Patient or Family Member

The day they declared covid a pandemic was the day I found I was pregnant

From Mississauga, ON

Sat May 01 2021


March 11 2020: I had been feeling “off” and somehow got the courage to take a pregnancy test (after several years of fertility treatments and losses). It was a miracle and I was indeed 6 weeks pregnant... a few hours later coronavirus was declared a “pandemic”. Then the lockdowns started.

I had the opportunity to work from home but my husband did not (essential worker). Back in the early days of Spring 2020 we did not know HOW or how easily the virus was transmitted... should we sanitize our groceries? Should my husband stay away from me? Can we order takeout?

The stress and worry of watching my husband going out to work with hundreds of people everyday combined with pregnancy hormones and first time mom worries quickly took a toll on my mental health. Due to covid I was not able to see an OBGYN or any doctor until late May (5 months pregnant!). At my first doctor’s appointment I was told point blank- there will be less appointments due to covid. Fair enough I guess? (UHN in downtown Toronto).

I ended up having only 4 ‘in person’ appointments with my OB that were no longer then 5-10 minutes long and no follow up appointment even after a csection! I had a series of complications and an absent doctor so I had no choice but to go to the ER several times (which would further scare me that I would contract covid while there).

Given the lack of medical support and daily pain/complications I was experiencing my mental health declined. It took me down a deep dark path of depression and anxiety I have never experienced. It was the darkest time of my life and I got to the point I didn’t care if I lived anymore- I was THAT miserable. Pandemic aside, I was about to have a baby I ALWAYS wanted and everything else was good in my life (husband- family/friends - financials).

My husband was not allowed to attend any appointments with me and even after trying to call my doctor bc he was worried about my complications/mental health none of his calls were returned. At 37 weeks pregnant he took me to the ER where I had what I can describe as a mental breakdown and I was induced after my husband stated we weren’t leaving until they helped. I felt better nearly immediately within minutes of giving birth via Csection then I did for the last 9 months!

Nobody told me that Antepartum Depression was real (I had only heard of it postpartum). I was dismissed by my doctor as “normal” or “bc of covid”. When I look back to those months it was so scary and out of character for me. There’s no doubt in my mind that Covid was the catalyst combined with the lack of medical support. If you are pregnant advocate for yourself and please seek help.

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