What it is like to be pregnant in the time of COVID-19?
While it's natural for moms-to-be to feel anxious about their pregnancy, Coleen Garcia revealed that keeping a positive outlook has made her journey a lot easier.
In an exclusive interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via e-mail on August 24, 2020, the mestiza actress wrote, "As for my worries, I realized there’s always going to be something to worry about, pandemic or no pandemic.
"This pregnancy has taught me to let go of my worries and surrender them all to God, which I mostly did because bawal ma-stress ang buntis.
"But I’m keeping that attitude because it has done so much for me, and I am so at peace.
"I realized that worrying really doesn’t do anything good. If anything, it clouds your judgment even more."
This mindset has also helped Coleen when it comes to making big decisions about this chapter in her life.
She said, "It’s possible to make good decisions and come up with solutions without having to worry.
"Of course, it’s so important for all of us to be cautious, and to take whatever measures we have to for us to stay safe.
"But being cautious is different from living in fear, so we try not to cross that line."
TIMING IS INDEED STRANGE
The new norm for pregnant women entails less visit to hospital and less consultation with doctors.
Add to these: Coleen decided to deliver her baby boy through home birth.
She elaborated, "I’ve had to jump from doctor to doctor, until I found the midwife I only got to meet and start seeing during my third trimester.
"I haven’t really spent much time in the hospital because we had all the ultrasounds done in a small clinic since it’s much safer.
"My midwife comes to our home to do checkups. Being pregnant puts me at a higher risk, so we’ve been doing everything we can to avoid going out and seeing other people, at least just for the time being.
"In the rare times when we do go out, we wear protective gear."
Coleen has been taking things in stride, and dares not question why her first pregnancy has to happen during a pandemic.
"I always say that I can’t imagine what this pregnancy would have been like had it not been right here and right now...
"And I can’t imagine what living in the middle of this pandemic would have been like for us if we didn’t have this pregnancy.
"The timing is so strange, and I never could have imagined that this is how my first pregnancy would go, but I will always be a strong believer in God’s perfect timing."
HAVING BILLY BESIDE HER
The good thing about the current situation is that she has her husband Billy Crawford by her side all the time.
Coleen said, "He’s been trying his best to cater to me during this time, especially when I need to eat!
"He learned how I like to make my favorite snacks and smoothies, he helps with some of the heavy lifting, and he even watched birthing classes with me!
"He’s also trying to learn more about newborn care with me, so that he can be of more help when the baby arrives.
"He’s also been my main source of encouragement, which I think is very important!"
She's also grateful because her pregnancy has been easy.
"It’s different from how I always thought it would be!
"I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did because I would hear a lot of stories about different experiences from other moms.
"Although it was a challenging start, I didn’t go through morning sickness and a lot of the other symptoms I thought I would.
"For most of the pregnancy, everything was so smooth and I didn’t really feel so different from how I was pre-pregnancy, except that I would get tired so much more easily. The fatigue was real!"
But the Mia star also had her share of challenges throughout her pregnancy journey.
"Now at my ninth month, though, I am definitely feeling it!
"I get some mild back and pelvic pain, the occasional swelling, the little bit of waddling cause my belly is quite heavy and my frame is small... pero slight lang talaga lahat!
"Just a tiny bit of everything. I can feel my body maxing out as D-Day comes closer, but now I’m not as fatigued, so maybe that’s why?
"Nowadays I’m always on my feet, fixing everything I can in our home to make it a better place for our family.
"I’ve been doing so much at home, but I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it."
Coleen got pregnant in December 2019, well before the coronavirus disease reached the country.
The quarantine was already enforced by the time she and Billy announced her pregnancy on Labor Day, May 1, 2020. She was five months pregnant at the time.
They were ecstatic, but, at the same time, conscious about tapering off the happy mood given that thousands around the world are struggling.
Coleen mused, "In a time wherein there is so much devastation, it’s hard to be the one celebrating because it almost feels like it’s not a valid time to be happy.
"But this new life inside of me is definitely a cause for celebration regardless of anything and everything we are facing.
"Don’t get me wrong, this time hasn’t been so easy for us, either. We have our fair share of obstacles that not a lot of people know we are going through."
But her pregnancy has given the couple a sense of purpose.
The 27-year-old star continued, "...what this whole experience has taught me is to always have HOPE.
"There is always something to hope for. Having hope is like seeing that light at the end of the tunnel, and knowing that, even in the middle of darkness, you’re walking towards something bright.
"It becomes your driving force, your 'why.' And I believe we all need that."
Asked about the best pregnancy advice she received, Coleen answered, "One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received is to not view pregnancy as a sickness, because it isn’t.
"It’s a time of awe and wonder, and I’m so proud of my body for what I now know it can do.
"I believe in the power of declaration and setting a good mindset. If you say things are wonderful, they will be!"