My Boyfriend’s An Essential Worker, I’m Pregnant With Our Rainbow Baby And I’m Worried
By Sabrina Boileau
PHOTO © brittleighhhh/Twenty20
Jun 18, 2020
After I miscarried in December, I didn’t think my world around me could get any scarier. I thought if I could just get through that, I’d be OK.
Insert global pandemic and my boyfriend, the father of my daughter, being an essential worker. And now, I'm pregnant with our rainbow baby. I feel blessed and excited, yet completely surprised and shocked.
"... it’s scary that he’s working with the public, being harassed by people for simply trying to follow protocol ...."
This pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives — I feel grateful and lucky that I have the chance to stay home with my daughter until I feel she can go back to daycare, but that alone won't keep her safe.
While I cannot give enough respect and thanks to essential workers and their families, it doesn’t change the fact that as one of those family members, I worry constantly. My boyfriend is in harm's way all day, and exposed to so many things.
When Sabrina miscarried early in her pregnancy, she was told it wasn't a "big deal" for a variety of reasons. But, as she writes, she is still allowed to grieve — read her piece here.
He works at a grocery store, and it’s scary that he’s working with the public, being harassed by people for simply trying to follow protocol and coming into contact with hundreds of people a day. The problem and inconvenience isn’t that I can’t greet him at the door until he’s showered and washed his clothes — that's simple. The problem is: many people seem to have little respect for him.
"Now between my all-day sickness and having no energy, I’m not sure what to do next."
He encounters people who don’t seem to care that he comes in contact with so many people in a day, or that he may have a family. On numerous occasions, he’s been made to feel like the bad guy for asking people to do something as simple and quick as sanitizing their hands before grabbing a shopping cart. It seems like people don't care he’s human at all — that he has a young daughter and pregnant girlfriend, and he’s exposing himself to anything and everything. From what I've heard, some customers are more concerned about all these "inconveniences," but I think it’s an inconvenience that I need to constantly worry about our family and home being safe, all the while my boyfriend is being yelled at and shoved nearly daily.
At home, I’ve made it my priority to spend time with my daughter, trying to do different things every day to keep us sane. So far we’ve: coloured, read, learned sign language, sung, counted, played with chalk, played on the balcony, danced, gone on walks, done art projects and learning activities, baked, cleaned, watched movies, had picnics and gone fishing (often). But even though that list is long, these last weeks have felt longer. Long enough that everything is becoming repetitive for her.
In the midst of a pandemic, this mom is surprised by how little she misses. Read how and why she's enjoying all the extra family time here.
Now between my all-day sickness and having no energy, I’m not sure what to do next. My daughter is hyper and full of energy, she’s getting restless and grumpy. And although we laugh every day and spend time together and have fun, she's tired. She doesn’t understand why she can’t go see her friends or teacher. She can't understand what her dad's job is like right now. As far as she’s concerned, if everybody brushed their teeth, then all the germs would go away and nobody would be sick anymore.
"I’m scared of losing another baby and of any of us becoming sick."
Being home with my daughter has given me a chance to really do more with her, since she isn’t at daycare. And I plan to carry a few traditions along with us after life has returned to normal, like going on more walks together and doing new art projects on the weekends.
But it’s been terrifying for me.
I’m scared of losing another baby and of any of us becoming sick. I’ve been worrying more than I think I ever have. I don’t think I’ve ever disinfected things so much in my life as I have been doing lately. I’m excited for things to go back to normal, but I’m still grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend with my daughter. Each day may be a challenge, but it's also been an opportunity to make new memories and try new things.
And I know most of us are worried and scared and bored and tired — we couldn't have really anticipated this situation. But that’s why I think it’s important to remember that doctors and nurses, while rock stars, aren’t the only essential workers. When you enter a grocery store, or have a space cleaned or get delivery to your home, these are people with families and worries just like ours. And I think that’s something we could all stand to remember.
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