In our lifetime, we’ve never seen anything like the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it seems as though the whole world has come to a standstill, life, in many ways still carries on, and that includes women bringing babies into the world.
Having a baby is a time of joy, excitement and connection. But when hospitals become an uncertain space and social distancing separates us from our loved ones, it can seem almost overwhelming. Some brave mummas-to-be share their stories with us, their experiences during the pandemic, their worries, fears and their hopes for them and their babies.
Cara, first time mum, 22 weeks
This pregnancy has been really different from how I had imagined our first baby to be brought into this world. There is a lot of disappointment that we won’t be able to experience things the same ways we may have if this wasn't happening. I am still internally grateful for this little bub and always will be but still can't help but feel a little sad that we miss out.
Not as planned…
Our appointments with our obstetrician have been changed to video chat or phone calls only until 29 weeks unless you're high risk or you are worried about something. That’s been really hard for me as I have been a little anxious about how baby is doing after having some difficulties getting and staying pregnant in the past.
For our 20-week ultrasound unfortunately because of restrictions my partner wasn't allowed to be there, which was really sad but they recorded the whole thing for us and we were able to watch it at home together. It’s things like that that are making this time harder and very different to what we imagined.
We are planning on having a hospital birth as I need to have a caesarean because of other health issues. I not only want but NEED my partner to be there as I could never imagine being able to go through it alone and don't think that women should ever be forced to.
Bringing baby home…
I would love (and hope this might still be able to happen) to have our family and friends visit and meet our baby at the hospital. I also hope that our little bub will be delivered safely and surrounded by love.
I have been a little worried anxious about how things will be after the birth. I am trying not to think about it too much though as so much can change in that time and I hope we are in a much better place if we continue how we are now.
I really hope that we can at least have our family and close friends meet our baby once we are home, being our first baby and the first grandchild, it would be very difficult/sad if this couldn't happen. I have everything crossed that if people continue to do the right thing, things will be much improved.
We are strong…
I hope that other women going through the same thing know that they aren't alone in how they feel. This is an extraordinary situation to be in and when we all get through it, we will be able to look back and be so proud of ourselves and of how strong we were.
Jess, first time mum, 33 weeks
This photo of Jess is taken on the day that she was meant to celebrate her shower with friends and family.
Change, uncertainty, anxiety…
This pregnancy has been a mixed bag of emotion to be honest. Being our first pregnancy I've been overwhelmed with anxiety and fear in general, with limited support from my friends during my maternity leave due to the social distancing.
What I also hadn't anticipated was the uncertainty, with no access to prenatal classes and other support it’s created an even more confusing time.
Being the age of social media has lessened this anxiety a little with support groups and video guides, however I'm somewhat going in blind and with ever changing hospital rules (as of last week hubby is no longer allowed to attend ultrasounds or prenatal appointments) the clinical support seems somewhat less accessible.
On a selfish note though it is nice having my husband home with me on maternity leave for support and to have plenty of time spare to be prepared for her arrival well in advance.
We have had a few hiccups with our girl eager to arrive well before her due date. We are now at 33 weeks and of a 'safe' cook time if she manages to join us early but since 22 weeks we have been at frequent extra hospital visits. So, when the covid restrictions came into place we noticed a huge change in those visits. Whilst we have been well looked after there has been a bit of a lack of consistency with resources obviously needed elsewhere.
We need our support crew more than ever….
We’re planning to have our little girl in the hospital - my ideal birth plan would have been for hubby to be in the room with all our family and friends ready in the waiting room to meet our little miracle and share in our bundle of joy. The last few months have changed that somewhat and I will be happy for her to arrive safely with daddy in the room.
Though with talks on social media groups it's difficult to know if baby daddy will be able to be in the room (it seems to change from hospital to hospital) and that thought is petrifying. My husband has always been very involved in our daughter's impending arrival, attending every appointment. He is my biggest support. The prospect of him missing her birth would definitely mean re-assessing our birth plan.
Both mine and my partner's mothers both passed away recently, and we are already very emotional about what this means for our support network. To be without family and friends is such a daunting thought, with such high hopes of our little one’s arrival feeling as though it's being put on hold. It does feel a little like being cheated out of milestones- baby shower, hospital first meetings, our nieces and nephews holding her while she's a newborn... We are just trying to be positive and look at it as protecting her until it's safe for her to join this new world.
What I want to tell my little girl…
When my hormones kick in and I'm feeling overwhelmed and alone, I like to think that once this is all over we will have stories of before the pandemic, where people took one another and the glorious earth we live on for granted.
I hope to be able to tell our little one that she was born in a time where we all collectively paused to look after one another and re-learn our ways. To slow down and work towards what's important with appreciation and mindfulness.