virus

I’ve Never Shopped Online So Much In My Life

Pre-pandemic I would occasionally shop online.

I most likely had an Amazon Prime order or two every couple of months and preferred to buy online and pick up in-store or leave things in my cart until I had multiple items to ship.

Fast forward the 50 days we have been in quarantine and that habit has changed drastically.

Living in a densely populated urban area like Chicago and being high risk since I am pregnant, my husband and I have made every effort to reduce our risk of contracting the virus by staying home (and luckily we are both able to work from home).

We have not set foot inside a physical grocery store in over 7 weeks. The last time I have been in an enclosed space with a number of people (that wasn’t the doctor’s office) was the pharmacy some 5 weeks ago before I realized I could just send my prescription to my house.

Every single thing we need gets delivered.

Normally I would find it annoying to get our groceries delivered in plastic bags even when we asked for paper and for the insulated bags Amazon delivers frozen items in to be non-recyclable or personal care products shipped in like 5 different shipments.

BUT, since we have a baby’s arrival rapidly approaching, the number of boxes and packaging we receive is exponentially more than just the standard young couple due to baby shower gifts and trying to stock up for the baby.

You see, I have this fear that it is going to be 3 AM with our newborn and we need some specific item and we try to buy it, but it is sold out or on backorder and won’t ship for an obscene amount of time.

To combat this scenario, I have been trying to be proactive and stock up on newborn needs before they arise. This means my cart at Target.com has approximately 20+ items in it, which is just insane. And with talk of diaper and wipe shortages, I am just trying to make sure we have enough to get us through an unknown amount of time.

So on top of the groceries and baby shower gifts, we are also getting those shipments.

This means we have A LOT OF BOXES coming through our house. Like A LOT.

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Our vestibule on a normal day.

A lot of boxes, a lot of plastic packaging, and a lot of waste and it seems to be never-ending.

I have to write notes for when deliveries are occurring each day throughout the week just to make sure I don’t forget to get something on the doorstep (you know since I don’t leave the house).

After opening items, we flatten the boxes and keep them outside on our deck until recycling day, which means from the alley down below, we look like crazy box hoarders. The reason we don’t take them down to the recycling carts immediately is two-fold:

  1.  More boxes will most likely be delivered the next day
  2.  Everyone else is ordering stuff too so the recycling carts are always packed full. We legit have to wait until Monday afternoons after the recycling gets picked up and then we run downstairs and stuff the boxes in the carts.
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Not shown: the boxes behind me, the boxes still in the nursery, and the unopened boxes still in the vestibule.

I have also been collecting the plastic bags, wraps, and bubble mailers that can be recycled in this gigantic plastic bag to one day recycle. Unfortunately, I don’t know when that would be. Anyone want to take my giant bag to the grocery store?!

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Anyone want to take this to the grocery store to be recycled for me?!

All the other non-recyclable packaging gets tossed in the trash.

It’s rough and I hate it, but there is not much I can do about it. Staying home and staying healthy is our number one priority right now. And there is no way I can do that without online orders.

Hopefully, the boxes should be slowing down with shower gifts petering out and most of my last-minute we-might-need-this-for-the-baby-because-this-list-says-so shopping completed. We still obviously need to get groceries though…

 

 

What It’s Like Being 7 Months Pregnant During a Global Pandemic

The last couple of weeks have been weird.

Pregnancy itself is weird, but add in a global pandemic of a highly contagious virus and things just get weirder.

Two weeks ago, I was aware of the virus, just slightly concerned, but I went about my daily life with a bit more hand sanitizer and hand washing. Today, I am “social distancing” and working and staying at home pretty much 24/7.

Everything has been canceled. Everything is closed. There is pretty much nowhere to go.

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My dad and I practicing social distancing when he dropped off provisions (AKA Cheez-its)

Work 

Working from home for the past 6 days feels like an eternity. Everything is uncomfortable: my dining room chair, the island stool, sitting on the couch typing on my laptop over my belly.

At first, when work events were canceled last week, I was excited because I knew a full day of work and then an evening event was going to completely tucker me out. Now we have no events, no students, no interns. A good 50% of my job has disappeared in a matter of days (while I know other’s entire livelihoods disappeared overnight).

Luckily, my husband and I are both in positions that allow us to work from home, so we are spending A LOT of time together. Whoever said get some one-on-one time in with your spouse before the baby comes surely did not imagine a situation where soon-to-be parents spend 3-10 weeks holed up in their apartment together. Guess we don’t need a babymoon…

Leaving the House

Every day I am trying to get some activity in. On the first day of our full week working at home, K and I did lunchtime yoga together. Then we went for an afternoon walk in the sun on non-busy residential streets and crossed to the other side when someone was headed our way.

Yesterday, I had to go to Walgreens to pick up a necessary prescription. I planned to go right when they opened to avoid any additional people, but that plan backfired. When I got there, there were 4 other people waiting in line (albeit far apart). I panicked. I could go back home and try coming back later, or I could just wait as far away as possible from people and get it over with because I didn’t want to have to hype myself back up to try again. I waited, I got it, I ran out of there.

Within a few days, entry after entry in my calendar was deleted and now all that is left is my prenatal doctor appointments. That’s the only place I plan on going for now: our apartment, out for a walk, the doctor. Nowhere else.

Food and Necessities

K has been watching this situation diligently and had an inkling we might have to stay home for a while about 2 weeks before all of the mass hysteria set in. We did a grocery shop then and got the staples we needed (including toilet paper and disinfectant spray).

Trying to shop since has been challenging. Not wanting to risk going into the grocery store, we tried a grocery pick up last week and were met with probably only half of the items we had originally ordered. We are waiting a little longer to try again. Otherwise, we absolutely have enough food to not be hangry all the time, except I eat a lot of the snacks.

The Reality

I am not so much worried about myself catching the virus, it is also super possible I or my husband have already had it. We are more worried about others, such as our parents, grandparents, and friends with underlying health issues.

I am concerned about the next two-ish months before the baby comes and the next few months after. My baby shower is most likely going to be canceled, I am not sure if we will get to take maternity photos, and my hospital has postponed all birth classes until the middle of April. It’s also a very high possibility that our families won’t get to attend the birth at the hospital.

When everything seems to be so uncertain, the only thing I can control right now is getting the baby’s nursery ready, so I have been doing that. It is better than scrolling through social media (which I have limited my time on to 10 minutes a day via Google’s Digital Wellbeing settings).

We tried to set rules that we can’t talk about coronavirus news on Wednesdays and the weekend. We failed miserably. So much is changing so quickly.

Overall, I am just sad.

Sad to be missing out on many of the things first-time mamas get to experience.

Sad my mother doesn’t get to see my belly grow with her first grandchild in the last few weeks.

Sad to be confined to our 2 bedroom apartment 3 months before we have a baby and come June, are confined at home in a different way.

Sad we probably won’t have visitors to meet our bundle of joy for who knows how long.

These are my own selfish things to be sad about related to being pregnant at this time, and I am not trying to downplay all of the hundreds of other sad things about this pandemic. There is so much more pain and suffering more legitimate than me complaining about not having a baby shower.

We will get through it. While there is so much uncertainty, there is one thing I know, and that is this baby is coming. No matter what.

I can live without maternity photos. I can find birth classes online. I can celebrate with friends and family when it’s safe to have more than 10 people in a room again.

It will be different from how I pictured it, that’s for sure, but the safety of friends and family and people I don’t even know is more important.