Yes friends, it’s true. I have Covid. Covid sucks for many reasons, but Covid on top of pregnancy is it’s own special form of hell. Granted, my symptoms are mild, thankfully. They started Sunday, January 10 in the evening with a slight cough I didn’t even think twice about, then the next day my runny/stuffy nose got worse – ok, but still, who doesn’t have a runny nose in January in Cleveland? – then Tuesday morning I had body aches added to the list. Shit. Maybe it’s pregnancy? Maybe it’s sore muscles from working out? But, I knew my body, and I could differentiate between the pregnancy aches, the sore workout muscles, and this which felt for sure like I was getting sick. So, I call the doctor. See, we were already quarantining after being exposed to Covid, but we’d been symptom free in our house for 10 days – we were at the tail end! 2020/21 strikes again. I had a virtual visit with the nurse practitioner, she said I should get tested, I went to the Cleveland Clinic testing facility. I don’t know why but the movie ET kept sticking out in my head when they’re in the hospital and everything is white and roped off and sterile. That’s what I felt like. I swabbed myself, and it wasn’t terrible, but the nurse was in full PPE (which is a good thing, I know, but man does it make you feel like a leper) and I pulled my mask down, keeping my mouth covered while I administered the test. The entire experience including the walk in and back to my car was maybe 5 minutes, and again, I get it, only symptomatic people are coming in here and there’s no need to unnecessarily expose anyone else.
So, I drive home and the waiting begins. The kids were both up very early on Wednesday morning, Sydney to the tune of 4:00 (she fell back asleep) and Vinny around 5:00. Well, I grabbed my phone when I came back from the bathroom, and saw I had a MyChart test result that was in. And then I saw the positive test result. Fuck. That was the first word I said (in my head because my kids were in bed with me) and the tears started. I knew it was a possibility, but I really wasn’t expecting it, and when you see that positive result it hits you in a way that’s hard to explain. There’s incredible guilt when thinking – who was I around? Thankfully I was quarantining, but Nick was still going to work (as a matter of fact, I texted him my results because he was at work when I found out), and my stepson went back with his mom, step dad, and young twin siblings that Sunday.
I called my stepson’s mom crying in the morning and just apologized to her so many times. To her credit she told me that she’d “wash my mouth out with soap” if I apologized one more time. I really do love her, but that’s a subject for another blog. I called my principal and cried to her. I didn’t stop crying nearly all day. I told Vinny because 1. I was crying and he wanted to know why and 2. he’s a perceptive kid, he knew something was going on, and I’m not going to hide this from him. I texted some friends and family. And I cried. I zoomed with some of my students that day to try to keep some sense of normalcy. I took our dog for a short walk outside, wearing my mask the entire time even though I didn’t see any other person the entire time. But mostly, I cried.
My physical symptoms are not that bad, and I’m praying they stay that way – it feels like a bad cold – cough, runny/stuffy nose, some body aches that come and go, but today I woke up with a sore throat (it’s better now after continuously drinking water) and I’m very tired. Plus, I’m pretty sure I’ve lost my sense of taste and smell. I can distinguish between bitter/sweet/salty, but everything sort of tastes dull. I rested a lot today which was nice. I will zoom with my students again tomorrow for some of their lessons.
It’s really the anxiety, the guilt, the mental turmoil that gets you. I want these days to go by fast, and they just seem to drag on and on. This virus is no joke, and I’m very thankful to have mild symptoms, and I’m even more thankful that my kids and Nick are ok. But, it’s only day 5 for me after the onset of symptoms, and so I just have to wait and take care of myself and my family as best I can. Being pregnant adds another layer of anxiety into the mix. If I needed it, there’s only certain medicines that are safe to take while pregnant. Every time the baby kicks is like a reassuring “Hi Mom, I’m doing ok.” My OB told me to rest, drink lots of fluids, and make sure I eat at least 3 meals a day, you know, in addition to all of the other Covid things I’ve religiously been doing – washing hands, masking, distancing, etc. Our master bedroom/bathroom has become my “sick room” where I can take off my mask, and when I’m anywhere else in the house I mask and try to keep my distance. It’s especially hard when my kids are 4 & 5 years old, and, let’s be real, no one loves you like your mom.
SO MANY PEOPLE have reached out to me with phone calls and texts and flowers and food and care packages and prayers…I am grateful in ways I cannot adequately express with words. Honestly, yesterday I didn’t stop crying except for maybe 30 minute stretches at a time, and today I cried because of the goodness of the people in my life. Many people also have asked how they specifically can help, so I wanted to make a little list because when I’m typically asked I just say “we’re ok,” but I know many of my friends are just as stubborn as I and won’t take “we’re ok” for an answer, so here are some ideas I was thinking of that would be greatly appreciated and helpful:
- Prayers – Any prayers will be the greatest thing you could do for me and my family, but I’ve specifically been praying for 2 things: That my kids and my family stay safe, healthy, and happy and that I don’t get a fever. So, if you’d like to add those to your prayer list, I’d appreciate it.
- Text, phone calls, emails… – Yes, I’m resting more, but even if I can’t answer a text or phone call right away, know that they don’t go unappreciated. I love voicemails. And honestly, any distractions to keep the days from dragging will make me so so so happy. If you know any good, mindless shows to binge-watch, let me know because I’m spending more time in my room by myself, and I can watch shows that aren’t cartoons.
- Food – If you’re someone that wants to bring food, trust me, I’m Italian, and even with my lack of taste and smell, food will not go to waste. Kid friendly items and things that are pre-made/easy to prep would be best because I don’t feel much like cooking. I know Covid isn’t necessarily spread through food, but even with obsessively washing my hands and masking, I just don’t feel comfortable yet preparing food for other people, so if it’s something I can stick in the oven or microwave, that would be best.
- Cleaning products – It’s amazing how many things you touch in a day, even when you’re trying hard not to, so if there’s a non food item you wanted to drop off, we’ll take pregnancy friendly cleaning products like lysol or clorox wipes. The kids actually really like using them!
- Anything you can think of – Honestly, if you think, “maybe I’d like to do this” I guarantee it will be appreciated. We are so so so so grateful for the amazing village we have. It’s not nearly enough, but THANK YOU!!!!
I know we will get through this, and I know with the vaccine on the horizon, it feels hopeful – the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic. I may blog again about it, or this might be my only post, I’m not sure. But, please know that I’m grateful for all of the prayers and well wishes the most. Keep them coming, they are being felt. Covid sucks, but God is greater.