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Wednesday 23 March 2022

Covid symptoms before vaccines vs after when pregnant

Back in March 2020, at the start of the first lockdown I contracted Corona Virus, or, Covid19 as it is more commonly known. This was before vaccines were available, and even before routine testing - although my symptoms were all in line with covid and became severe enough to warrant a visit from the emergency services. 10 months later I was also diagnosed with 'long covid' as my symptoms and the after affects took such a long time to improve. 
covid symptoms before and after vaccines and whilst pregnant

At the time, I quarantined in my bedroom away from my family for 7 days as per the rules at the time. I have since had both vaccines and a booster jab at 12 weeks pregnant making me 'fully vaccinated'. I am currently 25/26 weeks pregnant with my third child and have (along with the rest of my family) contracted covid again.

During my first bout of covid I started a video diary of my symptoms. I never did publish this video to my YouTube channel as my recovery took such a long time it seemed pointless by the time I felt better! However, looking back at this video has enabled me to create a comparison of day by day symptoms which I have listed in the post below....

Covid symptoms before vaccines and during pregnancy

Day  Covid before vaccines March 2020 Covid when pregnant March 2022
1 Sudden severe headache and nausea.
Aching neck and legs.
Intermittent cough.
Night time fever
Sore throat, feeling like I'm starting with a cold -
LFT test negative
2 Very tight chest.
Difficulty talking.
High temp.
Harder to breathe with a pain in the middle of chest.
Sore throat getting worse -
LFT still negative
3 Night coughing - prickly feeling.
Severe night sweats from neck down.
Lower temperature with less tightness in chest.
Indigestion type pains in chest. 
Positive LFT test.
throat, headache,
cold symptoms.
Feeling tired.
Prickly/choking cough
Night sweats from the neck down.
4 Pain in chest when swallowing or having a drink.
Tight chest when breathing in deeply seems to be getting worse.
Continued night sweats.
Pain in upper back in the middle radiating through from chest.
Hurts to breathe in. 
Feeling worse today - bad cold/flu symptoms.
Very congested.
Prickly cough
Chest feeling tighter.
High temp.
5 Feeling slightly better,
chest still hurts but i can breathe.
Cold symptoms starting with nasal congestion. 
Terrible sinus pains and severe fatigue. Severe cold/flu symptoms. 
6 Severe cold symptoms,
very congested in nose and sinuses.
Severe fatigue. 
Severe fatigue.
Pain around eye.
Stinging/hot eyes.
Sinus pains. 
7 Feeling slightly better but
still tired and in bed all day. 
Feeling slightly better but
still very tired and had indigestion pains in chest in the night and when trying to eat/drink. 
8 First day out of quarantine.
Bad sinus pains and headache.
Teeth and jaw hurting.
Really tired.
Struggling to talk, painful chest.
Hard to breathe. Breathing became worse as the day went on - ended up calling 111 who sent an ambulance out straight away.
Paramedics treated me at home. 
Lower temperature. Feeling a bit better. 
Able to cook dinner and clear away. Chest still tight. Mild headache. Indigestion pain at night.
9 Tight chest ongoing. Breathing difficulties. 
Severe fatigue. Strange night paralysis. 
Up and about. Mild fatigue. Indigestion pains ongoing
10 Chest pain ongoing for months. Dizzy spells as if i'm about to pass out.  Congestion almost gone. Mild fatigue. Indigestion pains.

Long covid symptoms:

After my first bout of Corona Virus, my symptoms lingered for a long time before I was eventually diagnosed with 'long covid' 10 months later. Here are some of the after effects of having covid which I experienced for months:

  • Chest pain
  • Recurring cough ( later PCR tests showed this wasn't a new infection each time)
  • Breathing difficulties - later prescribed an inhaler for covid induced asthma
  • Heart palpitations
  • Strange 'panic attack' symptoms at night - I'd wake unable to breathe, unable to hear properly, my vision would go 'shimmery' and then I'd get uncontrollable shakes.
  • Waking in the night unable to move my arms and legs
  • Substantial hair loss - I'd always had very thick hair and it became so sparse and fell out constantly
  • Constant mouth ulcers
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Brain fog and poor memory
  • Intense headaches
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia (facial nerve pain)
  • Weight gain without any obvious cause
  • Joint and muscular pain which seemed to come and go in cycles like a 'flare up'. 

Effects of covid on pregnancy:

At the moment I don't know if there have been any lasting effects on my pregnancy from contracting covid. I have had to take my oxygen and pulse rate reading 3 times a day for the last few weeks and submit these to the hospital. My pulse rate readings have been flagged as 'high' but as I didn't track my heart rate before now I have no idea how this differs. I also understand that rates can rise during pregnancy anyway.

I will have to have an extra scan in a few weeks to check everything is ok. Covid can bring risks of blood flow/blood clots to the placenta which may not be obvious. Hopefully everything is okay...at the moment baby seems to be very active still which is a good sign! I am getting loads of braxton hicks/tightenings in the evening and afternoon if I do too much...and by 'too much' I don't really mean anything beyond school pick up, making dinner and doing bedtimes! They feel like my body's way of telling me to stop and slow down, again, I have no idea if this would have happened anyway!

I am grateful that I am not quite at 28 weeks yet as I understand the risks increase during the third trimester. I do feel that despite the pregnancy making this illness difficult - it was still nowhere near as bad as the first time I had covid before vaccines were available. I would definitely worry more about contracting covid when pregnant if I weren't vaccinated.

I'll pop back with any updates! x

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