julianna l.

My husband Paul and I have been trying to have a baby for 15 years and have done every fertility test and treatment you can think of. About 4 years ago now we did two rounds of IVF with a top doctor in the field who we loved and trusted, and both times our little embryos never even made it to the phase where they could be implanted to even attempt getting pregnant. It was then that our doctor told us he had no idea what was wrong but his best guess was that something was wrong with my eggs and at this point using an egg donor would be our best option if we wanted to get pregnant. Paul and I were a wreck, and thought our dreams of having our own children were over.

At the same time, Paul was losing his job and needed to find a new one ASAP — and that’s when he was offered an amazing opportunity for a job that would ultimately move us to China. So we said fuck it, let’s go have an adventure in China!

Fast forward to January of 2020 when Covid hit China and we went into lockdown. In China you were not allowed to leave your home unless you were grocery shopping or going to a medical appointment and everything was shut down. That’s when our little miracle happened and — during quarantine in China — I found out I was pregnant! We were in shock and immediately contacted our fertility doctor and he was as shocked as we were and recommended I get back to the U.S. ASAP and he would monitor my pregnancy. So I got on a flight the day before all travel stopped from China and made it out of the country, leaving my husband (who couldn’t leave because of his job) and everything behind.

The next three months were filled with joy and fear, being monitored and checking our baby constantly, but once I hit 15 weeks my doctor had nothing but great things to say and assured us that we were having a healthy baby and my pregnancy was going perfectly! At this point Covid had hit the U.S. and we were in lockdown here and it was impossible for my husband to travel from China back home here. I was due November 1st, and my husband was finally able to fly from China back here to be with me in October, just in the nick of time to welcome our beautiful baby boy!

Paul left everything we had in China, including our dog and cat, and it was our “plan” to go back to China at the beginning of 2021 with our new little baby … but with Covid still upsetting the world, China would not allow me and the baby to travel back to China with my husband, and he had to get a new special visa to even attempt to go back, and once there go through almost a month’s worth of quarantine. That was obviously not ideal because Paul and I did not want our new little family separated, so he began searching for a new job, and ended up finding a great job here in San Diego near his family, whom we love and adore.

We just got our things back from China, but our animals are still there with friends of ours and we are still trying to get them back here with us. The expat community we had in China is amazing, and with so many people who have stories like ours of being separated during the pandemic, everyone has rallied together to help each other. When Paul flew here back in October he brought two people’s dogs with him who also got stuck in the U.S. and couldn’t get back.

This has definitely been a wild ride and I would have thought you were crazy if you told me that this is the turn our life would take. But we have learned so much in the last year and a half, and have been blessed as much as we have been challenged. So, there you have our crazy story of getting pregnant during the pandemic in China and having a baby during the pandemic here in the U.S.. It’s been a wild ride for sure!

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