Covid Surprise

Sep 12, 2020

“I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks. My period was late and I was feeling sick, but I ruled out pregnancy after a home test I took was negative. But think I weed on the stick too much! Even at the finding out stage, I was totally incompetent!

A couple of days passed and as I was still being sick, so I went to the hospital thinking I had some sort of infection, hoping it wasn’t Corona.  I told them to do a pregnancy test among the blood tests, just in case.  And that’s when I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant.  It was such a great feeling, as my husband and I were casually “trying” for at least 2 years. But apparently in Cyprus, trying starts from when you get married, as society, including health professionals have asked me how many years I have been married and gave a concerning look when I said 4 years.  

Worried we couldn’t conceive, my husband and I were finally thinking to “get checked”, just before the Covid-19 pandemic arrived on the island.  I had my concerns about myself; I very recently suffered Generalised Anxiety Disorder and also have Hashimoto Thyroiditis and was paranoid that these affected my fertility. Having received support and treatment for my anxiety and basically recognising and removing myself from toxic triggers, I felt so much better. And it turns out the Covid-19 lockdown actually pushed us to spend more time together…and voila, a “Covid baby” – as my doctor put it – was conceived!

I was so grateful. I felt that because I got support for my mental health and also did other things to heal my soul, my body was finally ready to have a baby. And then reality sunk in, and my body started changing.  Nobody tells you that you will grow a lot more hair and a lot faster! It feels like it grows back literally 5 minutes after a shave. And in the middle of summer, especially when you’re desperate to go into the sea to cool off from the extra heat, you feel constantly tending to the hair is an extra hassle. Getting up anywhere between 2am and 5am for a wee or a puke becomes the norm.  Morning sickness – or sickness and nausea and weakness throughout the day – is a bitch. I got so jealous of women who didn’t experience it.

Having a chronic autoimmune condition, I wasn’t surprised that I felt sickness, extra fatigue and weight gain.  It felt like I had a virus for the first 3 months, laying the on the sofa, eating loads of carbohydrate-packed foods that you have when you’re sick, like mashed potatoes, rice soup, and toast. As someone who was previously active before pregnancy, I could not lift a finger during this time.  Thus, on top of the fact that I had let myself go during lockdown, I put on even more weight. After all, I was vomiting only water and bile, and not food. I wasn’t like other women who actually lost weight during the first 3 months due to sickness.

So I got frustrated when people – sometimes with the best intention – saw me and said, “eating for two during pregnancy is a myth you know”, and “be careful not to put on too much weight”, and even compared me to other slimmer women at the same stage of pregnancy. Thanks so much! Made me feel great! Not.

My boobs are heavy, so heavy, and saggy! My back hurts. I sleep with what feels like a million pillows that I tussle about with frustration when I wake up hot and sweaty on these summer nights. So, all these combined, I’m not exactly feeling sexy at the moment. Intimacy has been a bit weird for us. Since finding out I was pregnant my hubby was scared to come near me! But with the raging hormones, you have increased specific needs! We even joked about how he thought that he would be hitting the baby, and the baby would be like, “oww!”. The thought made him shiver! But in time, and being reassured by professionals that sex is healthy, and the baby is not affected in any way, he managed to ease up a little.

Now I am 17 weeks and freaking out about the preparations I need to make and wonder how I will cope when our baby girl arrives! I watch these Youtuber mums, who manage to look immaculate, and share their perfect “new born baby routines”. I really need to stop doing this because it makes me feel more anxious that I won’t be able to hack it.  One “Youtuber Mom” shares how she gets up before her new born every day to put make up on to “feel human”, and keep her home clean by giving the baby to dad when he gets home so she can clean. Where does she get her energy? And how come she is so slim?!

I can imagine my home being a total mess for the first couple of months and feeling tired as hell. It is always best – whether you are pregnant or not – not to compare yourself to others. Overcoming this terrible habit helped me get over my anxiety, and now is certainly not the time to pick it up again. 

So, this is my story so far! Let’s see what else awaits me!”

Father and baby

Father and baby

After my son was born, my husband was only able to take 3 days off work.