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5 Things I learned from Pandemic Pregnancy

So this month is my baby’s birth month and I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy a lot, especially, being pregnant during the pandora. So, as I was in the baby gym the other day, the circle time question for parents was what were some good and bad things that we’d gotten out of the panini. It brought me right back to my pregnancy seeing as how I got pregnant before a Rona vaccine was readily available. I’ve learned a few things and want to share them. Here we go!

1. It’s okay to hate being pregnant and love your baby simultaneously.

I hated pregnancy. I‘m talking the uncontrollable gas, being sick all the damn time, strangers wanting to touch you or comment on how you’re carrying, the perinatal depression (thanks hormones), all of it, and Braxton and Hicks can fuck off. The only thing I enjoyed about it was being able to feel my baby move in the womb. It’s such a unique experience that, try as I might (and I did try), you just can’t fully grasp what it feels like unless you experience it. I used to tell people that baby kicks felt like little muscle spasms that intensify as they got bigger. However, I realized that having a medical condition that causes constant muscle spasms makes my descriptions make perfect sense to me, but sound bat-shit crazy to other people. The awareness just wasn’t there for that reference. But it feels like there’s a thing in you and it’s kicking you! You can feel the feet, the punches, you can tell and while it sucks to have a foot in between your ribs, it is the most amazing feeling. Conversely, I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum my entire pregnancy, and having to wear a mask at a time when just feeling the heat of my breath on my face made me throw up, was a fucking nightmare. I hated it, loved my baby but I hated that BIGLY.

2. It’s perfectly fine to tell people to fuck off.

I was pregnant during a time when people, due to the lack of interactions, were forgetting how to people. It seemed like every day somebody was having a goddamn meltdown. It seemed like the interactions with the increasing crazy, especially when I got bigger, were hella

annoying. Some people see pregnant people and lose their fucking minds. Pregnant people are not community property and they don’t need strangers inserting themselves in their lives or parenting plans simply because they’re in your presence. A lady dead-ass asked me if I was planning on breastfeeding after asking how far along I was, and commenced to go on a “breast is best tirade”, like, lady finish ringing up my damn groceries so I can go, shit! I didn’t come to the store for a lecture, I came for snacks, Susan, fuck off! It’s a whole ponderosa and you want to talk, bitch I don’t even want to be here and you not wearing your mask right, ugh, just throw the whole lady away… but after she rings up my snacks and not a second before! (I deadass just had a flashback) Unfortunately for me, I’m Southern polite and I kept it cute but I absolutely should’ve told more people to fuck off, because they absolutely should have! And I know that’s a typical pregnancy thing that people tend to do, but in a Penny Proud, I had the extra incentive and urge to tell people to fuck off. So if the Spirit ever moved you, do it!

3. It’s perfectly fine, and healthy, to grieve the version of things that didn’t pan out.

The pandemic killed a lot of dreams for me, my family couldn’t travel for various reasons, I didn’t feel comfortable having a baby shower because of COVID, and I was sad that my dreams of what I wanted my first pregnancy to be like were dashed at every turn. I have to grieve the loss of what this milestone would’ve looked like if COVID wasn’t a thing. I had to process all of it and grieving doesn’t mean that I was ungrateful or I was focusing on the wrong aspects of my pregnancy. See, to become a mom was a dream of mine and I envisioned what it would be like since I was a child and it wasn’t that at all, not even close. My mom never got to rub my belly, it was just sad. There was lots of crying in the car. It was sad, if I’m honest it’s still kinda sad, but I’d rather have my family around to see my child grow up than to have run the risk of exposure before vaccination availability because I just REALLY wanted a baby shower & my family. I had to grieve it all, and it’s perfectly fine to be sad about that.

4. Build your lifestyle around what matters to you, not what you think is supposed to matter.

I legit got to prioritize my family, my health, and break the cycle of living to work instead of working to live. I feel like everyone got to see that we’ve been lied to in America and that another way of living and working was possible. We spent more time on social media learning about other countries’ work-life balance and examining our own because we had the time to notice. We began to prioritize our health so much more than relying on a workforce that views us as expendable. So many people rediscovered hobbies, started therapy, and started living fuller lives despite years of unprecedented losses… Then there were some of us that went bat-shit crazy and decided to throw tantrums in stores and storm the fucking capital.

5. If you made it through pregnancy in a Petey Pablo, you can make it through anything!

My entire pregnancy, hell, even leading up to it, all of my appointments I went to alone. We legit paid extra money to have our insemination done at a non-military facility so that my wife could be present because they weren’t allowing “visitors” to appointments because of COVID. There was no way, we were starting our family without both of us being present. However, after that, for nearly every appointment I went by myself. I’m not super confrontational and when I feel like I’m being treated a certain way, I’m not the most vocal, I typically just try to avoid the whole situation. My wife, on the other hand, is my strongest advocate when it comes to my health, and not having her in my appointments, especially in moments where my NP came off a bit dismissive, was so hard. I felt like a toddler walking into a war zone and having to fend for myself. Then add being thousands of miles away from my family on an island where I fully trusted no one but my wife, it was so fucking hard. I remember I had a hard day at work one day, because this dude woke up and chose asshole, and, as tough as I was, I broke down at work and cried. Now, anyone who knows me has probably never or rarely ever seen me cry, so for me to break down at work… you get the picture. Anywho, I had to call Dana to calm me down because the vulnerability was so intense and it wasn’t just the hormones. I honestly feel like it was the culmination of having to have my own back constantly while still creating life and all the fuckshit that comes with that, and it all just got to be too much sometimes. BUT, I made it! The experience made me tap into a primal strength I didn’t even know I had. I had to dig deep, like, really deep and I tapped into something I can only describe as the collective willpower of the ancestors.

So yeah, that’s what I learned… I still don’t fully know how I did it, but my daughter is healthy and gorgeous and is almost 12 months and I’m so in love with her. If I had to do it all over to get her I’d do it without a thought, but it’s still fuck this Pirates of the Caribbean all day!

Share some of the things you’ve learned so far from the pantomime, and be sure to like, subscribe and share for more adventures! 🙃

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