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Pregnancy During a Pandemic

Pregnant with twins and now in her second trimester, mom-of-one (soon to be three!) Natasha Mills fills us in on what it’s like to be pregnant during a pandemic.

Q. How are you doing? How has your pregnancy been so far?

A. I’m doing as well as I can be expected with twins during a global pandemic! It’s crazy to think that a public health crisis of this magnitude only comes around once in a century, and here I am living that time with two growing babies in my belly.

So far the pregnancy has been manageable, although the first trimester had me completely debilitated with morning sickness.

Now in the second trimester, I’ve definitely begun eating for three, but am also starting to feel quite uncomfortable. You could say I’m secretly grateful for the ability to stay at home in loungewear as I grow!

Q. Where are you planning to give birth? At home? At the hospital?

A. I’m definitely planning for a hospital birth. The twins will be likely be a C-section as my son was—he turned out to be a very big boy. I have a comforting relationship with my experienced maternity doctors. I know I’ll be in the best hands there.

Q. Who will attend the birth? Partner? Parents?

A. With the new hospital rules in place, only one visitor will be allowed to accompany me and that will be my husband. It’s unfortunate to think our son and both sets of parents will likely be unable to meet the twins until I’m released from hospital 3-4 days later, but I’m hopeful that restriction may change in time for their arrival later this summer.

Q. How do you feel being pregnant right now, amidst everything that’s going on?

A. Bittersweet. It’s almost ideal to be hiding in the home amidst my growing discomfort, and it takes a bit of the pressure away to be social in setting dates with friends and family. I’ve had the ability to really take in this pregnancy so far on a mental and physical level. Time is flying by, but it has also paradoxically slowed down all the same. On the flip side—as a true introverted extrovert—I miss my fiends and family immensely. I miss hugs and gatherings.

Q. What’s been the biggest challenge of being pregnant during a pandemic?

A. One of the greatest challenges so far is not being able to shop and test out the gear or essentials that I’ll need for twins. I’m someone that likes to touch, see and feel items in person rather than browsing online. There is also, of course, a never ending paranoia of the unknown, and not wanting to get sick with COVID-19 myself.

While I know it’s for my protection, it’s been a bit disheartening to take some of my important medical appointments over the phone. With my initial obstetrician check-in, I felt like I was leading the call and it made me nervous that something could get overlooked or left unaddressed. Phone conversations are just not as engaging and reassuring with something as important as pregnancy touch points.

Q. How have you stayed connected to family and friends during distancing? How has this helped you?

A. I’m staying connected to family and friends mainly through social media, text messages and I’ll do distance walks with my mom to keep my sanity, and to ensure I’m getting fresh air and mobility for the babies. Her presence—even at two meters apart—gets me through any trying time and I’m so grateful that she’ll soon be moving into our tenant suite to support us when the twins are here. My mom is the most compassionate person and I love her so much.

Q. Advice or thoughts to help other expectant parents now?

A. My advice to other expecting parents at this time would be to find a good routine every day, and to see this unprecedented era as an opportunity to slow down enough for optimal self-care. Try and get yourself organized as best as possible. Utilize free virtual support like prenatal yoga on YouTube, or connect with local mom groups on Facebook. Enjoy the simple things in life again, and be grateful for each day that you are healthy, living quality time with those closest to you. Try and meditate often, and have faith that normalcy will progressively come our way again.

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Natasha Mills
Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at islandparent.ca.

May 2020

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