When you become pregnant whether it’s for the first, second, third or more times, you worry both rationally and irrationally. Instinct combined with hormones and fatigue later on in pregnancy can further cloud your judgement. For the most part though worrying is natural and inbuilt to help protect our babies.
When I was pregnant with my first baby I worried about things that were out of my control and having spoken to other mums-to-be and new mums it’s that sense of being out of control that has a huge impact on their state of mind. It can be dentrimental long after birth and stay with them for weeks, months or even years so it’s important to take a step back and look at ways to counteract those feelings.
My son was a Christmas baby born on the 23rd December 2018 via a c-section. The lead up to having Freddie was magical, we had a planned date so we were able to plan lots of Christmas activites and make the most of the time left as just husband and wife.
Although having a baby at Christmas is lovely there’s a huge expectation to go for Christmas drinks, to go to family gatherings and to host people. What we wanted was to enjoy our first moments as a new family and to have our first Christmas together.
There’s also a lot of common illnesses around at that time of year and even though you know the likelihood of them becoming seriously ill is minimal you can’t help but worry. The thought of your tiny baby suffering with even a cold in those early weeks is hard for any new mum to comprehend. Coronavirus is a whole new level of worry for many mums-to-be.
Pregnancy during Covid19
My second pregnancy has been a completely different experience. This time I knew what to expect and I fell pregnant when my son was just six months old so I really didn’t have time to overthink things. As it’s probably going to be my last I was, however, determined to have a ‘positive’ experience. I signed up to do hypnobirthing with The Positive Birth Project which was invaluable later on in pregnancy along with a couple of exercise classes with Pop Fitness and the Little Therapy Space. If you are fit and able, exercise during pregnancy and postnatally is probably the best thing you can do for health and well-being.
I found out about Coronavirus in my third trimester. With so much information on the news and on social media but little information about Coronavirus during pregnancy or in newborns, it was obviously a big worry! (please see a report by GOSH). It also took people, businesses and services a while to realise the seriousness of the virus.
As soon as the government announced ‘lockdown’ everything changed. It felt like there was a big shift in peoples behaviour, more restrictions were implemented, my husband stopped working and it became ok to say ‘no’ to social events and 100% isolate.
We had a few weeks before our babies arrival in isolation and it was perfect. I spring cleaned the house, we decorated our sons room, we did some gardening, I had time to enjoy being creative and we finished all the little odd jobs we haven’t had time to do. I even managed to catch up with friends more than normal, I finished my hypnobirthing course and I continued to take part in exercise classes- all via Zoom. Most importantly we limited the amount we watched on the news, relaxed, enjoyed a slower pace of life and spent some overdue quality time with our son and as a family in the spring sun.
Going to hospital…
I was booked in to have a c-section on the 9th April 2020. I’d had a few wobbles during the pandemic but as the date got closer I started to worry about the practicalities of going to hospital; who I would ask to look after our son as a handful of friends and family were self isolating and I felt for my husband because at that stage we didn’t know if he would be allowed to come into the operation.
Going to have my c-section was a strange experience but one I wouldn’t change. I revisited everything I had been taught during hypnobirthing so I arrived at hospital at 7am in a positve frame of mind. The car park and corridors were empty, it was the first time I’d been out to social distance, access to the hospital was limited and the hospital staff had masks and gloves on so the reality of the virus became very real.
I knew there would be a wait before the operation so my husband took our son to a close friends and then went home. The nurses were good at updating us on an ETA so it gave us time to relax, FaceTime, talk to friends and family and I even managed to sleep for a bit too!
The experience was very similar to my first c-section but as I looked out the window I could see staff being swabbed and I overheard the midwives talking, they said there was over 530 members of staff off work with symptoms so they were relying heavily on student nurses and volunteers. I wasn’t concerned though as they had taken so many precautions to protect their patients, if anything I felt completely at ease in their hands.
As I was taken to the operating theatre, my husband was waiting in his surgical gown, hat and mask. It was really good to see him and it suddenly felt very real- we were about to have a baby!
The operation was exactly the same as my first c-section. It didn’t take long and out came a healthy little girl, Millie! Any anxiety that you have going into hospital fades away when you meet your newborn for the first time. My husband was only allowed in for the operation so he held her first and for almost all the time he was there so he could enjoy as much time with her as possible. It was really nice to see him embracing the time they had together.
The rest of the day/ evening was a special time. I spent most of it FaceTiming my husband and son which I loved, I chatted to friends and family and I enjoyed time with our new baby!
We arrived home with nothing to do but enjoy our new family. We’ve had time to recover, adjust to two babies, protect our family as much as possible and to give both babies lots of love and attention.
We have spent a lot of time in the garden in the spring sun and although family and friends are yet to meet our new arrival, we have spoken to everyone that matters more often and if anything I feel a lot closer to them and much more grateful for all their love and support.
For now we will continue to enjoy our own little bubble, make the happiest memories that we will cherish forever and enjoy every second with our babies and as a family. The perfect start to parenthood.
Thank you to the Midwives & to the NHS…