The Conversation: Kate Wills
Kate Wills is a journalist who writes for The Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Times, Vogue and The Telegraph to name a few. Pregnant with her first child during the Covid-19 pandemic, we asked her to write about her experience being pregnant during lockdown
You can follow her on Instagram here
There were many ways I pictured telling my family and friends that I was pregnant. None of them involved watching their pixelated faces react to the news on Zoom. But that’s the situation me and many other pregnant women have found themselves in during the coronavirus crisis. I reassure myself that at least we have these video calls. The pregnant lady emoji on WhatsApp doesn’t quite do the moment justice.
Pretty quickly I went from being in the supermarket, wondering which cheeses I was still allowed to eat, to contemplating empty shelves and wondering if I could buy enough food at all. I would often wake in the night filled with anxiety about the world I was bringing a baby into. Everyone says there’s no perfect time to have a child, but this felt like a particularly bad one. Not to mention the financial worries me and my partner are now facing what with that global recession looming.
But gradually I’ve come to feel really grateful for all the things I do have. Thankfully, me and my partner are both healthy. Although my partner has been furloughed, I’m privileged that I can work from home. At the moment, there’s no evidence to suggest that pregnant women will be more severely unwell with coronavirus than the general population. So although I’m social distancing to the max and following the guidelines strictly, I don’t feel a constant low-level panic like I did at the start of all this. I’ve also been secretly relieved to take these months to slow down and rest, as the pregnancy tiredness means that 9pm is now a late night for me.
My partner and I have also found it really lovely to have this time together at home, especially as we know it won’t just be the two of us for long. I like to joke that living under lockdown has been like pre-baby training for us, as it’s not that dissimilar to how I imagined having a newborn. Suddenly my whole world has shrunk, my one big outing is to the park and the days all blur into one. So at least we’re getting some practice in for our ‘new normal’.
But of course there is one thing that’s hopefully certain in this uncertain world. All being well, our baby will be here in the autumn. Although it’s not the pregnancy I expected, it’s been a good lesson in relinquishing control, staying positive and being patient. Which, from what I’ve heard, should come in pretty handy as a parent.