NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - It's a trend that sometimes happens after blizzards, long power outages or whenever couples have a lot of time to kill and not much to do. 

Many people joked that COVID stay-at-home orders would lead to a new nationwide baby boom.

But some researchers predict we might see the exact opposite.

Shelby Parker is the mother of a two-year-old girl.

She and her husband Ben had hoped to deliver little Abby a sister or brother fairly soon. 

"We always kind of imagined having two kids, having them just a couple years apart,” Parker said.

But when the pandemic hit, it changed everything.

"It just felt irresponsible — to bring a kid into this world," she said.

A lockdown-inspired baby boom some predicted now appears to be a baby bust.  

“I think that it just comes down to people are not able to afford, both in terms of money but also emotionally, to plan to have kids right now,” said Eliana Dockterman, staff writer at Time magazine.

The Brookings Institution estimates this year could see a dip from 2019 approaching 300,000 fewer births.

With jobs and healthcare uncertain plus the threat of contracting COVID in the hospital, it appears many couples are trying not to conceive.

"I think many women just got very exhausted and thought to themselves, ‘Can I take on the demands of a pregnancy or the demands of newborn care?’" said Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D., chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

For Shelby Parker, right now the family feels incomplete.

“I am so incredibly grateful for the beautiful healthy daughter that I have,” she said. “But, you know, you have this picture of a family in your head. And I always pictured my family with two kids.”

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