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What it really feels like to be pregnant in a pandemic

PUBLISHED: 07:15 05 April 2020

New mums and mums-to-be in Suffolk are experiencing an uncertain time at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic Picture: NATALIE LEASK/ELLIE DACK /AMY NORRIS/ELISHA HARRIS

New mums and mums-to-be in Suffolk are experiencing an uncertain time at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic Picture: NATALIE LEASK/ELLIE DACK /AMY NORRIS/ELISHA HARRIS

Archant

I am not going to sugarcoat it, being pregnant amidst the coronavirus crisis has had its fair share of low points.

There have been plenty of questions and equal amounts of tears - pregnancy hormones combined with isolation can be pretty intense!

Ultimately I know I am lucky, that in around a month’s time I will get newborn cuddles with my baby boy, which will be the best sort of emotional therapy.

Though sadly the uncertainty will not end there, especially if we are still under lockdown conditions.

Mother’s Day has definitely been the most depressing day of this whole bizarre situation so far.

I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to enjoy it properly with my daughter because I had to stay away from my mum and my sister, who was celebrating her first Mother’s Day.

I was also missing my little baby nephew like crazy. I don’t want him to forget me.

Video calling when you are an oversensitive mess isn’t any fun!

Since Mother’s Day, selfishly, I have felt better - but there have been many emotional, panicky breakdowns along the way.

Now that everyone is in the same boat I don’t feel quite so isolated, I feel terrible writing that, but at the same time I think it is important to be honest.

This Friday I finished work and Sunday was meant to be my baby shower.

I feel especially sad for my five-year-old daughter Rosie who would have loved it, as she is the biggest party animal in the world.

So much so that I have now arranged my own baby shower for me, Rosie and my fiance - though he does seem a bit bemused by the idea, particularly as I have suggested we use face paints to draw a rainbow on my bump.

I do feel like a bit of a diva planning my own baby shower, but Rosie is super excited even though I have no real clue of what we are going to do!

Considering that she is likely to miss out on visiting her little brother in hospital when he is born and possibly even sharing the news with her friend’s at school the next day, I think she deserves a party.

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As my due date comes ever closer, information from the hospital about the birth just gets bleaker.

As it stands, you are allowed a birthing partner from your household with you during the birth - as long as they are well and no-one else at home has symptoms of Covid19.

Once the baby has arrived, the birthing partner will be sent home and the next time they will be allowed at the hospital is when mum and baby are ready to go home.

I completely understand why these decisions are being made, but it doesn’t make it any less sad.

It is really frustrating for my fiancé, who feels like he will be missing out on the full ‘new dad experience’ - as this is his first baby.

I feel lucky that this is my second baby. The first time around I was utterly clueless and the thought of having visitors coming to see me helped me through the time that I spent in hospital.

At least this time around, though I might be a little rusty, I still have some idea of what to expect.

On a more positive note, over the last few days I have seen lots of inspiring posts from women around the world, proudly showing off their newborns that have arrived safely in the middle of a pandemic.

I have seen many of these posts in a Facebook group called Bumps On Lockdown: Support Group For Pregnant & New Mums: Suffolk & Norfolk

The group is a great way for mums-to-be to share their fears about coronavirus and how it will affect their pregnancy.

It ranges from women in the early stages of pregnancy who are missing out on having their partners with them at scans, to mums wanting to know if they will still be able to have a home birth.

As well as turning to others in the same situation as them, I hope mums-to-be are not afraid to turn to their midwife for support.

Midwives are of course incredibly busy and adapting to loads of changes with the way that they are required to work, but mine have been brilliant and always have time to talk things through.

Finally, I want to wish anyone who is pregnant right now all the luck in the world.

Things aren’t going to be how you expected or wanted them to be, but undoubtedly it will all be worth it in the end.

It will be tough, but try to think of the amazing bond you are going to have with your baby at the end of all this.


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