Sarah recently reached out to us to share her story with the move, feel, connect well group. Sarah is in her late 20’s, lives in Melbourne, is married to her childhood sweetheart and is expecting her first child. We talk to Sarah and find out about her pregnancy experience during COVID-19 and how it may look different to what she was expecting.

1. Can you tell me about your pregnancy?

I suspected early on that I was pregnant so I took a pregnancy test. My husband Sam had already left for work but I couldn’t contain my excitement and didn’t want to wait to share our happy news, so I texted him a picture of the positive pregnancy test and waited for his phone call. We were both giddy with excitement.

I am currently 21 weeks, just past the half way point. I am feeling really good, it helps that I don’t need to worry about pregnancy clothes as I am currently working remotely from home during COVID-19. Nothing fits me anymore, I am living in tracksuit pants and leggings!

I am due in late September and despite being incredibly tempted, we are keeping the sex of our baby a surprise.

2. You mentioned that you are working from home. How has your work changed for you to better manage reducing your risk of exposure during COVID 19?

I started working from home almost 8 weeks ago now. I was part of one of the first teams to be transitioned to working from home. It has involved lots of online meetings and phone conversations. Management and my team have been incredibly supportive on both a professional and personal level. Always checking in and being flexible with whatever I have needed, especially when morning sickness rears it’s ugly head.

My favourite part of working from home is the regular neighbours I see walking most mornings who wave to me as they go by!

3. How are you and your husband managing your pre and post natal appointments amid COVID 19?

COVID19 has definitely effected Sam and my intentions for how we wanted to approach pregnancy and parenting – as equals in the journey and beyond. Antenatal and ultrasound appointments are restricted to only myself attending. On every occasion, we have advocated strongly against this and have so far had Sam attend nearly all the appointments and when unable to negotiate his attendance, we go to different services and providers.

It would be challenging going without Sam to these appointments because this is our first child so each appointment is so important to us. We also operate as a team, so together we can mentally prepare and support each other for each step of this journey. It makes Sam sometimes feel like he isn’t an important part of the process. In saying that, we understand why things need to be this way to stop the spread.

Child birth education has been scheduled to be online which is great for us as we have more flexibility in when we can attend, our options for different classes and in the privacy of our own homes, which allows us to have meaningful conversations about what the content means for us.

4. How is your support network ensuring they provide you with support during your pregnancy during the COVID 19 restrictions?

Having family support during the COVID 19 restrictions has been so important, especially for my mental health. At times it has been so isolating so I have been known to regularly call family members to chat and I have done a few video calls to update them on my growing baby bump. My mother-in-law has also been sending gifts for the baby to the house – always so nice getting deliveries!

5. Are you planning on taking parental leave once the baby is born?
I am planning on taking parental leave but still deciding what this will look like for me. Sam will take the first two weeks but unfortunately that is all he is entitled to.

6. How are you planning on celebrating the pending arrival of your bundle of joy with your friends and family?

At this stage we are trying not to plan too far ahead for the baby shower, and just taking each day as it comes as the situation changes so quickly. I have been considering a virtual baby shower where everyone dials in and we celebrate with some cups of tea and sweets. It would be lovely to celebrate with everyone but we will happily settle for being able to see our close family.

 

Our Counselling services are available to anyone experiencing emotional difficulties which are impacting their day-to-day life. If you would like additional support, please contact us on 9430 9100 or send us an email to enquiries@healthability.org.au

Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

This story and many others have been created for our move, feel, connect well group promoting positive health, wellbeing and social connections during COVID-19 and beyond. To join the group visit Facebook or for more details check out: move, feel, connect well.