I am craving queso dip with the fierce intensity only a pregnant woman is capable of. It feels, without exaggeration, that I might eat someone’s face if I don’t get it now.
In normal times, this wouldn’t be a problem. My husband would simply head to a local Mexican restaurant and pick some up for me.
But, in the current pandemic, things are vastly different now.
Though restaurants, deemed “essential” are allowed to be open, many of them in our area have chosen to close anyway. Though there’d been four Mexican restaurants nearby before, now there’s exactly one that is open.
My husband puts on a face mask and gloves, and heads out. For something as innocuous as food pick-up, it is now like he is heading to the frontlines.
When he returns, he throws away the food take-out bag and his gloves in the bin outside. He washes his hands, pulls two bowls out from the cupboard, dumps the queso dip into one and the chips into the other. He then throws the rest of the take-out items away and re-washes his hands.
He does all of this because I’m pregnant, and he worries.
While the data is limited about how the coronavirus affects women in my condition, we’ve been isolating since it was ordered in mid-March.
No one goes into a pandemic pregnant thinking, “What a great time to be pregnant!”
In actuality — probably like all of the other women in my same place — I thought, “Well, fuck.”
In February, I took a pregnancy test, mostly on a whim.
My husband and I, married just last year, both doubted we’d ever have a child together. We’d brought in children from previous marriages (two me, one him), and we were happy being blended.
On top of that, I shouldn’t have been able to even get pregnant. I was supposed to have a hysterectomy last summer, but the timing wasn’t right, so I’d been on medicine to induce menopause for months.
When I took that pregnancy test in February, I wasn’t expecting anything. I hadn’t had a period since I’d started the medication, but I wondered because I’d been feeling a little different.
Then I saw a faint second line appear, which rattled me enough that I stormed into our bedroom to wake up my napping husband with a brusque, “WAKE UP. Look at this. Omg. Look at this.”
As the line darkened, we stared at each other open-mouthed. “So we are…pregnant…” we said to each other hesitantly.
“Yes?” We each responded.
A few weeks later, an ultrasound confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.
A few weeks after that, states in the U.S. began sweeping shut-downs, and here we were, pregnant in a pandemic.
I feel lucky in that I don’t have to worry about some things.
I’m not so far enough along that I have to worry about giving birth in a hospital.
We are being extra cautious, and I’m hopeful that we won’t catch anything.
This is, so far, an uncomplicated pregnancy that hasn’t required excessive monitoring.
In other ways, I do worry.
Everything is unknown. When will we stop having to be quarantined? What will change permanently? Will there be another resurgence later in the year? Will we have to quarantine again? If I catch it, what will that really be like?
Plus I’ve had two miscarriages before. Both of them required D&Cs (a medical abortion) because I was at high-risk of infection. I’m not guaranteed a healthy pregnancy. I’m not guaranteed that I won’t need to go to the hospital for a reason other than delivery.
When I wake up at 4 in the morning everyday, it’s either because I need to eat or pee, or I’m anxious. That’s probably not any different than anyone else right now. We’re all anxious right now. This is a life-changing moment we’re existing in.
I usually heft myself out of bed and drink a glass of milk before trying to fall back asleep before my alarm goes off at 6. When I look out at our quiet dark street in the early morning, everything looks normal, but I wonder if it’ll ever feel normal again.
Previously published on psiloveyou
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