20 weeks! Oof! I know I’ve been holding my breath to get here, and we finally did! The halfway mark in itself feels like such a big milestone for any mama growing her babe.

Sick baby laying on Elizabeth's 20-week bump: Peace Out COVID, we're halfway there!

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

This last week really tested my sanity and anxiety, though.

What set out to be a normal Sunday afternoon, turned into a mess. I realized while out shopping with my mom, that I couldn’t smell. And at first, I laughed it off. A few days prior I had been experiencing some cold and allergy-like symptoms. A little bit of a stuffy nose, a tad bit of congestion, and my son the same. I wear my mask when I’m supposed to, and my circle stays pretty small in general. Just to be safe, I went to get tested, and a trip to the urgent care revealed that I was COVID positive. What?! Time to quarantine!

The last time we quarantined was of our own volition – because Nathan, our rainbow, was born the day before the state of Ohio shut down. And at the time, no one really knew much about COVID in general but that it was scary. With a month early newborn, we didn’t take any chances. We spent the first three months of Nathan’s life staying home, with driveway visits and video calls. Thankfully, this quarantine was much shorter.

The next morning I called my MFM doctor’s office to inform them I was positive and wouldn’t make it to my appointment.

I was met with a “call us when it’s over” response. Which at the time, felt cold. But, they can’t only be concerned about me and my child. There’s a whole office of nursing staff, doctors, and patients who they don’t want to expose to someone with COVID. The sharp response may have thrown me, I know the situation was out of their hands though. But, the fact that I had to cancel my cervical length screening made me quite uneasy, especially since I was sick. I’m too early to be feeling regular movements, and it’s hard to keep that in mind when I was feeling “wiggles” here and there just days prior, and then hadn’t noticeably been feeling any. Was she being lazy in there? Resting up since her mama was sick? Was it all in my head? Is she okay?

I have an at-home doppler – which I know can make some people’s anxiety worse. But for a mama who’s lost, it can make that much of a difference in calming my nerves. So every morning I took a quick listen. I’ve had this doppler since our first baby, Teddy, and I’m glad I kept it. I didn’t realize how valuable it would be when I was missing an appointment, I wasn’t feeling well, and my anxiety was shot. I muddled through the week with mild symptoms. I basically felt like I had a bad cold, which led to a bad cough, and I still to this day cannot smell. My son unfortunately did test positive and has had on and off fevers, but his symptoms remain a bit mild as well. To that end, we are thankful, as I know many people don’t get off so easy with mild symptoms.

My husband worked from home for the week, and we spent the week in each other’s company.

My bestie and I had to work apart for the week, I handled designs on my end, while she did the physical printing, cooking, and shipping of our tumblers. We didn’t have much of a choice but thankful for technology and a business partner who kicked butt at keeping us caught up. We made it work! It was a good distraction. Especially considering this was the week of Teddy’s birthday, with it being smack dab in the middle of my quarantine. Between missing my appointment, being sick, baby boy’s 3rd heavenly birthday, it felt like a lot. I had my fair share of meltdowns, and that’s okay. The only time we actually left the house was to see his “butterfly” engraving at the Butterfly Garden in our city for parents who’ve lost children, and to the cemetery to bring him flowers, both on his birthday, and in places where I wasn’t in contact with anyone.

Teddy's butterfly

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

We are four days away from the end of Nathan’s quarantine, and we can get back to some sense of normalcy. I have an appointment next Monday and I cannot wait to get to see our sweet baby girl. It’s our anatomy scan, so I know it’s going to be a nice long appointment checking out her beautiful self and easing all the fears that have been racing through my mind since we missed our last checkup. If I’ve held out hope this long, we can make it another four days, right? After all, pregnancy after loss can sometimes feel like you’re taking things one day at a time, and making it to the next day with hope is all we can really ask for.

Share this story!