When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, the entire world changed. Roads were quiet, people stayed indoors, businesses shut down, schools closed, and work shifted at home. But, for a full-time, stay-at-home mother like me, it felt like nothing was different.
I was still at home 24/7 to manage the household, look after my children, prepare meals from breakfast until dinner, and support my husband as he continued to make a living despite limited opportunities. Every day seemed like a routine. The only difference was I got to stay with my family every minute of every day.
Amidst the health scare and economic challenges the world was facing during this time, I never thought something wonderful would come our way.
When I Found Out I was Pregnant
Finding out we’re having another baby, our third, was good news that brought mixed emotions. Of course, my husband and I, along with our other two children, were filled with joy and excitement that another bundle of joy is coming to our family. However, aside from happiness, we also felt a little worried and scared because of the continuous surge of Covid-19 cases happening around us.
As my pregnancy was an unexpected surprise, we also could not anticipate how to deal with this exciting stage during a global crisis. What we knew was as long as we stayed calm and strong together as a family, we were positive that we can overcome whatever challenges that may come our way.
Pregnancy and Parenting Problems during the Pandemic
As a pregnant mom, below are the main challenges I faced during the pandemic:
- Health scare
Not only was I worried about the possibility of myself and my family getting infected with the Covid-19 virus; but more importantly, I was scared that my unborn child might get affected, too. It was a difficult time for all of us, because I, above everyone else, had to be more mindful and meticulous about taking care of my health to prevent any possible infection.
- Limited medical care
Another challenge I had to deal with during the pandemic was limited access to medical care. While hospitals and doctors’ clinics are always open, it wasn’t practical to physically visit them because of the possibility of getting infected. Thus, I turned to teleconsultations whenever possible; but this method wasn’t always 100% reliable especially when it comes to having my vitals checked.
- Limited supplies and expensive costs
Businesses that closed and shut down made it difficult for pregnant women like me, and consumers in general, to find ample supply of everyday needs, including food, vitamins, supplements, milk, hygiene products (especially alcohol), and more.
- Lack of help and support
Travel restrictions during the pandemic also hindered my family and friends from physically visiting me while I was pregnant, which limited the care and support I got.
How I Overcame the Struggles
As mothers are naturally smart and resourceful, I made sure not to let these pandemic-related problems bring me down. Together with my husband, we looked for ways to turn these challenges into opportunities that will help me get through this difficult time.
Below were the ways that helped us overcome the struggle brought by the pandemic during my pregnancy.
- I took advantage of the support that my husband and children extended to me. Because my immediate family was all I have during this difficult time, I embraced the care and help they did for me, even in the smallest ways they can.
- I followed strict health protocols. Whether indoors or outdoors, I made sure to wash and sanitize my hands every time, wear a face mask and face shield, maintain a good distance from people, and avoid crowded places. We also refrained from letting people inside our house as a preventive measure.
- I kept myself entertained. Because I had to stay at home most of the time, I fought off boredom by doing exciting things and activities with my children. From watching series on Netflix to playing board games and cooking unique recipes, keeping myself entertained helped strengthen my mental health during the pandemic.
- I bonded with my husband, children, and newborn baby. The pandemic can take a toll on one’s mental health, especially on mothers who have just given birth. Postpartum depression is real, and having to experience this during a global crisis can be so much worse. I was glad that I am surrounded by a loving family who cared for and supported me throughout my pregnancy journey. Spending time to bond with them allowed me to forget how difficult it is to live during the pandemic.
- Finally, I kept the faith that the pandemic will be over soon. I realized that the best person to help me during this tough time was myself. I had to be strong not only for myself but for my family and the newborn baby, most importantly. Every day, I would pray to God to give me the strength to be the best mother I could be. With complete faith, I also believe that the pandemic will not last long and that it should be over soon so that we can all go back to living our lives normally.
With a new baby in our family, it wasn’t difficult to fight these mental, emotional, and physical challenges brought by the pandemic. When you have a purpose to live, you will do everything it takes to overcome all the problems surrounding you.
What I Learned from this Experience
Health is truly our greatest wealth. I realized that in a world full of uncertainties, we need to keep ourselves and our families healthy at all times so that we can stay strong for our loved ones no matter what epidemic comes our way. Even if we lose money, career opportunities, travel opportunities, and the luxury of going outdoors, as long as we have our family by our side, we didn’t lose anything. We only gain time to be with the people who truly matter.
And during the Covid-19 era, I can say that I definitely gained another blessing in our life -- my now 1-year-old pandemic baby boy.