I would love to share my story.
I found out that I was pregnant with my youngest a week before the shut down in 2020. At that point, there wasn’t much knowledge about the virus, but I knew that I needed to stay away from people to keep myself and my growing baby safe. I cancelled all my sessions for the next few months, and I didn’t see family. The other adults in my household were not as concerned, so I felt very invalidated with my worries.
At that point I felt isolated and that sent me in to the beginnings of depression/ anxiety. I have always struggled with health anxiety. Being born with a congenital heart defect and having surgery for it at age 7 definitely fueled this. Now, being pregnant in a pandemic was no help.
Needless to say, I plugged along because that’s what we do. I missed having my husband join me for ultrasounds and appointments. I felt like this pregnancy wasn’t special to anyone else.
I delivered and things were seemingly fine, until 6 days later, I wasn’t feeling well and was readmitted for post partum preeclampsia. In those moments, I was worried about dying, and leaving my children behind. While in the hospital, i was extremely sad to not have my brand new baby with me. It was a complete nightmare. I was trying to make nursing work for me, as this was my last baby and I wasn’t able to with my older daughter, so this felt like a huge road block. I was released two days later on blood pressure meds that made me feel awful.
In the days following, I ended up with Covid, and although doctors told me I didn’t need to quarantine from baby, I was petrified to give her the virus, so I stayed in my room for 14 days and pumped the whole time.
During this time my anxiety was at an all time high. I was worried about my heart, being on blood pressure meds, and the unknown of how my body would react to Covid. I felt helpless, hopeless and scared. On top of it, not being able to nurse my baby was torturous. Not being able to hold her or snuggle her hurt me to the core. I felt such despair. I was able to get into the day program at women and infants for mental health, and spent the next two weeks doing those meetings. Hearing other women's stories, and seeing how they were doing was very comforting and helpful to me. As time went on, things began to get a little easier, but I would still obsessively check vitals , and worry about my health.
I have been in therapy since, and I am mostly doing better.
The different struggles that women face in the days/weeks/years following are definitely not acknowledged enough.
Woman & Infants Day Hospital
2 Dudley Street, 1st Floor Providence, RI 02905 P: (401) 453-7955
Spanish-speaking staff members are available in the department, and the hospital has interpreters in other languages available upon request.
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