Weeks away from giving birth to her first child, Winnipeg singer Leanne Pearson found herself recovering in hospital after COVID-19.
It could have been a time to put the finishing touches on a kindergarten. Instead, Pearson was admitted to the Health Sciences Center during the 38th week of pregnancy.
“On New Year’s Eve, I was very ill with difficulty breathing and coughing,” she says. “I’ve been avoiding covid for two years, and just when my health means the most to not only me but my baby, it was not a good diagnosis.”
Like many right now, with the Omicron variant exploding in Manitoba, she had been given COVID-19. The biggest difference for the country artist – she was in her third trimester.
“I had trouble breathing, and when you’re pregnant, you have to breathe to get oxygen to the baby. So the concern was, is the baby getting enough oxygen?”
In total, she visited HSC three times. She was also diagnosed with shingles and laryngitis.
“I started going down pretty fast,” she says. “I was hit pretty hard.”
There is no handbook for what she had experienced, she explains.
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“If I would google, 38 weeks pregnant, covid, with shingles, respiratory problems, a mixture of laryngitis – it just does not come up.”
Despite the uncertain times, she says there was a glimmer of positivity.
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“I had just come home from the hospital and was lying in bed, really sick, and my husband is looking at me and saying, ‘Isn’t it release day?'”
Pearson’s new single “Little Man” describes the unknown of first-time parenting.
“We listened to the song on the morning of the release and we both had tears in our eyes,” she says. “The timing could not have been more crazy.”
But Pearson has been positive throughout, and it continues to shine through. She says she is on the road to recovery.
“Being calm, especially in situations like this, is only helpful,” she said. “Every day, we hope, is better.”
“Before I could not even get through a conversation, I was suffocated, I could not breathe, now I sit back with a lot of congestion.”
She hopes the baby does not arrive earlier than January 21, to give her time to recover even more in the meantime.
“I left the hospital the other day and the nurse said to me, ‘No more quarrels okay?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s the plan!’
Manitoba shared health information
As of December 19, 2021, Shared Health says they no longer track how many pregnant women test positive for COVID-19.
However, between the beginning of the pandemic and mid-December 2021, they say 970 women indicated being pregnant when they tested positive.
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