COVID-19 – an outbreak that is changing the world and everything in it. From jobs to businesses, industries and economics, there’s not one area it hasn’t had the ability to touch in some way or another. In our May issue, we’ve explored the solidarity throughout Brisbane and beyond, but there’s one group that I am really thinking about right now: women who are having a baby during a pandemic. Inspired by all my pregnant friends and new time mums I’ve only had the chance to see via social media – you’re doing bloody great.
When you’re with child (especially your first), you have no idea what to expect and it’s overwhelming in every way possible. You imagine what your day will look like as well as the lead up. Perhaps it’s full of gushing family members and co-workers on the daily, basking in your baby love, catch ups with other mums to share stories and plans or perhaps you’re just hanging out for your last gasp at coupledom with a romantic baby moon. What was once a plethora of expectations for a new babe on the way, the women who are expecting during COVID-19 are a whole new bag of burritos to add to 2020. And that’s from me, a 31 year old yet to be mum without a bun in the oven, let alone an expecting parent.
Currently wading the waters of the corona-chaos at 27 weeks pregnant, one of Style’s Senior Graphic Designers, Katrina, shared the ways in which the pandemic has affected her pregnancy thus far. “It’s affected me quite significantly as my entire family live in New South Wales. I’m unable to visit anyone or have my mum at our pending birth, which was originally planned,” she says.
And while geographically it’s difficult, first time mums are missing out on the milestones they’ve seen their friends and family celebrate prior to 2020. “Our baby shower and all birthing classes have been cancelled, so I’m currently trying to organise an online shower registry and all the baby appointments through phone consults with my midwives,” she says.
Sure, social distancing has had the ability to shift what can be done online and with minimal physical contact to keep everyone safe but for those WFH, isolation is one of the hardest aspects. “Working from home and being isolated for the majority of my pregnancy has been one of the biggest challenges! I miss being in the office environment and amongst the constant creative energy,” says Katrina.
Not only is pregnancy different for everyone, it’s filled with oh-so-many questions that no one can really answer, especially during a lockdown. But throughout the uncertainty, one thing remains at the core for those soon to be mammas explains Katrina, “I’m just so excited to meet our little girl, hoping she arrives happy and healthy. Once the pandemic is over, I’m sure she’ll have a big line of family and friends waiting for a cuddle.”