What Is More Contagious Than the Virus?

By Sarah Aterrado - June 16, 2020

Following our marriage last year, we have fervently prayed for a baby because, I hate to admit it, we are already in our mid-30s. We cannot deny the fact that our bio clocks are ticking. Jan and I have always wanted our own. The sooner, the better. And it was December last year when our prayers were answered. I knew 2020 is going to be our year.

Took this shot a few weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fast forward to 4,357 days (or at least, that's how it feels), the world has turned into something I thought I would only see in movies where we deal with constant anxiety and fear. How is it different for me? Everything is magnified a thousand times because I am carrying a precious life inside me. Apparently, 2020 is not a good time to be pregnant.


As much as I would have wanted to always feel happy and magical about this pregnancy (after all, we asked for it), all the changes happening in my body trigger an avalanche of negative feelings—frustration, ugliness, insecurity, and a lot of self-loathing. I can't help it. My hormones are on overdrive. Plus, I have to deal with fatigue, insomnia, backache, and sore breasts along with the shortness of breath that I could not even tell whether it is a pregnancy-related symptom or anxiety that I have been battling since the day I bled because of endocervical polyps.

And if this pregnancy is not complicated and nerve-wracking enough, season it with a physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially draining pandemic. And voila! We have a perfect recipe for a nervous breakdown. I would have lost it. I wanted to explode but I could not because there's a little life inside of me who is dependent on what I eat, what I do, or how I feel.

Is it difficult? Extremely difficult. But I am left with no choice but to hold myself together and be strong for my unborn child.


Undeniably, I have an amazing support from the husband and my family. Yet, I still struggle. And I know a lot of people, pregnant or not, do too.

You see, the world is getting scarier each day. People are frustrated, desperate, angry, and rightly so. It does not help that the society is also pressuring us to get things done by constantly shoving our throats with ways to be significant and productive at a time like this, and why we should be. I have a hundred things in mind that I want to accomplish right now but despite having all the time, none is realistic enough for me to do because I feel overwhelmed and lost sometimes. And if you're like me, that's okay.

So on the days that you feel like you are slipping down into the dumps, roll into a burrito and take a break before you break. Because the worst thing you can do now is to self-destruct by pushing and punishing yourself for not doing any better. You don't have to feel guilty about being unaccomplished. Like everybody else, the only thing you have to accomplish during this pandemic is to survive today and try again tomorrow.


Honestly, I do not have a heart-wrenching story to tell but this crisis taught me a lot. And here's one thing I learned that I want to share because in these trying times when the world wants you to step up and make a difference, this is often disregarded: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. I know this sounds selfish, but there's a reason why flight safety instructions tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.

So whatever you are going through, know that you are not alone. It's okay not to be okay but keep breathing. Keep forgiving yourself because no one has really figured out how to get through this. And most especially, attend to your needs. Because when all of these are met, you are more than capable of offering care, comfort, and compassion to others when they need it the most. The kindness you give yourself will radiate to others and that will become more contagious than the virus. You may not know it but you will make a lot more difference just by surviving today.

As for me, getting through each day is enough. 2020 is not a good time to be pregnant, sure. But there's a good reason why I am. The world will open its doors someday. And when that day comes, I will be able to tell my son how we survived this pandemic and how he played an important role in driving me to seek for the light during those dark, trying times.


What we are going through in this pandemic is not the same for everybody. But however small or heavy our struggles are, it is never easy for anyone but it will pass. And if you are still here, struggling but hopeful, you are winning. So take care of yourself because somehow, someone out there needs you. The world needs you.


This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia's "Write to Ignite Blogging Project". The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, "Write to Ignite Blog Project aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet, and Teleperformance.

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    We're excited to see your baby soon. stay safe 🥰

  2. COVID-19 is already driving everyone nuts. So avoid stress and don't be pressured to what society will tell you. Yes take care of yourself,

  3. “It's okay not to be okay but keep breathing.” Will keep that in mind Sar. ❤️

    Stat safe and healthy mommy Sarah! ❤️

  4. I know how it feels! I also suffered from bleeding when I was pregnant last year. Yes I’m sure it is more worrying with this pandemic.
    Don’t worry this will soon be over once you meet your little one 🥰 As for now, continue doing your breathing exercises while you stroke your belly so he will feel happy and safe 😊
    Take care Sarah ❤️xx

  5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST. I know this sounds selfish, but there's a reason why flight safety instructions tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others.

    ^thanks for this sar. I don't think it's selfish btw. We're just trying to get by :)

  6. Wow thank you for sharing this, Sar! I can't imagine the stress and I'm so glad you are able to take care of yourself. I'm a mom too and currently taking care of my baby and yes to the pressure of doing something significant and productive! So 100% agree that putting ourselves first is the way to win this. And this also means knowing our worth and trusting our own timezone. One day, I'll be able to bake those muffins too!

  7. Accomplishment, like progress, is not measured by what you've achieved over others but by what you've become compared to what you were before. Nice blog Sarah!

  8. "Take care of yourself first"

    This. This is what every mom needs to be reminded first. I can't imagine the stress of expectant moms are experiencing in the time of rona, and Im glad you are taking great care of yourself.

    Oh, and, antepartum depression is real so don't put yourself through unnecessary stress and pressure.

    We'll survive this. ��

  9. You are amazing Sarah ❤ Stay strong for your baby 💪😍

  10. Nice read, Sar! Everyone of us has to battle their own struggles. Big wins or small wins, it is still a win. Hoping for a smoother sail in days ahead!

  11. "Take care of yourself first! The kindness you give yourself will radiate to others and that will become more contagious than the virus." Couldn't agree more.
    Weird times for all of us so sana matapos na to soon. Stay safe sar!