A lot of things are different thanks to the pandemic, and pregnancy checkups are one of them. Unfortunately, bringing your partner along isn’t an option in most cases. Here’s how I’m managing it, and how you can, too.
I never thought I wouldn’t have my husband with me to hold my hand during every ultrasound. Or, to ask the doctor all the follow-up questions my pregnant brain seems to forget.
When I found out that, due to COVID-19 precautions and safety measures, I’d have to go to all my prenatal appointments alone, I cried big crocodile tears. I couldn’t believe this was happening. It made me so sad that I got pregnant during this time. Dealing with the hormones is bad enough when you’re pregnant during the best of times, let alone right now!
Still, taking care of the baby comes first. So, I wiped my tears, kept my chin up, and walked into the clinic, determined that on my next visit, I wouldn’t be alone.
Fast-forward to my 16th week of pregnancy, and nothing has changed. I still have to go alone, talk to the doctor alone, and see my baby on the ultrasound alone. They do allow me to FaceTime my husband while I’m there and take photos or videos of the ultrasound. However, it doesn’t diminish the fact that this whole situation is far from ideal.
This is our first child. It’s supposed to be one of the most wonderful times of our lives, and yet, here we are, experiencing it via a tiny smartphone screen.
To all of you out there who are going through the same thing, here’s what I’ve learned so far about getting through it alone.
If You Feel Like Crying, Do
There’s nothing worse than trying to keep your emotions to yourself and pretend everything is fine. Your hormones probably won’t allow you to be so coolheaded, anyway. So, if you feel like breaking down, just do it.
I started crying on the phone when I was first told I had to come to my appointments alone. Then, I cried in the exam room and when I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I also cried when I saw my husband’s tortured face on my phone.
I’ve cried a lot, and it’s okay if you do, too. Even if your partner can’t be with you for every step, always remember you have his or her support. When you’re pregnant, you’re constantly worrying about something, whether it’s a weird sensation in your stomach or whether the ingredients in your favorite meal are okay to eat.
There are already so many things to be concerned about, it seems cruel that you can’t have your partner with you on top of it. So, cry it out and let your frustration go.
Don’t Fight the Measures
As terrible as this whole situation is, don’t rebel and try to force your partner to come with you or get your doctor’s office to make an exception. The rules are for the greater good. Plus, getting into a fight will only stress you (and your baby) out, and create an antagonistic relationship between you and your care providers.
Accept the situation and use all your strength to push through it. Although it might not seem possible, your checkups will get easier after the first one. Like all the other situations we’ve had to endure during the pandemic, even going to a pregnancy checkup alone becomes easier the more you do it.
Think About Your Baby
Whatever happens, just put your baby first. He or she is sharing your body. Whenever you’re stressed, anxious, frightened, or even ecstatic, it also affects your child. Hormonal changes are transferred through your bloodstream, so high cortisol and adrenaline levels are never ideal.
Whenever you’re feeling upset, force yourself to take a deep breath and re-center. If you’re sad because it’s time to go to another checkup alone, just place your hands on your belly, and say, “It’s okay. You’re all that matters now.”
Calm yourself with meditation or a soothing environment. Try to focus on positive feelings and thoughts. Even though your partner can’t be with you, you can still call him or her and share everything that happened.
You’re Not Alone
Just because you have to go to your exams on your own doesn’t mean you’re alone. Your partner will still be there when you get out. It can be incredibly hard to stay positive and not feel lonely while you’re waiting for your name to be called. Just keep in mind that you’ll be able to FaceTime your loved one in the exam room, and it should help you relax a bit.
Checkups are over pretty quickly, so try to spend them focused on the baby, rather than the fact that your partner isn’t there. Ask all the necessary questions and carefully listen to everything your doctor says. Jot down any instructions, or anything else you’re afraid you might forget.
After you leave, you’ll soon be reunited with your partner, and all will be well again.
Pregnancy should be the most wonderful time in any woman’s life. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that’s not the case right now. Many women feel frustrated and sad about having to go to their checkups alone. But your keep your heads up, soon-to-be-mamas—we’re all in this together!