There’s a term going around that people like to say: “quarantine baby”. I’ve heard people joke that the term means couples were bored and “trapped” in the house during COVID-19’s quarantine with nothing better to do than practice making babies. When I posted on Facebook that my husband and I were expecting, in the form of the cutest Harry Potter themed birth announcement, I had a person comment: “Another quarantine baby.”
Insert severe eye roll meme here, please.
If I could explain the type of eye twitch of rage that developed that moment, terror would strike your heart. But instead of typing out all the words that initially formed in my head, it was simply best to respond: Let me be clear, this baby is not a “quarantine baby.”
Oh, how I wish it were that simple. This child is the result of thousands of shots, pills, tears, doctor’s visits, lost hopes, fears, dollars, more shots, supplements, surgeries, and emotional highs and lows. I wish all we had to do was stay home and listen to some music to set the mood… you get the picture. This child is the result of In-vitro Fertilization, IVF. He or she is not a quarantine baby.
IVF And Quarantine
For many families in the IVF community, COVID-19 and quarantine had the opposite effect when it came to baby-making. Rather than a baby boom, many couldn’t schedule appointments at their doctor’s office or others contracted COVID and had to pause the process completely due to illness. I had to find a new doctor’s office to work with outside of Delaware due to being unable to even be seen in early 2020. Then I had to wait a month later than planned due to COVID restrictions capacity being reached for the month at my Philadelphia office.
It’s a Waiting Game
Some of you may be saying well why not just wait? Let me help you understand. IVF is already a waiting game (and I use the term game very lightly). You hurry up and wait for your period to start your cycle to hurry up and get tests done to take pills and shots to hurry up and see if any eggs develop properly to hurry up and move to the next step to wait even more. Can you say anxiety? It takes months for even one cycle of IVF to occur. Often times families need multiple cycles to even have one pregnancy. It is stressful, a lot of work, and costly for even insured families.
Therefore, when someone marginalizes the experience women have when pregnant during this pandemic, it enrages me. And not just for those who went through IVF, but for the couples who had been trying for years or months to get a positive test, for the families who have experienced a single or even multiple losses and finally have their rainbow baby, for the families who have wanted nothing more than to see two lines on a test for so long.
A Message to Our Baby
Dear little babies who may hear the term when they enter the world, I want you to know that you are not a product of the quarantine. You are a product of love. A product of a desire to grow our family. Whether we were to have a global pandemic or not, you’d be here. You were not made from being stuck at home, nor from boredom, and definitely not by accident.