Texts and questions fill my inbox, a flood of "How are you doing?" For a moment, I feel the concern and think, "Am I OK? Should I not be?" But, the reality is I am OK. While being pregnant during a pandemic is not something I would have chosen, I've found a bit of calm in this total insanity. My feet are firmly planted, grounded like the roots of the trees that comfort me on the long hikes I take.
Right now, I feel more comfortable surrounded by the trees, the breeze rustling through the leaves, the sun warming my face, no noise coming from the news. I've always found comfort in the outdoors, but now, I need it more than ever. It's been a place of solace and escape while social distancing, a way to avoid crowds and stay out of stores as much as possible. The kicks from my belly remind me of what is important — staying calm, finding hope, and sharing positive energy with everyone I can. Do I worry about my own health and the health of people around the world? Sure I do, every day. But this baby doesn't need to know what is happening outside of its home, it only needs to find comfort within me. So I remain calm to provide that.
I remember the first moment this pandemic seemed very real, when I received a text from a friend that a child in our town had tested positive. I panicked. But just as quickly as that panic came, I brought the calm came back. Can I control what's happening? No. I can do what I can and try to let the rest go. I feel guilty just trying to keep calm while healthcare workers are on the front lines battling this storm with few supplies. I am forever in debt to them. So I stay home, I wash my hands all the time, and I practice social distancing. And I repeat it over and over. I remind myself, "I can not control it. I can only do what I can do."
And, of course, there are times where it's all too much, and I can't keep calm. In those times I write. Journaling has become a daily ritual of mine. I write about how I am feeling or how others around me feel. I write lists and lists and lists of the things I still want to buy for my baby, the things I need to tidy in my home before it arrives, and the things I need for my home birth. I write down the titles and artists of songs for my birth playlist that I really hope I remember to play: Lana Del Rey, Imogen Heap, and a few Beyoncé songs in case I feel like moving.
Right now, it seems like there has never been a better time to find some good music and get moving. If I don't have a moment to sit and write, which usually I only find time for once my 4-year-old has gone to bed, I play music. We're creating a "pandemic playlist" that makes us laugh and gets our bodies moving. It's silly, but in these busy dance moments, I'm not thinking about what is happening around me and I'm truly happy. Very out of breath since I am nearing my third trimester, but happy.
So, I try to remain calm, because honestly, I can't think of any other way to deal with this scary and uncertain time. I hope that this summer we will get time for the beach and the sun and this baby will be born into a world that has the chance to remember, after so much uncertainty and pain, how beautiful it is. And while today I feel calm, tomorrow I might not. And that is OK, too. I've got music, my journal, and a new baby to look forward to. And I can only control what I do.