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(Image: The Sacks family)

Expecting a Baby During a Pandemic: The Sacks 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.

Samantha and Destyne Sacks live in Puyallup with their two cats - and are currently just weeks away from welcoming their first child, a baby girl. The couple love to travel, go to the movies and find new tasty places to eat. They are self-proclaimed ~total foodies~. They've been together going on seven years, and have been married for two. They are a two mom family who hope to show the world that they're just like every other family. Here is their baby 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?
Samantha Sacks: When the stay at home order first was mandated, we were just hitting our sixth week of pregnancy. We had just seen the baby on an ultrasound for the first time and we were terrified of the risks that COVID could potentially heed for myself and our blueberry-sized babe inside of me.

Take us forward from there. What were you thinking/feeling? What kind of prep/worries did you have that you didn’t anticipate having?
The following months were filled with both apprehension and excitement. It was exciting to watch my belly grow with each passing week, but also anxiety-inducing with what was going on in the world around us. My wife was exposed to COVID at work (and luckily didn’t catch it) but the two week quarantine was terribly anxiety-inducing because all we could think about was, “If I get it, will the baby be okay?” We tried to keep ourselves occupied by landscaping our garden and binging possibly all of Netflix, while also trying to enjoy something we had been trying and wishing for so very long.

Share with us what you’re willing to about the birth plan? Are partners/parents allowed in the room or to visit?
While we have not given birth to our baby girl yet, we are trying to navigate our feelings on what this will look like. We always expected having a waiting room full of our family and friends ready to meet our daughter, but that won’t be the case anymore. Our birth plan is now filled with COVID tests and masks during birth, which can be overwhelming to think about on top of the idea of having to actually give birth!

What have been your biggest joys during this time?
The biggest joys during this time, as cliche as it sounds, is getting more quality time with my wife. With our work schedules, we rarely get more than a half a day off together. During this unprecedented time, we have been able to enjoy each other’s company so much more and truly bond before we welcome our daughter.

What are your biggest fears/worries during this time?
My biggest fears and worries during this time is keeping our daughter safe after she’s born. Aside from it being the cold and flu season, we now have COVID to worry about. I worry about those wanting to meet her, as well as her getting to experience the outside world while not catching an unknown virus.

When your daughter asks you about what it was like having him/her during the Pandemic of 2020, what are you going to tell them?
When our daughter asks us about what 2020 was like, we will tell her that while it was a wild year, she alone brought so much joy and excitement to it. My wife and I tried for a long time to have her, and we will not let 2020 ruin such a joyous time for us! We will also tell her that masks became the new fashion!

Final Update: Where do things stand now? How is the entire family?
As of today, we are only a few weeks from her due date. We are excited/nervous/apprehensive and so much more. We are trying to stay as quarantined as we can as her due date approaches and getting our home ready to welcome our little miracle girl!

For people whose loved ones are giving birth, pregnant, bringing a baby home, or pausing their fertility treatments or adoption proceedings right now - what can you do to support from afar?
If you know someone who is in their fertility journey or expecting a baby right now, be supportive. Ask if they need to talk their anxieties out loud, or if they need to be distracted. Don’t ask them about when they can meet the baby because they don’t know themselves yet.

And to other families reading this, going through something like this themselves - any words of encourage, support or advice?
You’ve got this!! Being pregnant during a pandemic isn’t ideal or what you want, but you can do it. Find things that bring you joy and focus on those. And revel in those little baby kicks and focus on what the outcome will be!