Readers’ Commentary Regarding people having a harder time celebrating positive happenings in their life (March 11):
“This is true for me and my partner, mid-thirties, expecting our first child at the end of April. While we’re very excited for this momentous occasion, a little grey cloud hangs over us.
“Because of the pandemic, my spouse has been unable to attend any doctor appointment or ultrasounds; we’ve been unable to attend prenatal classes in person; can’t visit the hospital where I’ll give birth; and can’t fully celebrate with all our friends and family.
“There’s a difficult choice in only allowing immediate family into our home to meet our baby.
“While we know others have these restrictions, we feel very alone.
“Yes, we could celebrate digitally but most of our older relatives aren’t tech-savvy. There are online prenatal classes but no opportunity for comradeship with others experiencing the same thing.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to afford a private 3D ultrasound so my spouse could glimpse his daughter but think how many families cannot do this.
“While we know we’re making the best choice for our family’s safety, it’s extremely difficult to tell a new grandparent they must wait even longer to meet their grandchild (they’ve been understanding so far).
“I know we’re more fortunate than many. But I won’t deny or downplay the experiences that we soon-to-be parents are having (and also missing out on).”
Pregnant in a Pandemic
Congratulations! You’re on the threshold of a lifetime experience of giving birth to your first baby.
Though these past months of pregnancy included some restrictions, the reasons were obvious and unchallengeable: the pandemic had to take precedence.
This was for the sake of your health and that of the baby in your womb, plus your husband, family members and the friends you’d otherwise have invited to a celebratory gathering.
Meanwhile, the people you care about are still excited about the coming birth. The grandparents can see their granddaughter on their cell phones’ Facetime, and they’ll soon be waving at her even from a distance. They don’t want any risks either.
This baby will be born into history as part of a generational cohort begun a year after the pandemic was declared... a time when vaccines produced in record time were being injected to increase the safety of as many people as possible.
Your daughter will grow up learning how lucky she was in her timing! Chase away that “little grey cloud” and be grateful.
Three generations of my family have struggled with mental health issues, even with EHC plans (which identify educational/health/social needs and offer additional support).
I’ve worked for companies with EAP support, that is, employee benefit programs that assist with personal problems, and work-related programs that affect performance/health/mental and emotional well-being.
But you can only get three or four sessions (OHIP will cover more if you can actually get a referral).
My husband and I make a reasonable income, but we can’t afford paid mental health services. My brother committed suicide after he fought for years to find help.
Look for specific options... you’ll find they’re sadly lacking.
Yes, the findings require research. Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) may provide direction/referrals.
Short-term counselling and referrals are available through some specific employers such as Toronto Public Service (416-392-6633 or TTY 416-338-2916 – 24/7).
In Hamilton, the Barrett Centre for Crisis Support, offers confidential/free services 24-7, 905-529-7878. Also,
Community Support Services for Women and Children offers counselling, learning effective anti-violence in families, legal advocate 905-523-8895.
Ever since first grade (1972), I've wanted to write like Ernest Hemingway - the terse sentences, his shocking descriptions of bullfights and war.
The only issue I had regarding that dream of gaining fame, wealth, and a Nobel Prize for literature was the teacher I had who took forever just getting us kids to learn how to print.
How can I get the Toronto Star to give me cash to go to Europe and write about the Rijksmuseum in Holland?
I’d love to encourage a budding writer, though it’s curious that you carried a six-year-old’s dream until age 55, to first seeking payment up front.
The usual route is to study through journalism courses what’s involved in reporting accurate news and writing clear information, then to write as often, as much and evocatively as you can.
Then, you submit your freelance copy and hope someone wants to publish it. True talent will show, so good luck.
Tip of the day:
Despite pandemic restrictions, be grateful for whatever’s been positive.