I like to maintain a positive attitude but it’s fair to say this situation was starting to make me feel a little uneasy and I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind in this time of confusion. This Coronavirus pandemic is certainly not an easy time for any pregnant woman at any stage of her pregnancy. The virus hit us whilst I was in my third trimester and only had a few weeks left to go which meant I was feeling pretty tired a lot of the time and making the most self-isolation to rest, stay indoors and finish all the bits and bobs that needed doing in the house before our new arrival. With 2 weeks until my due date I was staying away from everyone to avoid the virus and did what I could to keep me and my baby safe.
One of the things that worried me the most was my fiancé’ getting ill. The thought of him not being able to come to hospital and missing birth wasn’t a nice thought at all. Of course, then there was the worry that if he got ill, how would I self-isolate from him? In the meantime, I tried online food shopping for the first time (it took me ages! And a lot of what I ordered wasn’t available) but it saved me a lot of hassle and worry of going to a supermarket surrounded by the herds of people.
Nevertheless, I tried to stay positive and make the most of keeping baby safe and enjoy the last few weeks of kicks, sleep, and being able to put my feet up when I wanted. I really feel for any women in their second trimester and understand what a struggle it may be to self-isolate for such a long period of time. During my second trimester, I found myself with loads of energy, travelling abroad for work and running a variety of events as part of my own business- and without the constant worry of catching an extremely contagious virus.
Most recently, antenatal appointments have been a worry for many pregnant women, with some being cancelled or being made by telephone. Personally, I was able to physically attend last few appointments with the midwife but was advised to stay in my car until I received a phone call to enter the building. I found this a really good way of avoiding people, sitting in a crowded GP’s surgery and minimizing the anxiety that comes with the situation.
My local maternity services were urging women to plan for only the birthing partner to be with you during birth and had announced that no visitors are allowed. I completely understood this decision in an attempt to reduce the risk of visitors who may have the virus bringing it into the hospital. I would have liked my mum to be present during this time but accepted the situation and was looking forward to the birth being more intimate and making the most of the precious time without many visitors within the first few weeks.
One thing in particular that I believe really helped me maintain calm and prepare for a relaxed and peaceful birth was Hypnobirthing. I did a 5-week course with a doula that came to the house and it gave us the chance as a couple to learn relaxation techniques to help you feel physically and mentally prepared and reduce any fear, anxiety and pain during childbirth. It really encourages positivity and I would highly recommend it overall to any pregnant woman, especially during this worrying time.
If you are currently pregnant and reading this, I would personally suggest for you to try and keep as busy as you can whilst you self-isolate. Find something that brings you joy and distracts you, look into hypnobirthing and keep in touch with any friends via video calls. If you are worrying about anything make sure you reach out and ask questions so that you feel more informed and at ease!
I wish you all the best with your pregnancy and the birth you wish for.
P.S. I would love to hear from you if you wanted to reach out. Giorgia xx