Giving Birth During a Pandemic

“I’m reaching out, I’ll chase you down. I dare you to believe how much I love you now. Don’t be afraid, I am your strength. We’ll be walking on the water, dancing on the waves. I set every star into place so you would remember my name. I made it all for you. You are my masterpiece. You are the reason I sing. This is my song for you.” – We the Kingdom

These lyrics have been embedded in my brain the past several days after hearing them on the radio, and while I had listened to “Dancing on the Waves” before, they spoke to me in a completely different way as I drove in the car the other day.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always turned to music whenever I’m going through an emotional time in my life. Lyrics have always meant a lot to me and lyrics like these help me feel closer to God and more in tune with how I’m feeling overall.

These past couple of weeks are in no way how I pictured we’d bring our third into the world. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never panicked about everything going on. I’ve worried about being in a hospital during this time, not having my husband there by my side as I endure labor, having my newborn taken to another room without me there, or not being able to breastfeed right away or experience skin-to-skin if I was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In addition, I’ve somewhat mourned the things we won’t be able to do after we bring her home. From the time we found out I was pregnant, we looked forward to welcoming a baby in April because it would be after cold/flu season and a time when warm weather would start to appear. We’d talk about where we’d go on our first date a couple weeks after having the baby and looked forward to many of our family members and friends meeting her. We’d daydream about how the week after she was born, we’d be taking all three of our kids to our local famer’s market with iced coffee in hand and letting our kids chase each other down the sidewalk as we headed home.

But obviously things have changed, and while we won’t be able to have people over, or get to run into familiar faces in our downtown area, spring is still occurring and God’s gift of warm weather, blooming greens and fresh air is upon us. It reminds me that while things look different, God is still present and constant. He is here with us and He will be there as I give birth.

While it was very, very easy for me to go down this anxious path when COVID-19 first hit the U.S., it’s through prayer and the support I have that God has truly given me peace about giving birth during the climb of a global pandemic.

My focus lately has been how grateful I am to be able to have my husband in the room, that we’ve both been healthy up until this point, that there are hundreds of nurses and doctors risking their lives to ensure our child enters the world safely. I am thankful this isn’t my first time giving birth and that I know what to expect going into everything, that the hospital will likely be even more sanitary during this time, and that the birthing area is completely separate from the ER.

To all of the pregnant mothers and moms out there with newborns, I am so sorry you’re having to fear your birthing experience due to the pandemic going on and I hate that so much is unknown. To the first-time moms who were looking forward to newborn photos in the hospital and having family members at your bedside, I’m here for you and it breaks my heart that your first experience has to be different than what you expected. To the moms with other littles at home, I’m sorry you even have to worry about bringing sickness home from the hospital and that you have to explain the virus to your children and worry about keeping them extra safe during this time.

I am with you. I am with you in your fear, anxiousness, frustration, joy, and hope. Here’s the thing I find most empowering during this time: we were chosen to give birth during a global pandemic. While this is difficult and there are so many emotions swirling around, this is a part of our child’s birth story and this experience will hopefully allow us to be even more grateful for the miracle of life and birth. He will be with us now more than ever.

We’ve got this, mamas.

 

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