Prenatal Care during Covid-19
I never imagined when I conceived that we were about to hit a global pandemic. I never imagined that our lives were about to completely change, the whole world was about to completely change, and I would be pregnant during the surge of a deadly virus.
Consecutive pregnancies are always a little different than your first anyway, you don't see your midwife as much, you pretty much know what you're doing already so all the little things that panicked you the first time round, are just part and parcel when it comes to baby number two!
The most important thing is making sure your baby gets what she needs and you get what you need in order to care for her. This is where the difficulties began for me. We were in full lockdown, the whole country was shut down and we weren't allowed to leave the house for anything other than an hour of exercise or medical/food supplies. My anxiety was through the roof. I knew I was pregnant, a plastic stick told me so, but that wasn't enough for me! I had suffered multiple miscarriages and never felt truly out of the woods, I wasn't going to be okay until I saw that heartbeat on a scan at 12 weeks. I can tell you, that 8 week wait through lockdown was complete and utter hell! I didn't even see a midwife for my booking appointment as they had shut down and were only doing telephone appointments, so I missed out on that reassurance that everything I was feeling was totally normal, I missed out on that blood test that would prove that I was definitely pregnant, that my numbers were rising fast and things were progressing healthily. All I got was a quick phone call reminding me not to smoke/drink/take drugs and to avoid blue cheese. Thanks.
Luckily, this was my second pregnancy, so I knew a little about what to expect in those first 12 weeks. The sickness, the worry, the heartburn, the complete and utter exhaustion like nothing ever experienced before. I remembered how important it was to eat healthily, to drink lots of water and to take my prenatal vitamins, all of which was an absolute battle each day as I just couldn't stomach anything, let alone a big, fat, smelly prenatal vitamin! It made me need to go straight to the bathroom to puke it back up again. A cycle that was pretty pointless because I wasn't actually keeping any of the vitamin in my stomach! Finally, a breakthrough, I came across Nutriburst, a company who made a prenatal vitamin that was chewy. Finally I could actually take and keep my vitamins down. These are an absolute MUST HAVE for anyone trying to conceive or in those early days of pregnancy, the NHS recommends to start taking folic acid as
soon as you have made the decision to try for a baby, it reduces the risk of birth defects and is vital whilst the baby's spine is developing during the first 12 weeks. The Nutriburst prenatal gummies are cherry flavoured, vegan, sugar free, gluten free, cruelty free and also free from artificial flavours! and what's more, they taste just like sweets, its actually hard to only have one! So head over to the website today to order your three month supply and get started! www.nutriburstvitamins.com
So, along with making sure your baby is getting what she needs by taking your vitamins and eating a healthy balanced diet, it is also really important to make sure that YOU are getting everything you need to sustain the pregnancy. Rest, support, information, time out, sleep and love are by far the most important things you need to be ensuring you get throughout your pregnancy. This can be hard, it has been hard, especially during covid as information and support hasn't been readily available and has constantly changed. Rest has been difficult too, having a toddler during lockdown, not being able to get him out the house to play or meet up with other mums, its been a struggle. I haven't had the support from family that I needed because they haven't been able to visit. My wife hasn't been able to join me at scans or appointments either which has been hard, especially that initial 12 week one where your heart is in your mouth as you wait to hear the heartbeat. But, I've managed, but if it had of been my first pregnancy and I had all those first timer worries, I think I definitely would have found it even harder.
I'm finally coming to the end of my pregnancy, I'm due in seven short weeks and the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in sight. It is still a struggle, with covid-19, the birth is looming and I know that my wife can't be there throughout. I think the current guidelines are that she can come when I reach 4cm dilated and in active labour, but has to leave once baby is born and I get transferred onto the recovery ward. This is where I hope and pray for a simple birth, my last birth, I was in hospital for almost a week, and it scares me that I would have to do all of that alone, without my wife by my side.
Such stressful, uncertain times, but I guess one day we can tell our grandchildren about the 'Great pandemic of 2020' and look back with the joy that it brought, the smiles, the laughter and the extra time we had together, at home as a family. Six months of together time, paid by the government, that we will never have again in our lifetimes. During that time, I grew and birthed a baby, and I am proud.