossing my fingers she’s right…but just not too fast! I don’t need to be having a baby in the car on the freeway or anything! So I am a little nervous about that! I will be home until September with the baby. E will be going back to school for 3 days a week in the beginning of June no matter the state of the world! Her daycare hasn’t closed and we are ready to move on and feel like it is safe for her to go. Stan will take a week off when the baby is born and will mostly likely still be working from home after that at least for a little while. If not, he might take 2 weeks, but we’re going to see what happens.
Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. We can’t wait to get back out in the world and enjoy some company and show off our new addition to the family!
XOXO – Kristie
“LOVE EVeLYN ROSE BAUGH” -E wanted to type, too 🙂