As we all know, COVID-19 has affected us all. Whether you were furloughed from work, your children’s school closed or even fighting your way into the shop to find some toilet roll, it really has been hard. With another lockdown on the way, it’s safe to say 2020 has been a write off. I don’t know who will really read this but I just wanted to share my experiences.
I found out I was pregnant early February, I was so happy that the talks of COVID-19 slipped my mind and I planned for the future ahead. Back in January we didn’t know how bad it was going to be.
Pregnant people were put into the vulnerable category as pregnant women can sometimes be more at risk from viruses like flu so I know I needed to be careful, especially working in a pharmacy! Thankfully I have a fantastic manager who managed to find me a job out the back away from the public, eliminating infection as much as possible. However, the UK went into lockdown on the 23rd March and I was furloughed until my maternity leave started.
Being pregnant in a pandemic was so lonely. You were cut off from family and friends, relying only on chatting via FaceTime or Zoom. I feel sorry for anyone going at it alone or for the first time. You couldn’t take anyone with you to appointments or scans which was honestly upsetting. We were lucky and our baby was growing well and had no health issues but what if there was? That mother is on her own possibly hearing some horrible news. As of now the fathers can go to the 12 and 20 week scans thankfully.
I have been lucky. I had no complications so all of my appointments with the midwife were at my local midwife run clinic so I could avoid going into hospital and subsequently avoid COVID-19 as much as possible.
During lockdown (and during my pregnancy), most hospitals had some restrictions during labour. The birthing partner had to wait until the mother went into ‘established’ labour (which was 3cms or more) before jointing her in the delivery room. Maaaannny people were not happy with this as some women labour very quickly and the birthing partner could miss the birth entirely. After birth, the mother would be moved into the post natal ward and the birthing partner would have to leave. They wouldn’t even be let back in, only collecting the mother and baby from the hospital entrance when discharged. For a first time mum this must have been so scary!
When I went into labour the restrictions were lifted slightly. They allowed strict visiting times at two hour intervals. However my labour was so quick (10 minutes!!) that my husband could come straight into the delivery room with me and support me through the quick ordeal. He was even allowed to stay with us as we never left the delivery room, we were discharged 7 hours later as I was fine and dandy!
Post birth, things did feel a lot different the second time around. I still had my post natal care at my local midwife led unit but on my own and when we needed to be admitted into to hospital for jaundice we couldn’t have any visitors. There are no baby groups on due to COVID so it was very lonely. Even my health visitor appointments were done via video call.
For me, it has settled down now and we have built a routine. However, from tomorrow we are back into lockdown for a month and I hope all the mothers-to-be or new mums can know that they are not alone and to reach out for help if needed.
Let’s hope we can control COVID and get back to normality. I miss my friends and can’t wait to catch up properly for a G&T!
Bespoke Buckley xx