COVID While 37 Weeks Pregnant
After avoiding covid for 2 years, I contracted covid while pregnant in 2021.
At a time when my health was the most important, for not only me but for my baby!
I hope that if you are pregnant and sick right now, reading my story helps calm your mind!
Before we get into the scary details, let me tell you that I have a healthy baby boy! I went through hell during my pregnancy and my baby was born January 22, 2022! He is still healthy to this day!
Here is a bit of a "diary" of my feelings in the moment:
I'm 37 weeks pregnant and covid positive during the Christmas holidays in 2021.
I tested 2 times and was negative both times. My husband was positive. Finally on my third test I was positive, New Years Eve! I woke up on January 1, 2022 to my positive test result.
My oxygen levels at home keep dipping. I recognize that an oxygen reader at home may not be as accurate as one at the hospital. But I bought this one from a medical store!
I'm dizzy, chest pain, I have coughing fits where I can't breathe or even take my inhaler. The coughing causes contractions. My tummy keeps tightening. I have terrible low back pain. I can't straighten up. I can barely stand. My heart rate is very high while I'm resting.
You can’t even search the damn hashtag PregnantWithCovid to read anyone else’s stories as it’s been removed! There is nothing to read on the internet about pregnancy and covid! I was wanting to read stories from other women who have had covid while pregnant, I wanted reassurance. I wanted facts. I wanted information!
It’s a scary world for someone who’s pregnant. Covid hasn’t been around long enough to know the long-term effects or effects on a newborn. It’s scary to be so close to delivery and now have even more concerns
Can’t sleep. Can’t breathe. Can’t see or talk to my doctors as they’re on holidays. It was hard to find covid test kits and even harder to book a covid test... even though I was considered high risk, and was technically covid testing for 2. We placed online orders for food and other supplies... but all our online orders were being cancelled, if we could even get a time slot!
I called labour & delivery... and just got transferred around. I finally went to the hospital, was there hours, never got to see a doctor, was hungry & thirsty, so I left... without any answers. The nurses were lovely and hooked my belly up to check the baby’s heartbeat! Each cough caused pain, contractions & his heart rate to fluctuate. Poor guy! But he is doing okay! All I needed to know was that he was okay and my trip to the hospital reassured me of that!
We were worried and scared, with no info because we literally couldn’t speak to a doctor. Will our baby be okay? Will I be okay? Will my husband be allowed in the delivery room? Will I be allowed to hold my baby? We had so many questions!
I wore a mask, face shield, even protective eyewear. I socially distanced. I’m vaccinated. I didn’t see friends, barely saw my family. If I did go to a store, I went before the sun was up to avoid crowds. Ate healthy, exercised etc. How could I have been more cautious?
I had to turn to social media to find help and answers... the result was incredible!
We were overwhelmed by comments and messages across all platforms, from people all over the globe. You were all so amazing and we appreciate you SO much!
Through my post on social media we were in touch with labour & delivery nurses, OBs, physicians, other pregnant people, women who had covid and delivered healthy babies!
I was unsure about sharing my story. I struggled with what to say and how honest to be. But boy am I happy, because the outpouring of support was incredible!
Social media can work in magical ways sometimes, connecting people when they need it the most!
I was in and out of the hospital with so much trouble breathing, coughing, not being able to catch my breath, contractions and pain. I kept apologizing to the doctors and nurses for coughing!
It was scary, and even more scary to be in the hospital alone not knowing what will happen!
My husband and I said I love you outside the hospital, then I walked in crying! It was heartbreaking!
They monitored the baby and I for hours during each hospital stay. He was always doing well! His heart rate was normal and he was moving good. The contractions were not regular so it was not labour yet!
I was praying to God that my breathing would get better before delivery so I could be strong for this little man!! Laboured breathing, coughing, covid, wearing a mask AND labour… oh my! But we tried to mentally prepare ourselves for anything!
Fast forward a week… I then had shingles at 38 weeks pregnant…. plus covid, plus laryngitis!
I wasn’t going to tell anyone about this, because, well it’s shingles and who wants to talk about shingles! Buuut at that point we had no choice but to try and smile and shrug about what life as throwing us!
I was at the hospital for hours again (wearing my husbands pants cause nothing else fit)! The baby was still good!
When I was leaving the hospital one of the nurses said “No more shenanigans okay?”
I said “Gosh I hope not!”
The nurses and doctors at the hospital have all been amazing at helping me through this wild journey, especially when Jordan isn’t allowed into the hospital during these stints due to covid regulations.
My body however was going through some major traumas! It’s nuts that I could be that sick and our baby was still safe and sound inside my belly! Isn’t it mind blowing?! Pregnancy and the human body is an amazing thing!
Thats the end of my "diary" in the moment. Reading all that brings so many emotions up.
So I went through hell during my pregnancy but I have a healthy baby boy!!!!! I'm so thankful!
I did have a very traumatic labour and delivery. Was that related to covid, shingles and laryngitis while pregnant? I don't know! No one knows! I had a long labour filled with complications. I had a major complication from the epidural, so its possible it was unrelated to being sick while pregnant.
My body is a mess, but I am getting better!
Tips for covid while pregnant
-Breathe! Get lots of oxygen to that baby of yours!
-Get a finger oxygen reader so you can track your oxygen trends if you are concerned about it!
-If you are having trouble breathing, an inhaler is nice to have!
-A blood pressure monitor is helpful if you feel dizzy and lightheaded. I had low blood pressure!
So what do you do if you have low blood pressure while pregnant?
**Get up from the seated position or laying down very slowly
**LOTS of water, my doctors told me to drink many litres per day. I was told that being dehydrated could have been playing a role in the low blood pressure. I felt like I was drinking so much water, but I guess my body needed even more!!
-Water! Drink so much water!
-I loved pedialyte pops! They are hydrating and the cold helped sooth my sore throat!
-Sip bone broth! Its nourishing for your body as it works in overtime!
***Get salt free or low sodium bone broth
***Make sure it is BONE broth not just broth
-I love chicken bone broth, but you can try beef bone broth if that is what your taste buds like best!
-Hot fluids, water, or any teas that are approved by your doctor!
**Don't go down the rabbit hole of googling what teas you can drink! Everyone has a different opinion on what is safe during pregnancy. Just ask your doctor, or get multiple doctors opinions. Even ask friends who have been pregnant and have had healthy babies about what they drank!
**My acupuncturist said that hot fluids are so important for circulation, calming anxiety, blood loss postpartum.. there are just so many benefits to hot fluids!
-Vicks vapour rub was helpful! Even steaming Vicks and breathing in the steam helped!
-Hot showers to help with congestion! Breath in that steam!
-A humidifier by your bed if you are in a dry climate
-Sleep elevated if you can to help your breathing and congestion
-Netti pot or something similar to help clear congestion
-Sea salt nasal spray
Tip** You can use the hard core steroid spray if you are stuffed up during labour and delivery and want to clear your congestion quick! This stuff will clear you quickly so you can breathe from labour. But it has a rebound effect and can cause more congestion if you use it too much! I used it during labour and delivery to help me breathe better! I was told my nurses and doctors that it was safe
**Look for the 100% sea salt spray/saline spray that is non habit forming and does not contain steroids or any other ingredients! This stuff is safe to use as much as you need!
Here is the one I loved!
Things to note about my story
****The doctors think that because I have asthma, that may be why I had such a bad respiratory reaction to being covid positive. My asthma has been under control for years! I haven't needed an inhaler for years.
****I still have troubles breathing now, I use my inhaler rarely, but I still do need it as my lungs heal
****It is worth noting that my doctors have said (due to having a bad respiratory reaction to covid while pregnant) I will be susceptible to lung infections for 2 years postpartum. So I try to keep myself protected with a mask (whether you believe in masks or not) while in crowded areas, avoid crowded areas if I can, take vitamins etc etc. Anything to protect myself!