LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Pregnancy can be one of the most enjoyable times in a woman's life, but it could also be one of the most daunting. Especially when you're experiencing it in the middle of a pandemic.
"We had several baby showers set up and the pandemic hit and it just kinda kept getting worse and we had to cancel every single one of them," said Shelby Bailey, a first time mother.
Bailey said her expectations going into the pregnancy pretty much went right out the window.
"At first I was a little hurt," said Whitney Johnson, an expecting mother. "You know, this is the first time, I want him to experience it too."
Along with Shelby Bailey and Whitney Johnson – I too am one of those first-time mothers doing this thing in an unprecedented time. The changes haven't been easy, but they're necessary.
"It's funny, I was telling stories of some of my pregnant patients that would come in in March and April and was like, 'Girl, June or July we're gonna be fine…' and I mean, just the naivety of that at the time, now looking back on it, I can't even imagine having said that," said Dr. Nirvana Manning with UAMS.
It's lasted longer than any of us could have imagined.
For Dr. Manning, it's come with a lot of adjustments. Not just for moms and dads-to-be, but also hospital staff. Many are doing virtual hospital tours and virtual visits.
Similar modifications are happening at Baptist Health, too.
"We did a lot of in-person classes for our parents and we don't have that anymore, but we're doing online classes and they're starting to grow and people are getting used to that," said Brenda Goodhart, systems director at Baptist Health Women's Center.
Let's face it – the past year has been a tough one. But we can all find a little comfort in knowing we are getting through this pandemic the best way we know how.
And the silver lining of it all – those newborns are the light at the end of the tunnel.
If there's any advice these moms could give to other families on this journey or trying to decide if they want to expand their family during this time – it'd be this:
"Be prepared for the changes that comes with being pregnant and then being extra cautious with the virus," Johnson said.
"Try to make the best out of it. I know it's a tough, crazy world right now, but try to make the best out of it. It'll be one to remember for sure," Bailey said.
Remember when a lot of people were joking about there being a baby boom during this pandemic?
Well, as of right now, there is no evidence of such. Local hospitals tell THV11 there has been no considerable spike in pregnancy rates or deliveries like anticipated. But this could change later down the line with reporting.