Birth, Lockdown, Pandemic, Pregnancy

First Time Pregnancy During a Pandemic

What a year it has been for everyone! A big shout out to all the amazing new mums and mums to be during this crazy time. It’s a huge life changing experience having a baby, let alone during a global pandemic!

I wanted to share my story of my pregnancy and the effect Covid-19 had on my first time mum experience.

We’re expecting a baby…

It all began in early February 2020 when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby. We were over the moon and so excited about this new adventure we were about to embark upon together. Little did we know it would be during a time that a widespread contagious virus would be calling the shots! And that we would be mainly stuck in the house for the next 9 months plus!

We told my parents and sister the wonderful news as soon as we found out we were expecting. Therefore, we were able to celebrate with them in person as this was before the lockdown kicked in. Except for my immediate family knowing, being pregnant was the best kept secret ever!!

Announcing our pregnancy

I was only 9 weeks pregnant when the first lockdown happened and I was still working as a graphic designer at a local company in Lincoln and going into the office each day. I was so anxious about the virus as didn’t want it to effect my baby but couldn’t tell anyone at work as it felt too early. However, as the virus got worse, I told my boss and she was happy for me to work from home. 3 days later the first lockdown began.

Being at home meant I felt safe and I could focus on growing my mini human. Although it was so hard not sharing this experience with family and friends, staying at home meant I didn’t have the normal day to day stresses and even though I was  still working, I wasn’t as tired, as I could get up and leave my desk for more breaks and I didn’t have to wake up as early and travel to work which was nice.

After my 12 week scan and knowing everything so far was great with our baby, we told all our friends and family on many faithful Zoom video calls, which was still amazing to do as no one expected it.

Attending appointments alone

Due to the pandemic, my husband Jon, wasn’t allowed to any of my scan appointments, which was really hard. However, as this was our first baby, we didn’t know any different. But how amazing would it have been if he was there for the 3 month scan when you see your little baby in such detail on the ultrasound and at 20 weeks when you find out the gender. Sadly it was what it was, but I still enjoyed telling Jon we were expecting a boy. I cried with joy when I found out during my ultrasound and bursted out of the antenatal unit to share the joy with Jon. Thankfully, we both did a cheeky private scan at 6 weeks just to check everything was ok and even though our baby was a tiny blob on a screen, our dreams were confirmed with his little heart beat and this was such a special moment as we both welled up with happiness.

I had a pretty smooth pregnancy and somehow avoided having any morning sickness. I was so lucky but I had this anxiety throughout my pregnancy because of the virus, as I just didn’t want to catch it as there was such an unknown to whether it effected babies development in the womb and also because I have asthma, I didn’t want to catch Covid and not be strong enough to carry my baby to full term. Oh the worry!! I spent all my time washing my hands, I even cleaned down all my shopping each week, until I decided that was a little over the top.

I pretty much only went out of the house for a walk/exercise or to doctor and antenatal appointments since March 2020. Thank goodness for the beautiful summer we had as I enjoyed getting my vitamin D in our garden and seeing my family for social distant catch ups outside.

A Trip to the Hospital

I had to go to hospital due to a complication at 34 weeks which meant staying in the maternity ward for 4 nights. I felt very safe there and didn’t worry about catching Covid at all. All the staff were so lovely and they all wore masks the whole time. I had my Covid test as soon as I got there and knew everyone else had it too, which put me more at ease. I just had a little routine when I would go to the toilet, I would wash my hands before and after and use tissue paper for pulling the chain and turning on and off taps and opening doors. Then I would put hand gel on just before I got back to my bed. So strange these habits you get yourself into. I’ve always been hygienic and washed my hands after going out and before eating food etc etc but it’s now gone to another level!! My hands have certainly aged with all the hand washing!! Moving forward we’re going to be the cleanest generation ever!

Jack’s Arrival

The day my son Jack arrived into this world, I was 41 weeks exactly. The night before I had to go into hospital where they artificially broke my waters and put me on a hormone drip to speed up my contractions. My active labour was about 5 hours in total and the midwives were incredible. Again, I felt so safe and didn’t worry about Covid the whole time. It was a wonderful experience, I had music on, aromatherapy and lovely mood lighting/twinkle lights. Obviously you forget all of that when you are in actual labour but it was a fabulous start. My husband and mum were both allowed at the birth which was incredible and so special to have them there for support and to share the experience with me. I was extremely lucky as I know many women have had to go through labour alone during this difficult time. So I am extremely grateful.

My beautiful baby Jack James, arrived on 21st October at 12.53pm. We were in love. Meeting our son was the most beautiful thing in the whole entire world! Mine and Jon’s lives had become complete.

Jack is a dream to look after and I love being his Mummy. I’ve basically learnt everything I know about babies just from my experiences so far.

I sadly couldn’t go to NCT classes which I really wanted to do to meet new mums. NCT classes were available online but after a day working on a computer the last thing I wanted to do when pregnant was to be looking at a screen again in the evenings.

To find antenatal classes near you visit – https://www.nct.org.uk/courses-workshops/nct-antenatal-course

I did however use an app called ‘Peanut’ https://www.peanut-app.io/ to meet new mums in the area and managed to meet a lovely mum who lives in the same town, we message all the time but due to the virus we haven’t been able to meet up yet with our babies. I’ve also made another new mum friend who lives around the corner from me and has a little girl a week apart from Jack, so it’s been nice messaging about our little ones as they are so close in age. Just looking forward to those coffee and baby dates when it’s safe to do so.

Love and Support

Even though I haven’t seen my friends during my pregnancy and after birth to meet Jack, they’ve always been there for me through zoom calls and text messages.

I’m so lucky that I have my beautiful sister for support, she has a 17 month old little girl, so she has just been through it all and I receive so much love, help and advice from her. And not to forget how much love and support I get from my gorgeous mum and dad. Literally don’t know what I would have done without my amazing family during the pandemic. I love you!’

For the main part, you do just figure it all out on your own as you and your baby get to know each other. Jon has been incredible and we’ve had so much fun being parents and learning the ropes together. We make a great team and I’m so in love with my new little family.

Things won’t change for a long time but I’m just grateful I made it though pregnancy and I have a beautiful happy baby boy, who is now 3 months old and growing and changing by the day. I love him so much! And I send love to all the mums and mums to be during this pandemic and current lockdown. It’s so hard but we will get through this. Just need to cherish everyday with our little ones.

Tips for a first time mum

  • Happy mum, happy baby. Being relaxed and happy around baby means he is relaxed and happy too.
  • Have water and snacks at the ready for night time feeds. Especially if breast feeding, as you need the energy and you get so thirsty (eg. biscuits or jelly babies)
  • Writing down nap times as eventually a routine can come out of it
  • Talk to your baby all the time, they start listening and taking it all in straight away

Mrs Amy Sayer

Creative Director and Graphic Designer

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