We recently chatted with social media influencer Gingy Pants. She’s been nearing the end of her pregnancy amid the coronavirus pandemic, on top of working as a registered nurse. Read our full conversation to learn more about her incredible story.
- Why the name “Gingy Pants?”
My nickname in high school was “Heathie Pants”. The other half is my husband, who has red hair and would always refer to himself as a “Ginger.” So, when we started dating we would refer to ourselves as “Gingy pants.” It was even our wedding #hashtag.
Initially, @Gingypants was a place for me to obnoxiously share our life together, pregnancy and growing family, so our friends could follow along on our journey!
- How did you get started in nursing?
Initially, I was interested in a different career, but sincere words from my guidance counselor always stuck with me. Knowing that someone believed I had the potential to further my education and become a nurse really fueled me to pursue a career where I could put my compassion and caring personality to use. I have always had a deep love for science and helping people, so nursing was a perfect fit.
Leading up to nursing school, I did not have any experience in the healthcare field. Once clinicals started, I fell deeper in love with the thought of becoming a floor nurse.
- What challenges did you face being pregnant and a nurse? It’s a stressful job, with lots of time on your feet. How did you navigate it?
Working as a nurse has been very stressful for me physically, being in my third trimester of pregnancy. As we know, pregnancy generally causes women to feel short of breath and exhausted. Having to wear a mask and face shield on top of that for eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, makes working exceptionally more difficult. Emotionally, things have definitely taken a toll on myself and everyone I am working with. Pregnancy hormones, on top of a pandemic, makes things more difficult and has me feeling more anxious than ever.
- Being pregnant AND a nurse during COVID-19 must have been a pretty scary situation. How did you plan?
The hardest and most stressful part of the COVID-19 pandemic was at the start feeling like a deer in headlights, pregnant and scared. Worried for my unborn child, myself, and my family as all facilities everywhere tried to figure out the most effective way to protect their employees and patients. The most stressful part was not knowing how the virus would affect a mother and her unborn child.
Initially, there were no “Policies in Place” regarding expecting mothers. After verbalizing my concerns, my facility decided to not assign me patients that had tested positive for the virus. Yet, there were no policies or guidelines in place for suspected cases or patients that may have had the virus.
As of right now, we test everyone coming into our facility. Patients that have tested negative after a nasopharyngeal swab are then admitted to the unit I am working on. It is also mandatory for all employees, including dietary, nursing, therapy, and office workers, to wear a mask and face shield during working hours. All patients are given masks to wear when employees enter their rooms or during therapy. There is also a “No Visitors Allowed” policy as of right now.
In terms of protecting my own wellbeing, I strip out of my hospital clothing as soon as I get home from work, put my uniform directly in the washer, and jump right in the shower. I am constantly aware of where my hands are, what I am touching, and who is around me. Every day, coming home is difficult as I dodge my husband, toddler, and their warm, welcoming hugs and kisses.
I’ve been doing somewhat of a “meditation” during my daily “after-work showers” to stay positive and resilient during this crisis. I try to relax, close my eyes, and let the hot water hit the back of my head. The steam helps clear my nose and allows me to breath normally. I try to let go of the day and all my worries. I think of my shower after work as clocking out mentally, so I can have a relaxed evening with my family, safe in our home together.
- Bringing a new little girl into the world, what message would you want everyone to hear right now?
I am so extremely saddened by events happening in our country right now. I stand for justice, equality and peace. I believe that parents have a massive responsibility to help end racism. Quoted by Nelson Mandela, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.” I hope to raise my children as educated, respectful & loving individuals. I am praying for change.
You can learn more about her story on her Instagram page @GingyPants. She’s always uploading videos to YouTube about what it’s like to be a pregnant nurse during the pandemic.