Ciara on Building a Community Around Being Pregnant During Covid-19

The mom of two (and soon to be three) shares what it’s like doing schooling on Zoom with baby Future and Sienna.

Ciara. Photograph courtesy of Ciara’s Instagram, @Ciara

To coincide with the launch of W’s stay-at-home Instagram challenge, we reached out to the people for whom a shelter-in-place order is an opportunity for creativity, a call to action.

During a moment when so many celebrities and public figures have been getting it wrong, this eclectic crew has managed to hit all the right quadrants of empathy, humor, creativity, and realness. They’ve been lifting our spirits between all the dark news and the somber moments, reminded us to laugh, provided us with a much-needed distraction from the very real fears and tragedies, and been caring and thoughtful about what they’ve put out into the world. While we can’t compare them to the doctors, nurses and essential workers risking their lives daily, the people who have pivoted to making charitable contributions, stepping up as entertainers, and sharing mental health resources have added something positive.

Ciara is one of millions of mothers-to-be who are navigating the coronavirus pandemic while pregnant, and has used her platform to bring awareness to the issues pertaining to those who are expecting.

See all the people defining quarantine culture here.

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It’s a bit of a loaded question these days, but how are you?

You know, despite it all, I’m actually doing okay. I’m making the most of this time. I’ve been calling it the time of the unknown, because we don’t know when all this is going to end, or what it’s going to lead to. There are just so many uncertainties. I try not to use negative language to talk about it, because I really believe that when it’s all said and done, we’re going to come out from this stronger than ever. So it’s the time of the unknown, and we’re making the best of it, trying to find as many positives as we can in the midst of the storm.

Have you developed a morning routine in quarantine?

You know what? My routine honestly has been very consistent with what’s needed for my kids. The two things I do consistently every day is I have two classes with Future, he’s in kindergarten. And then I also work out. I try to work out every day. I miss a few days, getting on the morning flow, but I’m pretty consistent with my gym now, if I make time and energy that I need to get things rolling. And then I also just take time with my three-year-old Sienna, as well. And then there are conference calls. I’m doing a lot of the same things every day. It’s still going.

Have you had a particularly memorable Zoom call?

That first group call with everyone on it together, from my company and Russell [Wilson’]s company, talking about how we’re gonna continue to keep things moving the best that we can during this time. But honestly, the most memorable Zoom for me is probably the classes that I’m doing with my kids. Seeing them find their way by using technology is fascinating. It’s been very seamless for Future. Sienna’s almost three years old, so she’ll sit in her chair for probably the first 10 minutes and then she finds her way around the room and comes back to the computer. [Laughs.] I’ll always look back at some of these things. They’re precious moments, and really cute. But I do wonder about other parents in this world sometimes, because it’s nonstop. I just go, “Woo.” We talk about the doctors and nurses, but we also really have to talk about and thank the teachers of our world. I’ve always been a super, super avid teacher supporter. The teachers, the coaches, the caretakers—they’re essentially helping you raise your kid. And I think that everyone gets to really see their value and impact in a time like this. Just like the doctors and nurses, I have so much love for teachers right now.

How have you been keeping yourself entertained?

When I’m not working, I’ve really been enjoying a lot of web browsing. Seeing what people are doing can be really fun, or really inspiring or enlightening. I just love laughing. I really love laughing. And I’m always trying to find a happy place, so I’ve been obsessed with funny videos. I also love reading up on Covid. I’m really into the details—even updates from the government. And being a pregnant woman during Covid is fascinating. I’m trying to build a new community with pregnant women, so I’ve created this session on Instagram called Women Wednesdays. This week’s was a call with my obstetrician. I want it to include women in general as well. I want to hear about their relationships—if you and your partner are getting on each other’s nerves—or even get down to a glam level.

Like, I have a fill in and my nails are so behind right now. I’m at almost a half inch between the top of my cuticle to my nail. I literally called my manicurist and asked her for some tips in the mail. [Laughs.] I’ve never done that before, but that’s what I’ve resorted to because I’m a gel nail girl. Right now, I want to understand how we’re all coping and surviving and thriving, as a nation and as a world. Like I said, we’re gonna come out better from this. Even just with technology. My technology game is leveling up right now. [Laughs.] It’s a huge part of how we’re staying connected and thriving right now.

From your perspective, is there enough out there for people who are pregnant? Has anyone in particular been especially helpful to keep up with or follow?

You know, thank god for my doctors. It’s been a blessing to have people in my world who I can trust and go to for information. And that’s why I want to open up a conversation, to hear their concerns and talk to professionals who can educate. There’s not a lot that’s happening to inform us. We’re kind of hearing things in bits and pieces, but this affects a lot of pregnant women. Our immune systems are suppressed, so we’re way more susceptible to being affected by the virus if we come in contact with it. That’s a real thing. And yet we don’t hear as many stories around the pregnant women right now.

Are there any causes or organizations that you’d like to shout out?

I’d definitely like to give a lot of love to mine and Russell’s foundation, the Why Not You Foundation. It’s been an incredible journey for us all. We had to completely alter our plans to adjust to the realities of this time. If you don’t have food, you’re lacking the nutrients and vitamins that you need to survive, so the goal is to provide as many meals as possible. We’re really focused on working with organizations like Feeding America to help people keep food on the table. It’s been really cool to partner with our friend Kenny Dichter. He usually does his company Wheels Up, but he started Meals Up. It’s been a blessing to see so many people out there using their platforms, trying to do whatever they can. And it’s a huge blessing to be able to give during a time like this. I can’t express how grateful I am that we’re in a position to do that.

Who have you found especially inspiring lately?

It gives me great joy that people are finding ways to be creative during all this. Even watching the nurses at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Pennsylvania doing the Level Up challenge and dancing to my song. Videos like that bring me so much inspiration, because they remind you of the great sacrifice that people are making all over the world to take care of people right now. And that they’re finding joy in the midst of the storm. It also reminds you of the power of music. I always say that there are the three M’s—music, money, and medicine—and music’s the most powerful of the three. Music can give you a feeling that money can’t buy.

I also love watching my pastors, being able to make sure I’m staying rooted in the word during this time is very important to me. It gives me hope; it gives me peace. I always say that when times get tough, you have to double down on faith, and that’s believing in what you don’t see. That’s believing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We have to have that attitude, because the truth is, we don’t know when the tunnel is actually going to end.

You know, there’s an article where Bill Gates talks about the coronavirus being the great connector and equalizer, and I agree with that. It doesn’t matter who you are. This virus doesn’t see anything. It doesn’t care how much money you have. It’s an incredible time we’re living in, and the moral to the story is that we’re all in this together. And we will all get through this together. And everybody stay home. [Laughs.] Stay home. It’s working.

Related: Naomi Campbell on the First Thing She’ll Do Once Quarantine Is Over