I still can’t believe it happened, but over the weekend I received my first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. The progression of how it all happened still feels like a blur, but I want to share my experience with you. I’ve had a handful of people ask me about whether or not I was going to get the COVID vaccine while pregnant (if I was eligible) and how I came to that decision. I want to share that with you with the help of IVaccinate.org because I think it’s important to have honest conversation around this topic.
After consulting with my OB, she had told me that she considered it safe and effective for expecting mothers to receive the vaccine. I spoke to a few nurse friends, some of whom are pregnant themselves, and they had already received the vaccine, or were in line to do so.
As someone who is pro-vaccine and a major proponent of protecting myself, my family, and my community through immunizations, this was the first time I ever thought twice about receiving a vaccine. I just wanted to make sure I was making the right choice for myself and my unborn baby.
After these many discussions I had with my doctor, nurses, and other expectant mothers, as well as doing as much research on the topic as possible and praying about it, I came to the conclusion that I would absolutely get the vaccine if I had the opportunity before my baby was born.
Early studies indicate that pregnant women who receive the coronavirus vaccine not only acquire protective antibodies against the virus for themselves but also may pass along immunity to their babies. How incredible is that? One of the studies also detected antibodies in their breastmilk, indicating that at least some immunity could be transferred to babies both before and after birth.
On Saturday around 11am, I received a call from my sister. She said she wasn’t sure how legitimate it was, but she heard through the grapevine that a local manufacturing company was administering extra doses of the vaccine for anyone who could show up before noon.
Since she wasn’t sure if it was even true, and I already had under an hour to get ready and put London down for a nap, I let myself debate it in my head for about 30 seconds before I snapped out of it and thought “Even if this isn’t real, I NEED to go see for myself. I need to do my part.” So I ran to the bedroom, threw some clothes on, told Steve I was heading out, kissed London goodbye, and took off to Spring Lake.
I felt self-doubt start to overcome me when I arrived in the parking lot and saw people walking towards the door surrounded with a plethora of signs that all said “Appointments Only!” I pushed my ego aside, masked up, and marched toward the entrance.
There were two young women checking people in for their appointments. “I hope you don’t think I’m crazy” I said, “But I heard from someone that you might be giving out vaccines to extra people today? If I’m wrong, I’ll totally leave right now! But if there’s any truth to that, I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”
“We actually were doing that earlier today, but we stopped taking extras about an hour ago. They’re doing a final count of remaining doses now, so if you’d like to wait over in the corner and see if a miracle happens, you’re more than welcome to.”
“HAPPY TO WAIT! No problem. Thank you!” And I made my way to the corner, where I probably looked like a crazy person waiting for my miracle.
Then, after a short wait, one of the young women walked over, handed me a registration card, and told me to head over to the main line. I still wasn’t sure what this meant for me yet, but my eyes were already filling with tears as I felt a glimmer of hope. I waited in line, made it to a waiting room, then was called up to register. The woman asked for my name and date of birth. I told her “I don’t have an appointment. I feel like the luckiest person ever and I hope it’s okay that I’m here.” She took my ID and entered my information. After a few minutes, I was sent to the vaccination line.
With just a handful of people remaining in the room as it was inching past 12 pm, I stepped up to receive my vaccine, handed the worker my card, and rolled up my sleeve. Someone dropped the needle off on her table, as it was one of the last few remaining for the day. I was about to get my miracle.
After being poked, I was sent to the observation room where I was given my appointment date and time for receiving dose #2 and was told to wait 15 minutes to see if I showed any sort of symptoms or side effects before heading home. Sitting in that room, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude and accomplishment. I was so relieved to be partially vaccinated. One more step towards a new normal in today’s world.
If you ever want to have a personal conversation around why I chose to do this or what helped me make my decisions, please feel free to comment below.