Pregnant Nurse coping with the global pandemic
As the novel virus known as COVID 19 has multiplied over the last few weeks. You can’t turn on the television or open any social media platforms without being bombarded with news of the virus. In the beginning I was frustrated by the overreaction of the general public, mostly by the hoarding behaviour. Now as the weeks have gone by, I am now feeling concerned. For the safety of our healthcare providers, for those who are immunocompromised, and for mine and my baby’s health.
First, our front line health care providers. I am proud to call these individuals my coworkers and it is amazing to see the staff pull together to ensure proper precautions are taking place and advocating for our protection. That being said, we need to protect the staff. There seems to be controversy regarding whether the virus can be contracted through airborne or droplet. For healthcare providers this means they would require different types of masks in order to keep them safe from contracting the virus. The lack of resources for N95 masks is very worrisome to me. I personally have signed a petition through my union letting our politicians know that we need the proper PPE (personal protective equipment) to keep ourselves safe.
I am very concerned for those who are immunocompromised. I am always diligent about safety precautions at work to protect those most vulnerable. The first people that come to my mind are our respiratory patients. I work these patients on a daily basis and watching them struggle to breathe on a good day is hard, let alone combined with a virus. The thought gives me shivers to think of their suffering. I honestly pray to God that we will have enough ventilators, oxygen tanks, and equipment necessary to support these patients. I want to highlight another immunocompromised subgroup: expectant mothers. We have a saying in our family, “tough as nails”, and I typically categorize myself as a pretty strong person. It took me a minute to realize that I am immunocompromised. Before this pandemic hit, I was sick with the flu and had to take off 5 shifts, which is pretty major. I also had my flu shot last October, meaning this was either a different strain for which I was not covered with my shot or (scary to think) that this was an attenuated version of a strain that I was protected against. I don’t even want to think of how sick I would have been if I hadn’t had my flu shot. Anyways, I just want expecting moms to remember that they are immunocompromised and take precautions to stay healthy. Keep surfaces in your home and car clean and disinfected, practice proper hand hygiene, and practice social distancing. As much as IT SUCKS, and I know, I am a social butterfly, but staying at home other than work and necessary doctor appointments, and getting just what I need at the grocery store, I am always at home, or on a walk around the block.
I have real concerns about keeping the baby and I healthy. Including the above mentioned suggestions, I have also cut out visitors to our home. Brad and I had to explain to his mother that we don’t want any visitors right now and it next to broke my heart. Anyone that knows us, knows we have an open door policy for friends and family. They are welcome to come stay over and we love hosting and having lots of food for our guests. At the forefront of my mind, is keeping others safe from me, since I am going to be exposed working in the hospital, and keeping my baby safe. It’s also breaking my heart that my prenatal classes and prenatal yoga have all been postponed. Brad and I have postponed our gender reveal and baby moon. In speaking with my mom she is also postponing the baby shower plans until we know more information. I dreamed of being a mom for 6 years and it took us 12 months to get pregnant, although it saddens me to hold off on all my dreams, I know this is the right thing to do.
I plea to the public: When out grocery shopping, there is no need to buy an endless supply of basic essentials. Simply purchase what you need. We need to ensure there are enough supplies to go around, especially for the elderly and immunocompromised. Respect one another, I am hearing stories of fighting in groceries stores. Lastly, be serious about social distancing. I have had a baby’s first birthday postponed, a friend’s birthday party canceled, and like so many others, Gen and I have moved all our meetings to FaceTime until further notice.
We would love to hear from other mommas (including expecting mommas) on how you are coping with COVID-19? Since I’m not out there meeting other to-be-moms in classes, please let me know if there are any online groups for expectant mothers that you would recommend. We would love to hear from you! Stay Healthy!