This is my story of how I became a mum. Being a first time parent is hard enough, but becoming a parent during COVID-19 pandemic is harder still.
New Mum in Lockdown 2020
I went into labour within the first few weeks of lockdown. As I’m based in Essex, luckily we didn’t have as many cases as in other parts of the UK but we were cautious going into an empty hospital anyway.
Long story short, although I managed to dilate 5cm and the midwife broke my water so that labour is quicker for me (it was midnight and I’ve been in labour for over 24h) she finally figured out that I was breach. How 4 other midwives missed that my baby was upside down before this is beyond me.
My baby boy being upside down mean the doctors recommended an emergency C section. Due to my extensive research into types of labour, I knew it was my last resort so I bargained for another couple of hours to give birth naturally which they granted (begrudgingly.) They gave me some unrealistic dilation targets but obviously, with midwives and doctors coming in and out of the room, prodding me with needles and monitoring me with machinery, I didn’t dilate further. I was taken in for a gentle C section, where LUCKILY my husband was able to come with me.
What Happened In the First Days of My New Baby’s Life
Due to lockdown, we had no midwife or health visitor come to our house. I did get a phone call but it’s hard to know what you don’t know and actually, perhaps if they saw me physically then we wouldn’t have had a weight issue on day 6.
He is currently 8 months and they haven’t checked he is OK since the last time I went to our local clinic for a check up when baby boy was at around 2 months.
Currently, I have new-mum friends who believe they’ve been let down by the system unfortunately. The GP told them they can’t take their baby in to see the doctor for overweight questions as it’s not urgent whilst others, including myself were not told that babies need vitamins at particular stages of development.
Most of all though, lockdown was hard for me when family couldn’t see baby boy and we couldn’t get the support our family wanted to give us as first time parents. A simple hug would have made all the difference, especially because I didn’t have the birth I had hoped for.
The Positive things that came from the COVID-19 Pandemic
My husband was furloughed. Although financially this meant he was worse off, the fact that he was able to extend his paternity from 3 weeks to several months meant we could spend the time as a family and he didn’t have to miss his son growing up.
We had daily virtual calls with family and friends. Whether this was for a catch up, to watch a movie together or for parenting support, it was nice to socialise daily, without leaving the comfort of our homes. Of course it would have been nice to see everyone physically but also as a new parent, this wasn’t as exhausting as I’ve heard others suggest that it usually is.
This brings me to say that actually, not having anybody come to our house meant I was able to focus my time on breastfeeding without feeling embarrassed (we had weight issues at the beginning which meant we were topping up with formula, which then meant he preferred the bottle until I trained him back onto the boob.) We also were able to settle in with a newborn and as a family.
I didn’t see the inside of a shop for a few months because my husband did it all to protect us. It was scary but refreshing at the same time.
Most of all, we loved spending time as a little family and enjoyed our daily dog walks which then became a special occasion.
I did a video (below) and you’ll see I got emotion about everything, unexpectantly. WATCH BELOW and please don’t forget to comment!