“Two weeks ago, we were packing our bags and getting giddier and giddier for our baby shower. My beige, safari like dress hung at the front of my closet for months—acting as the smallest little nudge each time I saw it that it was all really happening, that we were so close to meeting our rainbow baby boy. I pictured letting everyone feel my growing bump, getting lost in visions of who I thought the little lion man would surprise most with one of his kicks. I fretted over finding the perfect monkey earrings and the goofiest ‘dad shirt’ for my husband for the jungle themed occasion. It was all only two weeks ago. But all of these things seem so trivial now.
We cancelled our baby shower. Our hearts sunk, but our minds were clear. Not just for Little Man, but for the many others we know and love, we knew it was the right thing to do.
I spent a couple days getting lost in this grief. The grief of feeling like our final trimester of our rainbow pregnancy was being robbed. I went from Googling dangly monkey earrings to Googling ‘28-week baby premature survival rates’ and pouring through data on Coronavirus and pregnancy, down the rabbit hole I went.
But then, people I love dearly got laid off.
But then, my sister delivered her beautiful baby girl, unable to have her family and friends there due to new hospital policy.
But then, I found myself on the phone with older family members I’ve naively thought would live forever, suddenly wondering ‘what if.’
But then, fellow pregnant women were getting notified that their husbands were now no longer able to join them on their appointments and delivery day.
But then, other pregnant women had gone a week unable to find meat and leafy greens in their pillaged grocery stories, filling their bodies with eggs in prayer that their baby would be ok.
But then, entire companies closed their doors.
But then, people started to die.
The illness came knocking at our door stripping away things we once thought were everything. And in what felt like a matter of minutes, for all of us, it became more clearly into focus what was really at stake.
I don’t know if we will be able to have our shower before he arrives. I don’t know if my husband or my mom will be able to be at the hospital when I deliver him. Aside from Daddy to Be, I don’t know if anyone else will be able to feel these wild karate chops that roll through my 28-week pregnant belly each day. All I know is that I can’t control any of those things.
But I will do the things I can control.
I will continue to stay home. I will continue to absorb only factual, data driven information. I will allow myself to feel the disappointment and fears, both the big and small. But like so many others, I will fight to be a helper. I will fight to step outside of my own box of grief and worries to reach those in their own. Because as unreal as it is, every single person on the globe has been touched by this. From job losses, to lost hospital visits bundled with baby boy blue balloons, to the unthinkable: losing a loved one—we are, for the first time in our lifetime, facing this together. This isn’t a Hurricane only impacting a portion of Florida. This isn’t an earthquake shaking a portion of a different country. This is a global pandemic. And as horrifying as that is? It is, in itself, the silver lining in all of this. It is the single most unifying fact. Will we let it tear us apart, or will we row through these choppy seas together, coming out a far more unified, understanding, and healthier world at the end of it all?
I’m betting on the latter. But it all depends on what we do with our today. Which way will you row us?”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kelsey Pfleiderer of Islamorada, Florida. Follow her journey on Instagram here. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read more from Kelsey here:
‘I’ve felt my own husband lift me out of bed, daily dressing me, bathing me, and doing things for my body I never would’ve imagined.’: After failed relationships, woman says ‘you are meant for yourself, first’
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