As a married 27-year-old (wait, f*ck. I’m 28), I knew the day would come when I’d eventually want to have children. I’m not an “oh my God, let me hold your baby” kind of gal, but deep down, I low-key felt like I was meant to have kids. If my child-bearing hips aren’t enough to prove that, it’s my sheer love of costumes and drama that would make me perfect for a life of viral family Halloween looks and PTA-induced mom fights.
While I thanked every deity out there that I avoided teen pregnancy and walked down the aisle bump-free, for the past say, six months, I’ve found myself Googling funny pregnancy announcements and searching to see if there’s a gender reveal theme that doesn’t make me feel like a boner. The point is, whether I like it or not, my ovaries are starting to be like “bitch, let’s get that IUD out.” The problem? The entire world is one huge dumpster fire thanks to coronavirus, and I’m starting to feel like my entire life timeline is getting f*cked up. From graduations, proms, weddings, showers, bachelorette parties, and honeymoons, COVID-19 is snatching up memories left and right. While parents and events were one thing, it never occurred to me that this pandemic might change the entire trajectory of my life (and my vagina).
Before getting pregnant, I’ve had a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Thanks to my trusty Mirena securely nestled in my cervix, I’ve had the luxury to accomplish most of the items. I’ve gotten married, I’ve purchased a house, I’ve perfected my hula hooping skills—all “musts” on my list. The only few left? Write a book and travel to France. I know, I’m a blonde white girl from a medium-income household who hasn’t been to Paris? Trust me, I too, and shook. But with my Eurotrip canceled and no set time to reschedule on the horizon (plus a Google Doc titled “Book” that’s been untouched for 2.5 years), it’s making me wonder: Is it even worth waiting to get pregnant?
Now, TBH, I don’t even know if I’m there *yet* (chill out, mom). But let’s just say I’m “there adjacent.” On one hand, I’m like “what the f*ck else am I going to do? Might as well have a whole bunch of sex and pop a newborn out in what specialists predict will be another baby boom in nine months.” On the other hand, is it sensible, and what will I be giving up (and potentially gaining) by choosing to forego my initial pregnancy plan and try now, when the world is uncertain but hopeful? Since I can’t be the only confused millennial out there, I’m breaking down my findings to hopefully help other potential and future parents get a better idea of what the actual f*ck they should do.
If You’re Considering Getting Pregnant
The bad news for women or couples considering getting pregnant during corona? There’s a chance you’ll miss out on some of the classic moments many moms-to-be look forward to. With some states restricting events all the way to the end of the year, things are still unclear as to when group gatherings will be deemed 100% safe. In addition to things like gender reveal parties and baby showers potentially having to be omitted (at least traditional ones as opposed to virtual parties), offices and hospitals are limiting the number of people who can enter, which means your loved ones might miss out on things like doctors appointments, sonograms, and potentially even the birth. As someone who literally THRIVES on attention, that’s a real bummer to me.
Still, specialists are always working on new and improved systems, and Dr. Christian Pettker, chief of obstetrics at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut told TODAY, “These new practices don’t have to ‘negatively’ affect your care, and some developments are even exciting. Many patients are being prescribed at-home blood pressure monitors, which reduce the need for in-person visits.” Plus, if you’re the type of person who processes good or bad news easier alone, you’ll get to have your space from nosey MILs without an awkward convo. The downside? Complications might not be detected as quickly thanks to the lack of in-person visits, which is why it’s up to patients to be completely transparent in virtual appointments, no matter how weird it might feel.
So, should you try to get pregnant now or wait? Dr. Stephanie Gaw, an associate professor of obstetrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told TODAY, “My advice would be: If you had the luxury of waiting a couple of months until things die down a little bit, (you) might want to do that. But we can’t say definitively that there’s an actual danger to the pregnancy itself.”
If You *Are* Pregnant/Trying To Get Pregnant
First of all: This is exciting, and don’t let anyone or anything make you think differently. While there seems to be endless bad news circling around The Virus That Must Not Be Named, it’s not all doom and gloom for future baby mamas. According to Dr. Kendra Segura from Bravo’s Married To Medicine: Los Angeles, the outbreak of COVID-19 doesn’t mean you need to avoid the hospital and give birth in your tub (but you can, if that’s your style). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) position on home vs. hospital births still sways in the direction of hospital births being generally safer, especially for the baby, even during the pandemic.
Plus, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “COVID-19 seems to have less serious health consequences for children than for adults,” and babies aren’t necessarily at a higher risk to contract it. Extra bonus? Dr. Kendra tells Betches that “The virus that causes Covid-19 (SARS-CoV2) has not been found in breast milk or amniotic fluid. This means that mothers infected with Covid-19 are unlikely to pass the virus onto their baby, while the baby is still in the womb, and that isolated COVID-positive mothers may still be able to nourish their newborns by methods such as pumping.” In addition to COVID-positive moms potentially being able to breastfeed via pump, pregnant women can obtain tests to determine whether or not they’re positive just like everyone else—no special tests are needed.
While it’s a lot to process, there’s no right or wrong answer. As with any decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons. For some, having the hope and happiness of a baby is just what the metaphorical doctor ordered in the ~time of darkness.~ For me, however, I’m still holding out hope to get that France stamp on my passport, then hopefully I can start my family. Whether that means it’ll be a few months or a few years, only time will tell. It the meantime, I’ll be spending my time eating a sh*t-ton of sushi, drinking buckets of booze, and trying to think of a baby name more horrifying than X Æ A-12 Musk.
Formerly one of the HBICs at Total Sorority Move (RIP), Rachel Varina has a long history of writing about things that make her parents ashamed. She's an avid lover of holding grudges, sitting down, and buffalo chicken dip. Currently, she lives in Tampa, Florida, but did not feed her husband to tigers. And even though she's married (with a *gasp* baby), she doesn't suck. Promise. PROMISE! Follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@rachelvarina) so she gets more followers than that influencer her husband dated in high school.