The Sun Will Always Rise: Pregnancy in the Pandemic

Updated: 7 days ago


| This is the 601st story of Our Life Logs® |

Do not hold your breath when life is kind.

Do not perish when life is painful.

The wheel will always spin.

The sun will always rise.

The moon will coax the sea back and forth, as it does.

Simply, take hope

And solace

In the part you play.

-C.W.

I was born in 1989 as the youngest child of the most loving couple. My mother used to tell me that I was so beautiful because of my dark eyes and that my siblings and I made her the happiest mother in the world. My father was a farmer by profession, and he always emphasized our bright future, leaving no stone unturned to make us happy and successful. My childhood had its ups and downs, but we were always deeply loved by our parents.

I have had a responsible attitude towards life since my childhood. Always. I worked my little hands and mind hard to pass every exam with flying colors. I had an affinity for writing from a young age, and I entered writing competitions organized by the Govt. of Punjab with fervor (I even won a few cash prizes and certificates!).

I was taught sincerity, honesty, love, and respect for others by my modest mother. Due to my sensitivity toward ethics and morality, I decided to pursue a law degree. After successfully passing, I began my professional life as a lawyer—a government job in the health sector.

For a few years, I could not complain. I had productive, meaningful days of work, whole nights of sound sleep, good health, and free time spent with friends and family. However, even though I had reached milestones in life, like a degree, career opportunities, and an attractive living, there was still something missing from my life; my quench to explore the new horizons of life with someone by my side.

Now my family was in search of a prince to get me married. And one day my mother whispered in my ear with a smile on her face, “Dear Zeena, it’s to fly, my love.” Soon after, I was introduced to my future husband who turned out to be the perfect match for me. Soon after the engagement, I married Taha, an IT officer in Punjab Information Technology Board, a thoughtful gentleman belonging to the Rajput Clan, and the one who loves me more than anything else.

I was overjoyed that our family would grow from two to three after I discovered I was pregnant in 2019. It's not every day that you find out about such happy news. Yet at the same time, some of the reality of becoming a parent hit me. It can be scary to think of everything you must do to protect your child in an unpredictable world. Still, I decided to set fear aside so as to not overshadow the joy of bearing my child. Because, truly, I was not alone in the pregnancy, and my husband did everything he could to ease the worry and increase the happiness.

As days turned to weeks, and weeks into months, our excitement was overloaded. We prepared a list of things for our baby including bedding, furniture, cribs, and post-natal care kits. On weekends, we went shopping for other items such as car seats, bottles, clothes, and other essentials. And as I waited for my delivery, I daydreamed about meeting my baby in all his perfection.

But it seemed that the world wasn’t experiencing that same joy, and soon I would find out that I would enter a season of fear as well.

At the end of December 2019, a deadly virus named COVID-19 spread worldwide. Lockdown measured ensued as the death toll rose. Even more alarming was knowing that there was no cure for the virus and that it could be anywhere. In fact, it was so contagious that you could get it by shaking the hand of an infected person. 

Honestly, it scared me, I was so afraid of being infected with the coronavirus—not just because of how it would affect me, but if I caught it, what would happen to my baby? Would my baby be born with the disease if I caught it? Would it die in fetal development? I couldn't bear the thought of it ending up like that; giving birth to a child that would never live. In Pakistan, the health of the masses is the least important thing, so the risk felt even greater.

Every day after that first grave thought, I dawned a mask and took my temperature. My morning ritual included staring at the thermometer for a few minutes to make sure it was not changing values. It took all my courage just to go to work every day and not stay home.