I went to my well-baby checkup today alone. I recorded the heartbeat for Ben to hear as this was the first appointment he’s had to miss due to the circumstances.
My doctor and I elbow bumped. Followed by a little half chuckle through totally uncertain, weary smiles.
He asked how I was holding up, I asked him how he was holding up.
There was a heavy energy in the room, yet we tried to keep things light. But there was nothing light about making sure not to share pens, having him sign my accommodation paperwork to try to protect me at work, hand sanitizing every two minutes and placing the Doppler on my stomach from a distance.
It was all so heavy. And completely unnatural.
As soon as I got into my car tears just started rolling down my face.
I’m sad for the pregnant women being triaged alone.
I’m sad for the grandma who doesn’t get to watch her first grandchild be born.
I’m sad for the mom who doesn’t get to hold her daughter’s hand when she’s scared.
I’m sad for the dads who have to miss out on the well-baby check-ups and listening to heartbeats.
I’m sad for the sisters who are going to be aunts, yet can’t be there for their best friend throughout this all.
I’m sad for the best friends who can’t visit, bring flowers, and shower the baby they’ve patiently waited 9 months to meet.
I’m sad for the first time mom being sent home so soon, so unsure, wondering if she’ll have the support she’ll need.
I’m sad for the NICU parents who are only allowed one parent at the bedside for the day.
I’m sad that there are no guarantees of spouses attending C-sections due to a lack of protective gear.
I’m sad for the doulas, photographers, and birth-centered small businesses
So much is rapidly changing.
Understandable precautions and standards, but equally devastating for what many consider the most joyous time in their life.
Today I’ll sit or lay or even nap with my feelings, and let them be. I’m not going to wrestle with them, avoid them, or numb myself to this reality of expecting mommas.
I will let them be. And I will be. And I will trust that none of us know what the future holds, but stand firm in knowing the one who holds the future will carry us through.
This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page