When Traci Ann Davids from Cape Town discovered she was expecting her first child last year, she was over the moon.
But the 27-year-old mom-to-be’s joy soon turned to panic in March after the first case of coronavirus hit South Africa.
Instead of enjoying this experience with the support of her family and friends, Traci, who’s currently in her third trimester, now has to attend sonogram appointments on her own and can no longer have a baby shower.
This is her experience
“Once you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, your entire life changes immediately. You start envisioning all the milestones you’ll get to celebrate with family and friends, and the excitement of experiencing all of this for the first time starts to build up. Not once do you think about not being able to share this joy with your close relatives.
I was roughly four or five months pregnant when the virus started taking over South African lives and I was already working from home two weeks prior to the lockdown starting. The company I work for is quite proactive and I was grateful for this. I say grateful because as soon as word started spreading about this deadly sickness, a wave of fear embodied me as I was concerned for the life of my unborn child.
There had been no clear facts regarding pregnant women at this stage and I could feel the anxiety of the unknown taking over my everyday life.
One of the ways I’d calm myself down was going to the gym, and I’d continued doing so during my pregnancy. But my partner and I decided to stop going before the gym closed down, as we were aware of how quickly a virus could spread in that environment. Having this taken away made me feel sad on some days as this was where I’d help myself feel a bit better about the rapid changes my body was going through.
Fast forward to a month or so later, when numbers started to rise and restrictions became tighter. I found myself at one of my gynae appointments where my heart sank. I was told that from now on only I was allowed to attend the appointments and my partner couldn’t join.
My doctor then also said that for now there have been no restrictions on the delivery and He could still be by my side during the birth of our baby. I moped around after that appointment just thinking about how the normalcy of my first pregnancy had been taken away from me.
I became extremely emotional thinking about not being able to have a baby shower, not being able to waddle around malls and at work, showing off my precious baby bump, being fearful about leaving the house because you don’t want to be the cause of anything happening to your child.
I’m now in the final stretch of my pregnancy and it’s a bittersweet feeling. The excitement of meeting your baby is there, coupled with the sadness of not having family around which pains you as your due date approaches. There are no visitors allowed in the hospital besides the father of the baby which we are grateful for, but not having your parents there to meet their grandchild hurts not only for us but for them as well.
As a pregnant woman during the Covid-19 pandemic you’re also too scared to voice these emotions, out of fear of them being shut down by many South Africans who strongly believe these feelings are minor in comparison to what’s currently happening in our country – which is true.
But it still takes away from your experience of pregnancy, especially if it’s the first one, and wanting to share in all things imaginable that you thought of the day you saw those two lines.”