Danielle shares her story of expecting during COVID-19

Birth is always unpredictable, so we already had a few scenarios planned. However, COVID-19 has thrown all plans out of the window! Current hospital restrictions are that you may only have your spouse/partner and one other visitor, who must be an adult 18 or older, and they will be subject to health screenings at every visit.

I have to be prepared to be solo in case my mother does not recover from her cold quickly and my husband will then need to stay home with our 9-year-old.  I have to have written directives for the medical staff in case I am alone and unable to speak for myself during a medical emergency.

My baby could enter this world with no fanfare from loved ones. I could labor with no one to rub my back, or give me ice chips, or encourage me through the pain. It feels very isolating and daunting and lonely.

I am 38 years old. My first child, Kavi, was born at a different time in my life. Right after he was born, I took a large pay cut and switched fields. We needed a lot of financial support at that time and I missed out on a lot of things I wanted to do for my first pregnancy.

Danielle and Kavi COVID-19 birth plans
Danielle with her son Kavi

After two years and the help of ART Fertility, we conceived our second child together. With this second pregnancy, I was preparing to do so much more! Some of the things we have or will miss out on are small but sentimental. I was doing weekly belly progress photos with my sister. The last one was two weeks ago, and we will likely not see each other again before I give birth.

I was doing my final rounds of shopping for the nursery, picking out a rocking chair and a dresser. Now I’ll have to do it alone online and hope that the colors match when it arrives. I was shopping for outfits for the first pictures. Now, online only. I was going to do a fancy photoshoot like everyone else does, with fur and a tiny naked baby in an impossibly cute costume! Now, I won’t be able to even book a session if the social bans continue. I had two diaper-and-wipes showers planned for me and both have been canceled.

Diapers are currently sold out, as are other baby items that I was preparing to purchase, like forehead thermometers, infant pain reliever, etc. Amazon is suspending non-essential shipments from vendors as of today. What does that look like for me? What supplies will I be able to buy? It’s an unknown. There are so many unknowns!

Mostly, I was looking forward to quietly settling in with my baby, surrounded by friends and family, while we showered him or her with love and affection. Now I can only imagine sitting alone in my home, ordering takeout, and sharing video chats.

It just wasn’t the way this dream was supposed to end.