When Aimee discovered that her toddler, Abby, had contracted COVID-19 while at childcare, it came as a shock.
“Before her, I didn’t know anyone who had COVID-19,” she tells Mamamia.
Aimee also knew that chances were, it would only be a matter of time until she would receive a positive diagnosis too.
Unfortunately, she was right.
“My partner, Hugh and I contracted COVID-19 within a week from caring for Abby in isolation. It’s impossible to socially distance from a toddler!”
While the situation was hard enough she says, to add further complexity, Aimee was also 30 weeks pregnant with her second child.
Aimee was double vaccinated when she contracted COVID-19 which thankfully offered her some relief and reassurance.
This positive opinion of the COVID-19 vaccination though, was not something she always possessed; instead, Aimee was initially hesitant to have the vaccine while pregnant.
WATCH: COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnancy. Post continues below.
“My hesitancy came from the lack of historical evidence from the vaccines. There were no pregnant people in Australia who had been vaccinated and given birth showing the babies weren’t adversely affected,” she explains.
Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC) is the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.
This apprehension is something that GEN VIC explain is quite common for women and gender diverse people because historically, “research about how medical treatments impact [these groups] are often unclear” due to gender biased testing.
However, advocacy by women's health organisations has meant that the COVID-19 vaccines have been tested for people of all genders.
GEN VIC confirm: “With coronavirus vaccines we now know how they impact people across genders, including pregnant women [and gender-diverse people]."
This testing was what ultimately changed Aimee’s mind (along with "some wise words" from her mum).
“I was lucky my mother as a nurse was able to research and provide reassurance around this being safe for the baby. My only regret is not getting the vaccine sooner,” she says.
For Aimee and her family, their COVID-19 symptoms were only mild, something she attributes to the effectiveness of the vaccine.
“I feel very fortunate I was double vaccinated at the time of exposure. We were all very lucky to just get mild symptoms of blocked sinuses and headaches, much like a standard cold. I personally believe it hugely reduced the severity of symptoms,” she says.
While physically, Aimee felt okay, contracting COVID-19 was emotionally challenging.
“The stress of getting COVID, three weeks of isolation with a toddler and trying to keep up with work before heading on maternity leave definitely impacted my mental health and sleep.
“We were very lucky to have lovely supportive friends drop off food and toys which made the world of difference. We just focused on getting through each day.”