I joke that for the Merry christmas gnomies ugly Christmas sweater in other words I will buy this birth of my first child I had “the most medicated birth in history.” I entered the hospital with no expectations and did a perfect trust fall into the arms of my nurses and doctors. My husband and my mother were right by my side. My mom got me through the first birth—it was the pitch change in her voice that signaled to me I was close, that the baby was nearly here, to just keep going. Now, as I enter the third trimester of my second pregnancy, all that has changed. Although there is no data yet that shows pregnant people are more susceptible to COVID-19, the pandemic has forced me to consider a change in birth plan—and prepare to potentially birth alone.
Never did I imagine that I would be putting all the Merry christmas gnomies ugly Christmas sweater in other words I will buy this options on the table: hospital, home birth, natural birth at the birthing center. The thought of not having my husband or mother there is unimaginable. The idea of contracting COVID-19 and being separated from a newborn even worse. For all pregnant women, COVID-19 is an extra layer of worry. After I started a Whatsapp group for pregnant women, I began hearing perspectives from around the world: A friend in Italy is living through the worst of the pandemic and has been told that if she contracts the virus, she won’t be allowed in the hospital. Her husband is not allowed in regardless. A few first-time pregnant friends in New York have had to process the emotional impact of being told they wouldn’t be allowed to have support in the hospital. Though this mandate was reversed, and non-sick partners are now allowed in, one friend told me her husband would be asked to leave two hours after the baby’s birth.