Birth · Change · Community · Health

Slowing Down – COVID-19 Preparations

It has been an interesting and sometimes scary past few months that has culminated in social distancing, hoarding at the grocery stores, and many people infected with COVID-19. The recommendations for pregnant and postpartum people are coming in from the CDC, WHO, and other international agencies all based on what little evidence they can gather. And it changes day by day. It is for sure an anxiety-fueled time to be alive right now.

My thoughts come back to all the nurses, doctors, midwives, and healthcare workers who are continuing to see patients and keep up healthy. To all of the people who cannot afford or do not have a job where they are able to work from home. To the many businesses, big and small, that are suffering greatly during this time. To the parents who are working from home with kids who are learning to homeschool. To all of the people from whom home is not a safe place to take shelter from this virus. To the elderly and immunocompromised who are extra vulnerable. To all the people who are sick or have lost loved ones already.

Morgan and I are continuing to see clients over video appointments, shorter in-person visits, and of course at home for births. I am doing the best I can to stay up to date on the newest recommendations to help me maintain the safest protocols in this changing landscape. We are welcoming some late-to-care clients who are concerned about birthing in the hospitals and who are committed to doing the emotional work to have a successful, safe homebirth. Not everyone who wants an out-of-hospital birth will have the means and ability to be able to change plans so close to birth – that is a privilege not all can have.

These are the things that I am grateful for as I close out our first week of shelter in place/quarantine-homeschool/working from home/new age of midwifery care:

  1. We happened to already be homeschooling my twins in 5th grade. Adding our 5 year old to the mix has been chaotic but probably not as bad as it could have been! We have been slowing down with more crafts and projects, which is a nice change of pace.
  2. I am very grateful for utilities that just work. Like our water, electricity, heat, internet. I don’t anticipate these will stop working but I’m still very grateful for them.
  3. I’m grateful for my little family of five. Sure there have been fights, sensitive feelings, and frustration as we try to navigate all of us living and working in our home. Who would expect anything less from this high-stress time?! But they are my people and I’m glad to be stuck with them.
  4. I’m grateful for my friends and family. Whew I’ve sent a lot of texts this week! But all worth it to check in and be supported by the people I love.
  5. I am grateful for the ways I’m trying to stay healthy. Many homemade meals, exercising to work up a sweat every day that I can, trying to get enough sleep and water, and a lot of tea. This is not the time to let go of healthy habits just because you’re home (but healthy food stress is real so I cut myself some slack and eat some sugar too).
  6. I’m grateful for going on bike rides and walks around the neighborhood. Though we aren’t visiting with people and not touching anything but nature, these outside breaks are a very vital part of our mental health (which is why I’m choosing to allow them in a limited way).
  7. I’m grateful for the many, many people stepping up in our community and beyond to help each other in all sorts of unique and useful ways. The outpouring of support for our fellow humans has been wonderful. That being said, I know that some communities and marginalized people will be impacted more by the virus and the shelter in place regulations and not everyone can access the same resources. More needs to be done in these areas, as always.

I’m sending you all good health, ease, solidarity, and support. We’re in this together and we will work through this together!