Motherhood in a Global Pandemic
Last year, Covid 19 rules meant expectant mothers faced being alone for baby scans, appointments, and giving birth. As a mother, I could imagine how frightening these circumstances must have been for pregnant women and new mothers, as well as their families. During the course of the pandemic the guidance has changed but for many families, it has been an emotional journey. There are several destinations now for Mums to talk about their journey, which we think is super important. Below are a couple of stories from our followers we thoughts you might like to read/share – tell us your story or take a look at a recently launched forums where you can talk with other Mums that have been through a similar journey.
“I found out that I was pregnant the day that lockdown was announced, the initial excitement quickly turned to fear as we were told to “stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives”. Being pregnant was terrifying at that time as nobody could tell you the impact that Covid could have on the growing baby. I worked from home throughout my pregnancy, as a nurse I found it tough not being able to respond when the calls came out for nurses with ITU experience.
Pregnancy was a very lonely time, as I couldn’t share in the excitement and preparation with my family and friends. Even my husband was largely excluded as he was not allowed to attend any of my maternity appointments, I remember bursting into tears at my first scan when they found the babies heartbeat, I had become so fearful of being told when alone in the hospital that something was wrong with the baby and then having to relay that to my husband in the car park where he was waiting for news.
As the pregnancy went on I developed preeclampsia, this led to many hours alone in maternity triage being assessed and monitored. While I cannot fault the medical and midwifery team for their kindness and compassion, all I wanted was my husband by my side.
At the time of Avril's birth, we had just entered the second lockdown period and we tried to see it as a babymoon of sorts and allowed us the time to bond and find our rhythm as a new family of four with Jessica taking to her big sister role like a superstar. Soon I hope that Avril and I will have the opportunity to begin attending some in-person baby groups, I am sure that we will both benefit from meeting others. Luckily Avril will not remember any of this and thankfully our family and friends have come through the other side.”
“When the pandemic hit, my husband and I had lived in the USA for only six months, Belgium and Germany, the countries that we respectively are from and worked in, were hit by the pandemic before us. We had only just discussed our pregnancy when President Trump put the travel ban from Europe to the USA in place. Little did we know then that it would have so many long-term consequences for us. We had to announce our pregnancy with video calls, and a lot of the special moments you normally share with family during and after pregnancy could not go through. Still, unfortunately, our parents, who are first-time grandparents, have not been able to visit our little boy Loïc.”
“Motherhood for me started a month before the pandemic and was an extremely lonely and overwhelming time. Finally as my son's arrival came I had to be induced - alone. It was horrendous and I could only talk to my husband or mum on the phone. The maternity ward that night was really busy, so I was left too long with broken waters, which caused infection for me and my baby. We then had to spend a week in hospital without my husband. I had no idea what I was doing as a new mum and severely sleep-deprived. That week alone made me feel both stronger than I’d ever felt, and a complete failure as a mother, all at the same time. It was quite traumatic but when we came home we were in a lovely but strange bubble. When my husband went back to work, during the day I felt quite lonely. No groups, no meeting other mums, no getting used to taking him out by myself or interacting with other babies.
I think we’re part of history - a whole generation of babies born during this crazy time, a whole load of mothers who have done the unbelievable and gone through pregnancy, labor, and some even childbirth, alone and in unimaginable circumstances. Thankfully he won’t remember any of it, but I will."
“I found out I was pregnant the week before the first lockdown, we were already socially distancing and I was in self-isolation due to suspected Covid - what a way to start pregnancy! Two weeks later I was admitted to hospital with Hyperemesis Gravidarum - I spent a week on a general ward without visitors or anyone to advocate for me when I was at my worst.
My little girl was born the day before lockdown two eased in December. This meant we were able to form a bubble and see one-half of our family. Our bubble meant the world - we had family support which is so important at the beginning of your adventure. But most of all I am proud, I am proud to have learned how to keep a human alive without the village you normally have.”