Birth in a Pandemic

Guest Blog by Elsa Megan, Lifestyle blogger and founder of Elsa's World

1.

I found out I was pregnant just a few months after my husband (Ian) and I got married at the end of August 2019. It was to be the first grandchild on both sides, so there was a great deal of excitement!


With it being my first pregnancy, I didn’t really know what to expect (other than the obvious: growing belly with a baby at the end). Little did we know at this stage, this was to be a pregnancy experience a little outside the norm.


I remember first hearing about Covid 19 just after Christmas. It sounded scary to me, but also quite distant, and I pushed it to the back of my mind. Then suddenly the virus seemed to be everywhere! Pregnant women were not deemed to be particularly at risk though, so my life carried on pretty much as normal.


Then all changed overnight when the government announced pregnant women to now be in the high risk group for the virus. I was sent home from work the next day – I will always be grateful for my work doing that for me, I know a lot of pregnant women had to keep going in to work which must have been incredibly stressful.


It was a very strange new life to get used to though. I went from working in a busy office all day, seeing people, going to the gym, going to the shops… to being home all day on my own – my husband is a farmer so he had to keep going into work throughout lockdown. After a few weeks I was furloughed, and my days lost their structure. I was lucky though, we live right out in the country, so I was able to go out for walks fairly readily without fear of getting too close to anyone. That kept me sane!


I also model part time, but of course all photoshoots I had booked in were now cancelled. It was very frustrating because there had been so many maternity/pregnancy shoots I had been looking forward to doing for the first time. However, a local photographer, Millie (from Oh Baby Photography) started a new venture doing photoshoots over Facetime and she asked me to trial it for her. I was so happy to do this – I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it was so much fun and the pictures were different to anything I had done before!


2.

I was far enough along in my pregnancy that Ian had luckily already been able to come to the baby’s scans with me, but he was no longer allowed to come with me to any more of my prenatal appointments. We were also unable to go to any of the prenatal classes we had been planning on attending as they were all cancelled – in the end we were able to do one via zoom, which was really helpful, although not quite the same as meeting other parents to be in person.


The main thing on our mind though, was whether or not Ian would be able to come to hospital with me when the time came. I went in to labour very early one Friday morning. We rang the hospital and they said Ian could bring me in, he was allowed into the hospital in general but not into the birthing suite until I was in active labour – they told me I was not yet at that stage. I was allowed to wait in one of the wards until I was further along, but I didn’t really fancy waiting alone while my contractions got more and more painful, so instead we stayed waiting in the hospital areas Ian was able to be in.


It took a long time for me to reach a stage where Ian could come to the birthing quite with me! We arrived at the hospital at 6.30am, and were finally able to have a room in the suite by about 6pm. This was so much more comfortable – although by this stage I was in a great deal of discomfort… In total my labour was 21 hours, which felt very long but then over very suddenly! Baby Oscar arrived just before 3am Saturday morning weighing in at 9lb 4, and we became a family of three. We had thought Ian wouldn’t be allowed to stay with us very long after the birth, but he in the end he didn’t have to leave until around 9.30am, so we were able to have Oscar’s very first morning all together which was very special.


A less pleasant experience was being tested for Covid 19 that morning before I went to the ward. Someone had asked to do it while I was in labour but I had declined that at the time… It was a horrid test but it was a relief to know I was all clear.


I wasn’t in hospital very long, only staying until the end of the day. I didn’t like being there without Ian – once I had moved to the ward he had to leave the hospital, and it felt very strange to be sat on a bed with our new baby but no daddy. But it wasn’t long before we were all together again and on the way home!


We had originally wanted to have a newborn photoshoot for Oscar, and of course we weren’t sure how that would be able to work now. But when Oscar was 2 weeks old, we were able to have an outdoor, socially distanced shoot at my mum and dads farm. The pictures were really magical and something we will always have to remember!


Oscar is now 3 months old, and blissfully unaware of the strange world he has been born into. I do worry that he will miss out on things, but for now he certainly seems very content. He loves the outdoors, so we go for lots of walks, and very recently a local baby group was able to host a small session that we joined in with – Oscar was definitely the loudest baby there… He wasn’t able to get very close to the other babies, but he could at least see and hear them which I was happy about! Hopefully the group will be able to continue with the ever changing guidelines.


3.

About the author:

My name is Elsa! Born and raised in the Nottinghamshire countryside, I grew up on a family farm in a small village near Sherwood Forest. I have now managed to move all the way down the road to my own little farm cottage with my very own farmer and farmer in training. I love all things country: sights, sounds, smells, food and music! I’ve recently started a blog to share some of the daily goings on in my life, and document my journey into motherhood.

Website: www.elsasworld.co.uk

Instagram: @elsamegan


Image Credits:

1: Elizabeth Hailwood (Instagrams: @hailwoodphoto & @hailwoodweddings /Website)

2: FaceTime photoshoot with Millie at Oh Baby Photography (Instagram and website)

3: From our outdoor newborn Shoot on the farm (again, Oh Baby Photography )


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In other news,

Celebrating motherhood is our theme for this week at Baby Toddler Adventure and it's with this spirit I'm delighted to share a new gift with you: The Celebrating Motherhood gift. This letterbox sized gift contains a copy of the fabulously nourishing Positive Wellbeing Zine (choice of 3 editions), an enamel pin with positive messages (choice of 4 designs) and cute mummy rainbow hanging sign and a sachet of relaxing lavender (so when you open the gift you are hit with an amazing scent!). To find out more about this gift, please check out the product listing here!


Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,


Best Wishes,

Jen

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