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(Image: The Haynes Family)

Expecting a Baby During a Pandemic: The Haynes Family

Originally, the idea was to write up one article about welcoming a baby during the pandemic. We put the call out on social media hoping for two or three responses, and waaaaaaay more flooded in! We realized people were feeling alone, wanted to tell their stories, and that this may be a good weekly outlet for others going through similar circumstances, and to give hope and power (even if it's through the screen) that you're not alone! Whether you're expecting, already welcomed a little one, or had to put your fertility treatment or adoption proceedings on hold due to COVID-19, we'd love to hear from you and share your story in this weekly feature on Seattle Refined. Email or reach out on Instagram @June.In.January to be featured.

Ike and Tash Haynes are a dynamic duo - both personally and professionally. Based in Tacoma, the couple work together as photographers, and are also the proud parents to two little girls...with a third on the way. They enjoy picnics in the park, charcuterie and tea parties, writing, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. And ice cream, so much ice cream. Baby girl is due in January, here is their story.

Seattle Refined: Ok - let’s set the stage. It’s March 23, 2020 - and the Governor just issued the Stay Home Stay Healthy Order. Where are you in your journey at that point?
Tash Haynes: The day that the "stay home, stay safe" orders were declared, we were living our regular lives with our eldest daughter and our latest who had turned 1-years -old the month before. We hadn't found out we were pregnant nor had we attempted or tried to be. Although we knew we wanted another child, it wasn't at the forefront of our minds.

Take us forward from there. What were you thinking/feeling? What kind of prep/worries did you have that you either didn’t have with other kids, or you didn’t anticipate having?
We found out in May that we were expecting. Generally when you find out that you are pregnant, you schedule an appointment to confirm the pregnancy, but due to COVID, we were unable to get that confirmation appointment and had to wait until I was 10 weeks to confirm the pregnancy and to make sure that it was a viable one. That was really difficult to deal with and to wrestle with, because a pregnancy test doesn't always give the full picture, but they were limiting in-person doctors visits to keep the spread of the virus down. That was much different than past pregnancies. I was able to confirm my first pregnancy at six weeks and my second at four weeks, so the wait was pretty anxiety ridden for me.

Share with us what you’re willing to about what your experience, of being pregnant in a pandemic, has been like.
My third daughter is due in January, and although I don't have all the details about my birth experience, I know that I will have to be tested for COVID while I am in labor - and my labors are hard, so that is scary to think about. I will have to wear a mask the entire time I am laboring and will only be allowed one support person and a doula. No one else. When my first and second daughters were born, I was able to have special people in the room and visitors, but none of that is allowed this time. What grieves me most is knowing my daughters won't be able to be in close proximity and will have to wait to meet their baby sister for a few days after she is born.

What have been your biggest joys during this time?
Knowing that I am pregnant during this time, it brings continuous joy and reminds me that there are GOOD things happening and developing during this time. Seeing my girls excited about a new family member and all of the bonding I get to have with them before I introduce another personality into this zoo.

What are your biggest fears/worries during this time?
Staying healthy and not putting my pregnancy or life in jeopardy Staying on high alert and just being mindful of my surroundings. Its much more stressful time than being pregnant with my other two. Constantly thinking about the world I am bringing her into and if things will turn around.

When your child name asks you about what it was like having him/her during the Pandemic of 2020, what are you going to tell them?
That they brought joy and hope to the picture and that they were needed for such a time as this.

Final Update: Where do things stand now? How is the entire family?
Still pregnant, still anxiously waiting and staying home and staying safe.

For people whose loved ones are giving birth, pregnant, bringing a baby home, or pausing their fertility treatments/adoption proceedings right now - what can you do to support from afar?
Check on your friends, encourage them and try to find ways to celebrate them or to make their experience as close to normal as you can. It can be pretty lonely being pregnant during a pandemic.

And to other families reading this, going through something like this themselves - any words of encourage, support or advice?
Keep your focus on your the joy that your little one is bringing or going to bring to the table and know that this isn't the first time this nation has seen something like this and we made it out of it and we will do it again.