What was it like having a baby in lockdown? Two Mums spill the beans...
Welcoming a baby into the world can be daunting at the best of times, but with the UK having been in lockdown and social distancing being practiced, entering new parenthood during the pandemic was decidedly different from the norm!
From virtual hellos to industrial amounts of anti-bac, this is life with a new-born in 2020.
Welcome to our blog Tanya and Anna and congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous boys! How far along were you when lockdown was announced?
T: 35 weeks
A: Roughly 32 weeks
What did you think when you first realised your babies would be born in the pandemic?
T: Why is this happening to me? Will my partner be allowed at the birth, will we all be ok?
A: I was a bit apprehensive and uncertain, particularly about the birth and how the pandemic would affect it.
Once we started to realise how serious the disease was, how did things change for you and your pregnancy journey?
T: I had to attend hospital visits alone and found them quite scary. I just couldn’t believe this was happening during my first pregnancy and I felt very lonely in isolation at home.
A: I had fewer face to face midwife appointments than with my first baby, but they were always contactable by phone, as were the hospital. Any concerns I had in the last trimester the hospital dealt with. I still had my 41 week appointment face to face which was beneficial as they decided to induce the baby.
If you had medical appointments during the peak, did these go ahead as planned? How were they different to a usual trip to the doctors?
T: Yes, they all went ahead as planned, but towards the end I was quite large and struggling to walk, not being able to have anyone with me to help was quite challenging to say the least.
A: My final midwife appointment at 41 weeks was a little different, there were less people in the waiting room, the appointments were more on time compared to ones before the pandemic and the midwife had to wear a mask and plastic apron.
So, how did you prepare for your new arrival at home? I imagine with all the extra time we spent at home you probably started “nesting” early!
T: It was actually a little stressful! I was in the middle of getting the babies nurseries ready, then all of a sudden, the shops shut and trying to buy online was disastrous because the delivery timeframes were too long and products were sold out, so unfortunately the nursery wasn’t finished in time!
A: I had extra time to clean, sort and prepare our home. I also had extra time to spend with my toddler to help prepare him for meeting his baby brother.
Did you manage to have a baby shower of some sorts? We hear virtual baby showers were all the rage?!
T: Thankfully I had a gender reveal party late February. We all felt so lucky to get this day in.
A: No, but that was no different to what I did for my first baby.
What was the best piece of pregnancy advice you received?
T: Sleep when the babies sleep, which I have only managed to do a few times!
A: "Don’t over plan your birth as you never know what’s going to happen” . I was told this during my first pregnancy. Going in with this attitude prepares you for anything and avoids any disappointment. This was even more so important during Covid 19.
Talk us through the day the boys were born, it must have been very surreal? At what stage was your other half allowed to join you?
T: When the day came for my c section, I had to be dropped off at the hospital at 6 am to be ready for 11/12pm. I was heartbroken that I had to be on my own until the actual c section, particularly as these were my first babies. My partner was allowed to join me as we went to theatre then had to leave shortly after.
A: My labour was induced and I had to go in on my own. As soon as the contractions began and I was moved to the labour ward my husband was allowed to join immediately. He had to leave shortly after the birth but we were lucky to have a couple of hours beforehand thanks to the wonderful staff at Frimley Park Hospital. I was then moved to the post-natal ward where it was just me and the baby, although I had been apprehensive about this time the reality was quite different. I found these to be cherished moments where I could spend valuable time bonding with my new baby.
How do you feel about your little ones not being introduced to your family and friends for the first couple of months? How did you stay in touch?
T: To be honest, initially I felt really sad and wanted everyone to see my beautiful boys. Luckily though, we had a lot of FaceTimes and visits to the windows.
A: This was difficult at first and we kept in touch via FaceTime and phone calls. However, we quickly came to realise that in having no visitors, we had a much calmer, happier and contented baby.
Tanya, tell us about Teddy and Noah? Are there any obvious differences in their personalities ?
T: Yes they look the same, but their beautiful personalities are already very different. Teddy is very demanding and loves cuddles and won’t wait whereas Noah is very relaxed and chilled and will let his brother feed first. Teddy is definitely a mummies boy and Noah is a Daddies boy.
And Anna, how does little Harry compare to his big brother?
A: Teddy was more demanding and fractious as a newborn but Harry has been calm and slept much better. Ironically, whilst every birth is different, I believe the pandemic situation has helped foster a calmer, happy newborn and made the journey from womb to real world all the easier.What baby essentials couldn’t you live without and why?
T: Infacol for colic, it’s a life saver in the evening, and lots of Bloomsbury Mill muslins, we need them everywhere because feed times are never ending and Teddy is often sick.
A: Our Sleepyhead and our Bloomsbury Mill muslins which are so soft and versatile.
Lastly, what is the best thing about being a Mum?
T: Definitely double the amount of kisses, smiles and giggles. Seeing these two boys develop daily is so rewarding. I miss them so much when they are sleeping.
A: When your child beams back at you and tells you that they love you.
And there you have it, the low down on lockdown babies!