Having a baby in lockdown
Having a baby is exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measures but what about having a baby in lockdown? Who prepares you for this? Well, it’s safe to say there’s no guidebook for becoming a parent during a pandemic. For me, I lived in denial or blind hope that things would return to normal soon after baby. I really couldn’t have been more wrong.
You’re so lucky it’s not your first
This sentence was given out countless times during the last year. Do those words offer any comfort to a second time parent? Not really. It might not be my first rodeo, but every pregnancy is special. And just because it’s not your first doesn’t mean it’s easy to miss large chunks of happiness along the way. Of course, you try to look at the bigger picture, and enjoy every silver lining like it were a gift. The main one being able to bond as a bigger family without interruption. I’m thankful for the time my eldest son got to spend with his baby brother creating an amazing bond. However, as a parent it was sometimes hard not to feel cheated of the support and comfort in those early weeks.
It takes a village to raise a child
This saying has always resonated with me as I truly believe it’s not just parents that bring up children it’s the network around you too. But what happens when the village who wants to help support you are locked indoors? I for one have been so blessed with the help and support from both family and friends over the years. So, to have this taken away at a time you need it the most, felt so painful. Of course, the pandemic has not just stolen time, it’s taken lives too soon and caused unimaginable heartache the world over. And although you use this as a constant reality check, every feeling is valid if you’re the one feeling it.
Adapt and overcome
Sometimes it felt like I was moving through the various stages of grief when I was at home. Which seems dramatic and completely crazy, but hormones are really are a killer at times. I felt like I was bereaving the fact that no one would meet my baby as a newborn or get to hold and smell him. Also, to cuddle me and offer words of comfort when you’re feeling frazzled and think you’re losing the plot. However, as time passes you realise you’re lucky to be healthy and safe. The darker days became more distant and learning to adapt to the situation felt less like an uphill climb.
Sunshine after the rainbow
Things suddenly just felt lighter. Maybe it was the lift of the baby blues, maybe it was the endless calls of support and seeing happy faces on zoom. More likely, it was the realisation that yes, time was stolen, but our lives were not. We were the lucky ones to have survived the pandemic and brought a new life into the world when so many were being lost. I find comfort in the thought of two souls passing each other, it reminds me that for every sadness there is a reason to smile.
If you’re a new mum looking for support, charity Mums Matter is a perinatal mental health service set up my the charity Mind. Find support and services here.
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