Despite the hope that Covid would end soon, for now, it would seem as though Malaysia has ways yet to go before we can put this pandemic behind us. In trying times like this, one question still remains: Is there going to be a baby boom or Baby bust?
With so many uncertainties, one cannot help but be anxious and feel less than confident about the idea of becoming parents. There are ongoing concerns like Will coronavirus affect my pregnancy? Is it safe for me to go for KK and hospital checkups now? Can we even afford to have kids? Will we even have jobs? But then when else can we even have kids? More importantly, do we want to add a screaming baby into the tiny space we’re living in and working from home?
We spoke to three couples who are in 3 completely different situations to get some insight on the matter.
I am happy as it is
We are a family of three, and we have a healthy 6-year-old son after trying very hard to have a child for many years. After he was born, we battled with the question of whether we should try for another. Then when MCO happened, we decided that we wouldn’t try for another. We felt that our family was complete.
Of course, this wasn’t a decision we made overnight; instead, we brainstormed over the situation before coming to this conclusion. First of all, there’s the 6-year gap, and there’s no guarantee my then 10-year-old son would want to hang with his 4-year-old sibling.
There’s also the age factor to consider because we are both approaching an increasingly risky age to have another child. I don’t even want to imagine going back to waddling in maternity dresses and battling morning sickness. Neither of us wants to go back to 2 a.m. feedings, potty training and sleepless nights.
We value our work-life balance as it is at the moment. We are grateful that MCO has not affected us too badly and we get to spend quality time with our son. Can you imagine having to monitor more than one child’s online class!? Why disrupt what already works for us. It is already challenging enough with both the husband and son safely at home. I am just relieved that we’re not dealing with more kids on top of everything else right now. So if you ask me, do we want more babies? No thanks, we’re happy as it is now.
As crazy as it sounds, MCO came as a blessing to us. Both of us work full time, and we’re working so hard that we barely have much time for much else. It’s funny how it took a global pandemic to force us to stay at home together to learn many new things about each other – albeit some a little bit annoying.
Was he always this impatient? Do I always blurt out whatever that’s in my mind? Jokes aside, we finally had so much time together and space for intimacy. When both of us worked long hours and was travelling a lot, one of us would be too tired or was never in the mood. We never thought about having kids. I mean, if it happens, it happens. Our families were pressuring us of course, but we never paid much heed.
But we were spending quality time with each other during MCO that for the first time, we questioned if we should finally try for a child. Perhaps it took the crazy circumstances of Covid to jumpstart my biological clock for me to want a child. Or maybe we’re just weird that way. But we thought what better time and when else will we have this much time together?
After all, isn’t lack of sex the most common problem between overworked couples? Sure, there’s no telling what would happen, but working from home does include the benefits of accommodating other activities. For us, it is a bit like a much-needed break from our norm so that a baby boom can happen. Call it a mini-honeymoon if you like and guess what? We’re due middle of 2021!
I’m pregnant, so what now?
Unlike other couples, baby boom or baby bust wasn’t a choice for us. We didn’t have the luxury of planning around coronavirus because we were already expecting when MCO hit.
Naturally, we were worried. Is it safe to continue our ritual visits at the KK? Would our baby be affected in any way? Would it be safe to deliver our baby at the hospital? There were so many unanswered questions in the beginning that caused us a lot of stress.
Of course, being pregnant during these times is not easy. Would they postpone my appointments? Honestly, I didn’t feel too comfortable going in either. I mean, what if I catch it and pass it on to my unborn baby? We didn’t know a lot of the things back then that we know now.
My nesting period revolved around shopping online. How else would we be able to get anything ready before our baby comes? Then there was the time when we faced shortages for hand sanitisers and masks for a while. I had to think of the health implications, not only for me but also for the unborn child I am carrying. I had to think about going to check-ups alone, probably birthing alone too, with zero prospects of any visitors, especially with the strict SOPs in place to keep everyone safe.
But like it or not, our baby is coming, and we managed to pull through despite the challenges. As I looked around the maternity ward, I realised that I was not alone. Even when I see the stress written across the faces of our front liners, they were always kind and encouraging. Although we have a healthy baby girl in our arms right now, we probably would have waited until the vaccine is firmly established if we had known. Right now we’re just grateful that our baby girl is thriving, even in these trying times, and we’re learning every day to accept the new norm.