Pregnancy, trauma, and COVID..OH MY!

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. If you are pregnant in the middle of a pandemic I hope you can relate. If you are simply just living and surviving through the pandemic I think you can still relate. The COVID-19 pandemic has added so much more mental weight for many people. It has forced our minds to send our executive brain into overdrive just making daily decisions to protect ourselves and our families. Do I wear a mask or not? Do I go to the grocery store or order? Do I plan a vacation or wait? Should I send my kid back to school or keep them home? Should I get the vaccine or not? Is this even real or just a hoax? Who should I listen to? Will I be ok? Will my family be ok? Will this ever end?

Questions. Traumatic times coupled with life-changing decisions can overwhelm the mind and lead to burnout. I realized the magnitude of mental weight and pressure just the other day while in the waiting room to get my first COVID-19 vaccine shot. I’m sitting there holding my pregnant belly and the hand of my 4 year old and my rising anxiety brought me to tears. I’ve been vaccinated plenty of times in my life, but this one was different. We definitely decided against the vaccine in my first trimester, last year’s pregnancy loss helped us make that decision. As I’m in my second trimester and the baby is developing normally, the decision is more on me. How do I best protect myself, my family, and my unborn baby? As I’m sitting there in this place of unknown, I began to cry. The nurse came out and asked me a few questions. But, what she did that was most powerful was wait patiently and just sit with me. She let me be in my thoughts and fully experience my emotions for as long as I needed. In that moment and space I began to let my mind and spirit speak to me about my next move. It wasn’t about me. In the end I allowed the needle to sink into my arm and release its contents into my system.

I did it! What did I do? I conquered my anxiety. I overcame my fear. I made a decision in a place of unknown. I moved even though I was uncomfortable. I used my faith. In that moment I redefined faith as “decisions in action.”

Even in these trying, unexpected times anxiety doesn’t have to win!

Dr. TC

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