Pandemic Pregnancies and Prepping

This year has been challenging for everyone. But like any tumultuous year, life goes on in many ways and there is always new life popping up.

This time it happened to me.

My husband and I really increased how much we were prepping at the beginning of the pandemic. As time wore on and civil unrest came into the mix in the cities, we prepped even more. Matt grew a lot of gardens, and we put back what we could not eat fresh.

At 37 years old, we really thought that kids were not possible for us. A few years back, I began to assume that like so many daughters of Vietnam veterans who were heavily exposed to Agent Orange, I was incapable of having children or at least not without many medical treatments that I could not afford.

That all changed when I recently found out I was pregnant with our first child. Of course, we are happy about this. We have a chance to be parents after all! At the same time, there are a million thoughts running through our heads. It is a pandemic and the country is pretty tumultuous and divided. Going to doctors is an ordeal too.

I am so glad we prepped a lot. It has made it a lot easier since we have some things covered.

This post is going to cover what I have learned so far and how I have handled things. I hope I can help out other women that are going through this and perhaps get others to consider their options if they or someone in their home becomes pregnant.

I know I have a ton of things to learn and deal with in the future. Here is what I have learned so far with my pandemic pregnancy.

Dealing with symptoms

Morning sickness and nausea

Earth Mama 100% Organic Morning Wellness Tea

Morning wellness tea contains some ginger but the taste is not overwhelming. It is a very pleasant and mild herbal tea that tastes great with a little honey.

The Ginger People Gin Gins Hard Ginger Candy

These little individually wrapped candies can help with any type of nausea. A lot of people use them when they travel.

Boylan’s Ginger Ale

Any Ginger Ale might help. I chose Boylan’s because it has no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.

Sore legs

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Leg and Foot Cream

This stuff is amazing! It is what icy hot should be like. Peppermint is the main ingredient. A little bit of this goes a long way. When it is rubbed in it goes to worth and soothes aches and soreness. For me, this is the worst at night. This cream helps me get a better night’s rest. Even after pregnancy, I am going to keep some of this cream around for general sore muscles and aches from farm work.

Stretch mark prevention

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Oil

Both of these products are very affordable and help out. The Belly Butter is unscented. The oil has a nice lemon scent and is great after showering.

Insomnia

I had a bit of a hard time sleeping before I was pregnant. I often had to sleep with a fan going. Small noises would wake me up. Well, it is worse now. I have been using Earth Mama Peaceful Mama Tea before bed. I read a book and try not to look at the news or Facebook. Dean, our German Shepherd pup, hangs out with me.

Oh and a big snack before bed means I don’t wake up hungry. I have never felt the need to eat so much. It is actually fairly annoying.

Dried fruit, nuts, cheese, and crackers are great. Kind Breakfast Protein Bars with some peanut or almond butter are helpful because they are high protein and filling.

The Clothing Issue

Very early on I discovered that most of my clothes already did not fit. I basically had one big drawer worth of clothing to work with after I went through everything.

Suddenly I had the expense of buying more clothes than I ever buy at once. Remarkably I was able to piece together a usable wardrobe by buying clearance items from Old Navy Maternity, Wal-mart, and Amazon. I spent about $200. For that, I was able to get 4 dresses, 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of yoga pants, 4 bras, and 6 pairs of underwear.

Bottom Line: There is a ton of clearance maternity clothing out there and it is really comfortable.

I know that many women give each other clothing and trade and such, but in a pandemic, that may not be an option even if you have a big circle of female friends. The same goes for thrift stores and consignment shops. Going shopping is not as feasible or fun as it used to be for some.

I found out about military maternity uniforms

While talking online to my friend Tim at Old Grouch’s Military Surplus I mentioned that it was lucky I bought that size 40 coat from him. Once he realized why he informed me that he actually had maternity bdus! He only gets them every few years. He was kind enough to send me the most comfortable pair of maternity pants I own! I also got 2 matching shirts.

You can find maternity bdus online too. The pants run a little small. I think the tops run a little large.

Deciding on doctors and where to have a baby during a pandemic

I am lucky enough to live within 30 minutes of a birth center next to a hospital. If you are worried about giving birth in a pandemic and your pregnancy is not high risk, I recommend considering a birth center. The amount of people going in and out is minimal, and birth centers seem to have some stringent COVID-19 rules to protect everyone. The birth center in my area also takes care of all the prenatal services except ultrasounds.

The disadvantage of a birth center is that they will not give you any major pain treatments. You have to go to a hospital for an epidural. I decided a long time ago that if I got pregnant, I would do it the old fashioned way after hearing too many epidurals after effect horror stories and researching what they can do to you and the baby.

One of the weird things I have come to terms with is that unless something changes fast, I will also have to give birth with everyone around me wearing a mask the entire time.

Current Challenges:

I have figured out ways to improve my sleep. Herbal teas help. We also have to move downstairs because our bedroom is in the loft of our house. Matt is planning on adding a bedroom when we can. The house we built is 480 sq ft with a 160 sq ft loft.

The ladder is not really convenient or even safe during pregnancy, especially when one considers how many bathroom visits are involved.

Right around the time we conceived, we added a new German Shepherd puppy to the farm too. He is a really good dog, but he has his needs.

I am tired a lot, and there is basically not that much I can do about that. It is challenging to eat so much too. Food takes up more of my day! Pregnancy has made me clumsier too. Not to say I was the most coordinated person before. My center of gravity is off a bit.

As someone that is used to writing thousands of words in a single sitting, it is frustrating to be so fuzzy-headed. At least now I know why this seemed to be happening to me so much. I guess I am just going to have to be more patient with myself.

I am told some of these things get a little easier. I hope that is true. In the meantime, I will stay at home and venture out for necessary doctor visits. I hope to make some appointments via telemedicine too.