How I’m surviving Quarantine while Pregnant

Dress: Asos

Hi Everyone! I am reporting live from my sofa while Charlee plays with her baby dolls at my feet. It has been almost 4 full weeks of quarantine here in NYC and it’s an experience, unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed. Over the past 3.5 weeks, I have been focusing on just trying to be present with my family and taking it one day at a time. Last week I was furloughed from my part-time job, which was a bummer. My company has taken a big hit due to this pandemic but hope to recover and hire us back. That said, working made it so hard to care for Charlee. It was really wearing on me and in a way being furloughed has been a blessing. Now that I am not working, I have way less stress and I am really enjoying my time with Charlee. Matt has his workstation set up in our bedroom and comes out for short breaks and to eat meals with us. It’s a bit of a tight situation but it works and we are making the best of it. Some of the hard parts of this experience has been my neck pain. I’ll talk more about that below.

Quarantine Update

I have been outside a total of 4 times over the past 3.5 weeks. Two of those times were my routine pregnancy appointments and two were walks outside with Charlee. I have decided not to go for walks anymore though until we move to Hoboken. We move in 10 days! I am SO excited to get out of the city. We hired movers (movers are considered essential workers) to pack us up and also move us. This is going to be a huge help considering I am basically useless and it’s almost impossible to pack your apartment with a 2-year-old around. Our new home will have 4 bedrooms and a backyard. I can’t WAIT to have outdoor space. That has been by far the most difficult thing about quarantine for our family. We live in a 1200 square foot apartment which is big for NY standards. That said, it’s never felt smaller than it does now haha! As hard as it has been to be stuck inside, I must say that I have LOVED spending so much time with Charlee and Matt. I like to think about how rare this is and how it would most likely never happen without this pandemic. In a way, it is a blessing to be forced to be together. I try to focus on the good things and it makes it easier. I am human and have my moments where I lose my sh&% but at the end of the day I know I’ll look back at this time with my family fondly.

Here is a list of items that have saved me throughout quarantine. Some are kiddo related, some are not, but I hope this list is helpful!

  1. This kid’s trampoline was the best $6o I’ve ever spent ha! Charlee loves this thing and it’s a great way to get her energy out as we are stuck inside all day.
  2. This car tape has been a great little activity for Charlee. She loves to drive her school bus and cars down the “street.” It also comes off the floor easily so don’t worry about it sticking to the floor forever.
  3. I purchased this painting set for Charlee and it’s awesome. It comes with everything you need to set up an art station. The best part is that it’s completely washable and I only have to use water to get rid of the paint. Highly recommend!
  4. I love this self-tanning spray and I use it two days in a row and then take two days off, so I always have color on my face. I swear it makes all the difference since I am unable to get any natural sun. Having color on my skin just makes me feel prettier. Is that weird? LOL! I spray it all over my face before bed. The instructions say to rub it in but I don’t. I let it dry before my head hits the pillow and I pass out.
  5. This cleansing balm has been a game-changer for my nighttime routine. You put the balm all over your dry face and rub it into your eyes and wherever else your makeup is. Then you use a little water and a washcloth and it completely cleans your face and removes all your makeup. It basically replaced three of my previous products.
  6. Tik Tok! HAHA! I know this is terrible to admit, but this app has been a blast for me. It’s super entertaining to scroll through videos and definitely fills some of my time.
  7. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. Some of my favorites include The Skinny Confidential, Crime Junkies, and To Live and Die in LA
  8. I have been doing a ton of baking with Charlee as a great time filling activity. Charlee loves to help me cook and bake! I found this recipe and have been making these nonstop. They are such a great healthy alternative to cookies and taste delicious. Charlee loves them!
  9. We cook a lot during quarantine, but we also have been doing our best to support local businesses. Some of my favorite places for delivery are The Smith, BKK Eatery, Her name is Han and Eataly. Delivery from these places is available on seamless or Caviar. The Smith is by far the best deal I have found. They are offering a meal for two that includes a salad, two entrees, two sides and two cookies for $40!
  10. I have been using the little free time that I have to start planning out the design for the new apartment. We plan on giving baby sister Charlee’s crib and nursery items. That means we will need to design a big girl room for Charlee! I have been having so much fun planning out her room. So far I have purchased this rug, this pillow, and these cute personalized wall hooks.
  11. I discovered this company called Negative Underwear on Instagram and took a chance on a no-underwire bra. Now I rarely take it off! This bra is the only bra I have ever found that is still supportive without underwire. Highly recommend!
  12. I have always been obsessed with my Ugg Slippers but now I am obsessed more than ever. These really are the best slippers ever and I basically live in them now.

Pregnancy Update

Phew! Where to being!? I haven’t done a pregnancy update yet so this is going to be a bit long!

I will be 23 weeks pregnant in two days. Baby girl weighs a little over 1 lb and is healthy and growing on track. At my last ultrasound, it looked like I had the beginnings of placenta previa which is a little scary. Basically what that means is that the placenta is blocking the cervix. It could go away on its own but if it doesn’t, it just means that I will be delivering baby girl via c-section which I was actually planning on anyways due to my neck and spinal issues. I am on pelvic rest for this month until my next ultrasound. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it goes away, but I’ll keep you all posted. If it doesn’t go away on its own then I’ll have to be on pelvic rest for the duration of this pregnancy which stinks.

Going to my ultrasound alone was really scary I must admit. In NY they are limiting all Dr. visits to one person. The Drs and nurses all wearing PPE and it’s just a really weird and creepy experience. This ultrasound scan took FOREVER…like 2 hours and I just knew something was up. After my scan, they took me into another room to speak to the Dr. over the phone. The Drs were working remotely. It was just a very overwhelming experience hearing this information alone and my heart breaks for anyone that had worse news to hear than me without anyone there to support them. My heart also breaks for anyone who had to deliver alone. I had two friends that had to deliver all alone before they lifted that rule. It’s just horrible to even think about it.

This pregnancy has been by far way harder than my pregnancy with Charlee. My first pregnancy was definitely hard, but this pregnancy is on another level. For anyone who is confused, I have two slipped discs in my upper cervical spine. I hurt myself last August and have not recovered since. I have been dealing with chronic neck pain since then and ended up getting pregnant during my treatment. In my first trimester, I was forced to stop taking my spine medications that helped control some of the pain. I was in so much pain that I went into a very dark place. I also had horrible morning sickness on top of the neck pain. The pain got so bad, that I ended up getting approved to see a fetal medicine Dr. who thank God approved for me to get back on a few of my old medications at a lower dose. I was also approved for a cortisone shot which I got around 11 weeks. I also went to a psychiatrist who wanted to give me medication for my depression, but I decided to try the pain relievers first to see if that helped my mood. Luckily the medication and cortisone shot made a huge difference in regards to pain and my overall mental health. I went from a 10/10 to a 4/10. I have neck pain every day, but it is now manageable. I have only had two flare-ups since January and luckily I recovered from them and went back to my normal pain levels. The flare-ups are caused by my body getting bigger from the pregnancy and my neck adjusting to it. I expect to have more before the baby comes. I have an appointment in May with a top ortho surgeon to discuss a plan for after I have the baby. I clearly need surgery but obviously that has been put on pause with this pregnancy. The reason I am sharing all of this is not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but to talk about how important it is to be your own advocate. I am lucky to live in NYC along with some of the best Doctors. The problem is, these Doctors are a bit jaded and see people in pain all the time. I had to literally call every day and beg for earlier appointments. Luckily my Doctors heard me and they were able to work with me and set up a plan, but if I had not been my own advocate, I would have been in pain for much longer. I also want to talk about depression during pregnancy. I obviously was depressed because of my pain situation but my hormones were going haywire and I was having really dark thoughts. It was really scaring me and I knew that I wasn’t myself. I opened up to Matt about it one day. He was so supportive and he urged me to speak to someone ASAP. I am now speaking to a therapist every 2-3 weeks and it has made a big difference for me. Having an outlet to share my thoughts and emotions has been incredibly valuable. I have been learning how to cope with pain in a way that doesn’t affect my entire life. It’s easy for the pain to be the focus, but I have learned to allow the pain to just be something I am dealing with and not let it define my life. I have also started meditating and trying to focus on the good things in my life makes a big difference.

I know that was pretty heavy and a lot of information. I just wanted to share in case anyone is going through something similar because you are not alone!

Having said all that, my baby girl is doing great and growing every day. I feel her kick me all the time and I just love that feeling. It’s pretty nuts! I have gained around 25 lbs but other than the neck pain, I feel pretty good. I crave orange and mango juice like it’s my job but other than that I haven’t had any significant cravings in the second trimester. It hit me the other day that I am going to have two children in less than 4 months! I am so excited to meet this little angel. I already love her so much already and I know this will all be worth it.

There have been some items that have made this pregnancy easier. Take a look at the list below:

  1. Pregnancy pillow: This is like sleeping in a soft squishy boat. It’s amazing. I highly recommend!
  2. I use this oil all over my body every single night before bed. It keeps my skin super moisturized. I was lucky not to get stretch marks with Charlee and I am hoping it doesn’t happen with this baby either!
  3. I have been taking these prenatal vitamins and I love the taste. I wanted to try rituals vitamins but they are always sold out!
  4. This water bottle has helped keep me on track with hydration. I find it really helps eliminate headaches when I am properly hydrated!

Thank you for your support and sweet messages. I pray that all of you are safe and healthy. This little community I have built is so special to me and I really appreciate you all following along on my journey.

xoxo-J