WHEN Laura Savvas found out she was pregnant at the end of last year she felt on top of the world.
The 26-year-old, along with her partner Ian Murphy, began planning what their lives would be like with their first child.
But the self-employed sports writer, from Stourbridge, West Mids, is now facing going through pregnancy whilst the world faces a global health pandemic.
Now 19-week pregnant, Laura says the coronavirus outbreak has left her grappling with massive uncertainty over her baby’s health and her financial wellbeing.
Here, the mum-to-be has bravely spoken out to let other expectant mums know they are not alone…
On cloud nine
I couldn't stop crying tears of joy when I stared at those two little lines in late December.
My partner, Ian, and I were on cloud nine – overwhelmed, racked with nerves but excited.
It felt like nothing could bring us down.
But little did I know just how much would happen in three months.
Days after I found out I was expecting, I fainted and woke up in hospital on my 26th birthday fearing I’d suffered an ectopic pregnancy.
Everything, thankfully, came back all clear. I thought that would be the toughest thing my five-week old baby and I would face. How wrong I was.
At my 12-week scan, we were told our baby has a rare condition that will need immediate surgery after birth.
I will most likely give birth prematurely in August, and our newborn will stay in intensive care for at least a month.
Banned from scan
Now, I’m in quarantine at home in the middle of a global pandemic and I’ve just learned the news that my partner Ian has been banned from attending our 20-week scan.
It is there we were set to learn together if our unborn child has any other abnormalities.
At 19 weeks’ pregnant during the coronavirus crisis, I feel like I'm facing an almighty, lonely battle.
The very thought of it keeps me awake at night, intruding my thoughts like an unwelcome guest.
Being pregnant is certainly a blessing but it's hard not to feel like the universe is handing you the ultimate test.
As we approach the peak of Covid-19, I am terrified at the thought that we might not be able to stay in the hospital with our baby.
Will our child be safe? Will I contract the virus in hospital? Can I have any visitors?
I live 100 miles from my family. My grandad is in an at-risk category. My in-laws obviously don't want to put me at risk by visiting me. I can't see my friends.
And on top of all that, as a freelance sports journalist, all work for the foreseeable future has been cancelled.
People say 'avoid the news', 'keep off social media', but I find this particularly challenging given my natural urge to be inquisitive.
Each day, I find myself welling up and instantly checking my phone for the latest coronavirus update.
Dinnertime comes, and I'm glued to the television, awaiting Boris Johnson's daily press conference, praying for even the smallest of updates for the self-employed.
What am I entitled to? Can we even afford to bring this baby into the world?
Sometimes, it becomes far too overwhelming and I find myself in floods of tears, wondering when the next pay-slip will be, when I'll see my family again, whether my vulnerable grandad will live to meet my baby in the summer.
Despite our worries, Ian and I are trying to stay positive. We’re staying in touch with family on Facetime, joined supportive online communities and made the most of the good weather in the garden.
One thing I am certain of is that those unmistakable little flutters from my mango-sized baby are signs that all is well inside.
He, or she, is blissfully unaware of the world they will face when they make their grand appearance this summer.
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