Covid & Pregnancy
The classic 1984 book What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazelel has been a source of education and support for expecting women for over 35 years. I can’t help but think they would be wise to capsize on the current pandemic and release a whole new version: "What to Expect When You're Expecting During COVID". There is no doubt the corona virus has impacted the way healthcare responds to even the most routine medical emergencies and procedures - including pregnancy and childbirth.
If you are reading this right now, you may be someone who thinks this all is a big “hoax” and there is nothing to worry about, or, you may be a person who is so cautious that you don’t even want to chance going into the doctor’s office in fear of catching something. There is no right or wrong way of thinking on this or way to do things in that regard. However, we at HOPE want you to know that we have experienced this with moms during this season of time and have had some “interesting” and some positive experiences so far.
Granted every hospital system is slightly different, however we have our own experience with moms directly and have asked a few women who were pregnant and delivered during the pandemic to share their thoughts and struggles.
By far the overall consistent message from these women is that being pregnant and giving birth during COVID was lonely… but at the end of the day the isolation was a blessing to give themselves time to heal and recover. If you are visiting this page because you are currently expecting and considering the idea of making an adoption plan, be encouraged that we are here to strive to make this journey of pregnancy and birth during COVID a little less lonely. Even if you have no idea what you are planning to do in response to a pregnancy and are still considering your options, we are here to support you in that as well and want to empower you to make the best decision for you and your unborn child. Below are some clips from testimonials of these women that shared their stories. May you find it comforting and encouraging in these uncertain times.
“Going to the doctor visits throughout the pregnancy has been somewhat weird. The chairs in the waiting room being 6 feet apart and it being only one or two people in the waiting room at a time. I found that it was strange, but they were able to get me back to see the doctor quickly. It seemed somewhat more personal, and the doctor didn’t seem rushed.” - NM
“I was able to choose who I wanted to be at the hospital with me as my ‘support person’. So, I chose the agency representative from HOPE who had taken me to all my doctor visit appointments. She stayed at the hospital until the baby and I were discharged. We planned a special meeting with the adoptive parents to meet the baby for the first time. We had a ‘grand entrance’ for them to meet their daughter! It was very special, and we were able to spend quality time together without having to be in a hospital environment where it feels cold and impersonal. It worked out even better than I expected.” - ZY
"If I could sum up pregnancy in one word during a pandemic it would be ‘isolated’. The fear of an unknown virus in a non-pregnant person was already astronomical. I was isolated from work, forced to stay home, my career and calling came spiraling down when the community needed us most. I was sent home because I was pregnant. I felt defeated. Isolated. No gathering or celebrations. I felt alone and somewhat forgotten. I missed work. I missed family. Finally, the day came for delivery. Only one visitor allowed for the entire stay at the hospital. This made me anxious. Everyone was masked and gowned and only seeing their eyes was surreal. How was I to get through delivery nearly alone and I can’t even see my doctors and nurses? Again, I would be isolated, even from smiling faces. But the hospital staff became my visitors. They were incredible. We laughed together and by the end of the stay, I actually felt rested and educated. I had time to begin the healing process from day one with limited interruptions. I was in control of my ‘visitors’. I decided who I talked, or video chatted with from my cell phone. It turned my isolation into control. I had peace and privacy even in isolation, and at the end of the stay, I can’t say it was a bad thing!" - ML
"Being pregnant during a worldwide pandemic was definitely stressful; however, when it came to delivering, I found that my experience wasn’t much different from my past pregnancies. The main difference was having to wear a mask while medical staff were in the room and only being allowed one visitor. When all said and done, I found my experience more relaxing because I didn’t have to worry about family and friends wanting to visit. I was able to rest and focus. I also felt very safe with all the extra sanitation protocols in place. Everything went smoothly and I’m very grateful." – SM
In one case that we were a part of… The hospital really worked with the birth mom and the adopting parents. They allowed for the adopting parents to have their own room. At first, the birth mom was told she was only allowed to have one person in the delivery room, but they eventually let the adopting mom come in for the delivery. The adopting mom was even able to cut the baby’s cord. This was a very bonding time for the birth mom and adopting mom. The hospital stay was great for all involved and they were able to have quality time together during that time. They have maintained contact since the birth and adoption placement, and even were to visit in person again within the first month after the baby was born.
All of this to tell you that you don’t have to be afraid. Avoiding an adoption plan or opting to do an abortion to avoid all of this doesn’t have to happen. You can make it through this time. Whether this is all real or just to try to scare society, you can still have a positive experience. The hospital staff have all been very understanding and try to make the moms feel comfortable. When it comes to the adoption experience, we have had nothing but positive people and have been able to work with the “rules” and “regulations” and be there to support the moms we work with, while still trying to help them with their hospital plans for delivery and their hospital experience they desire. Birth moms have still be able to have alone time with their babies, and also have time to spend with adopting families to bond and go through with their plans for adoption…even in the midst of Covid!
We are here!You won’t be alone! We are here to support you and advocate for you!