The pandemic and lockdown are particularly stressful for expectant mothers. Keeping the sanity alive and smile intact, takes team work
Actors Ekta Kaul and Sumeet Vyas announced last week that Ekta was eight months pregnant. Sumeet says sharing good news is vital at a time when darkness looms
In Scotland, a press conference about Coronavirus led to the chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, asking if this was the right time to have a baby. She then went on to recommend contraception to people who were at home, and had too much "time on their hands" to get intimate.
While that was viewed by some as transgressing into individual rights, the question was, what about couples who were already expecting a child?
"I filter the day's news and convey only some to Shifa, but there is the Internet, and she gets to know of everything somehow," says Salman Merchant. The couple have been married six years and work together on the lifestyle blog, Sassy Shif Says, which discusses travel and all things luxury. The wife handles content and he tackles revenue and the backend work. The couple were in fact, in Sri Lanka when news of the pandemic gathered strength and returned on March 1. It was at the airport, Shifa says, that they heard a traveller had tested positive, and they knew it would be a while before they travelled again.
Mumbai residents and lifestyle bloggers, Shifa and Salman Merchant, are indulging in belly art to keep their spirits up
On returning, they had a detailed chat with their gynaecologist, and readied for quarantine. "She told us that as long as the baby, and its movements don't feel weird, we shouldn't visit the hospital. She is available to us on the phone 24x7."
Since the couple lives with Salman's parents, the family is pitching in. Keeping abreast of news online means that he's aware that most pregnant women who tested positive went into early labour.
In an article in the Atlantic, war correspondent Sophia Jones, who also summited Mt Kilimanjaro in February, writes that in spite of seeing tough situations through her life, nothing prepared her for being pregnant under lockdown. She is in Barcelona, Spain, one of the worst hit countries. She is anxiety-ridden, and often wonders about death and miscarriage. But as she writes, "I relish the little moments now—watering my plants in our garden in a little patch of sun, waving to my elderly upstairs neighbour as she quietly hangs laundry, clapping along to the Catalan music my neighbours across the street blast for us all to enjoy. I breathe deeply and focus on the little spark of life growing inside me." Much like that, Shifa and Salman have decided to beat the Corona anxieties, by allocating time in the day to do "belly art", using organic paint. "This keeps us happy, sane and also re-assures us about a different but positive new world in which our baby will be born," says Salman. Shifa admits it hasn't been easy holding up. She says the couple likes planning, and the pandemic has messed with their future. "We had planned to buy a bassinette in this month, and something else the next. Now, we keep talking it out, and prepping for a world where we may rarely step out in the next year. The baby's room will need a humidifier and air purifier."
Bengaluru-based illustrator Alicia Souza and architect George Seemon are ready to welcome and face the new world that their child will be born in
In Bengaluru, illustrator Alicia Souza and husband, architect George Seemon are getting ready to welcome home a little "girl we hope, but most are predicting, it will be a boy". Alicia says she's not the one to panic but she finds it troublesome that neither of their parents may be around at the time of birth. She got her last check up done before the lockdown, and now will wait to hit 30 weeks before they get cracking, as they "haven't even bought a bed!" For now, George is doing all of the house work and letting Alicia rest. "I am a great propagator of the Internet, and see how it has connected us in this time. So, I think we will be fine," she says.
Last week, actor Sumeet Vyas, whom most viewers of web entertainment will know and love from Permanent Roommates, announced on Instagram that his wife Ekta was eight months pregnant. "We chose to put the news out there since we wanted to take attention away from the pandemic. Isn't it good to talk of new life at this time?" Sumeet says. Ekta prefers taking it one day at a time—listening to good music, reading and watching films. "I also mediate." The couple lives in Versova, and have to travel to Mira Road because they have planned to get admitted at Sumeet's aunt's nursing home. "I am assured that she will take care of matters," says Ekta. Despite the circumstances, the couple continues to give each other space. Sumeet shares, "I have a little study, and work and write all day from there. She does her reading and relaxing in another room. In the evening, we both emerge, have dinner, hang and watch a movie. It's the best time ever."
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