Victoria assumed learning she was having identical twins would be the biggest surprise of her pregnancy. Then COVID-19 hit.
“All of my plans changed in an instant,” says Victoria, who lives in Toronto with her husband Ryan and their two-year old daughter Harper. “My husband and I were trying to work from home and keep a toddler entertained. On day two of the pandemic Harper decided to stop napping. It wasn’t the relaxing time I had while pregnant with my first, and there was the lack of help on top of it.”
Victoria says she was mindful of taking care of herself by resting and eating healthy during her third trimester. She was pregnant with monochorionic twins, meaning her two babies shared a single placenta, which put her at a higher risk of complications, and required her to visit her high-risk obstetrician every two weeks.
“I would pile into my car with hand sanitizer, wipes and snacks – everything I needed – and turn on my music. Traveling to my prenatal appointments became my little taste of freedom,” laughs Victoria, who says she was feeling cooped up at home. “The visits also provided the reassurance that the twins were doing well, and seeing their ultrasounds…well, it was amazing.”
On May 11, 2020, the family welcomed Mikaela Ray (five pounds, 10 ounces) and Remi Skye (six pounds, seven ounces). At that time, birthing support persons were required to leave two hours after delivery (this policy recently changed). Victoria admits it’s the only time she cried.
“Saying goodbye to Ryan, and holding these two brand new babies, I could not hold it together,” says Victoria. “But the show must go on and I had wonderful nurses checking on me day and night. Let me tell you, with two babies, I used that extra help!”
When asked about her tips for families who will deliver during the pandemic, Victoria says to ask the health care team lots of questions. She also recommends relying on the nurses and physicians and other team members. She recalls a Birthing Unit nurse who made her feel incredibly confident and kept telling her how strong she was.
“The pandemic is temporary, it won’t be like this forever. Believe in yourself. You can do this.”