So in August 2019 we found out we were expecting a baby, our life was turned upside down and the excitement we felt was amazing! We’d waited a long time to have a baby and now the time was approaching. Our due date was May 2020 and back in August, September, October, November, December, even January when I was sat on the sofa with my sister in law and heard the news about this virus in Wuhan, China.
I was sat knitting a mustard yellow cardigan in readiness for baba’s (we had found out in Dec we was expecting a girl) arrival when the news came on and as we sat and listened I was concerned about parcels arriving to the office from China needed decontaminating but I wasn’t in a million years expecting it to spread like it has. There was definitely no way I saw isolating ourselves as the future upon us!
Moving forward from Jan the weeks continued, working in the office, meetings continued, trips to London (antibac in hand!) took place and the more the time past, the news got worse of the events in China, the spread of the virus getting worse, the more nervous I got about going to work, touching things and not only was I already getting more and more nervous about driving; being heavily pregnant and feeling baby moving around so much inside – it was starting to become more and more real.
March 16th came and the government announced pregnant women along with the elderly needed to go home and isolate! I worked from home for a month before mat leave began, as did hubby. I must admit I felt very scared, on edge about anything we came in contact with – food bags, post, parcels etc. but we took caution and continued to stay safe and think the time would pass quickly and we would soon be back to ‘normal’.
Reality however, started to kick in and as our due date got closer and all our midwife appointments became solo visits for me, midwifes in full PPE. We didn’t have to wear a mask at this point, so I didn’t but something made me feel on edge! I use to stand in the waiting room, not daring to touch anything, feeling anxious in the waiting room the whole time of someone else coming in, coming near me! It was such a bizarre feeling and so sad to be spending what should have been the most exciting time of our pregnancy, feeling so anxious and worried.
I bombarded my midwife with questions of panic everytime I saw her, wondering if/how we would get through the delivery of baba safely with possible COVID ‘in’ the hospital, would hubby be allowed with me… all these fears and panics that I shouldn’t have to even consider in a pre covid world!
Again I had to start to accept that nothing was going to change anytime soon, despite the fact I kept telling myself things will be better soon, watching others still continue to live a usual life while I couped up back at home only going out for those appointments and trying to stay safe. All I could think about was going into hospital and getting out safe with baba and would hubby be able to deliver baba with me? How could I possibly do this on my own, I need him with me, he has to be with me, it’s only fair…. my mind as on over drive and there was definitely no off switch!
The news got worse and worse and the cases were rising, the lockdown took place and most people seemed to be taking it seriously. If you went out for a walk it was really quiet, the roads were quiet, life felt different. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous in April and May so I spent a lot of time in the garden chilling, sunbathing, knitting, talking to baby, eating orange lollipops! In the last 2 weeks I started reading a hypnobirthing book mainly to try and calm my nerves. I had always thought I didn’t want to know anything about the birth, what would happen would happen and we would just go with it. However the nerves were kicking in more and more that hubby might not be with me and I need to have some awareness, the ability to know what might be coming and how to act to control my anxieties.
Our due date came and past, no signs. I kept reading the book and practising my breathing! It was working, I was listening to a lot of reggae music, reminiscing of our Caribbean holidays and feeling chilled out!
My phone was getting inundated with messages! Note to self don’t tell anyone your real due date!
I was booked in for a sweep which didn’t cause any ‘signs’ to start and as 2 weeks was beginning to pass quickly I was booked in for an induction! Hey ho, I had no way of controlling it now…
Mind of matter I was getting more uncomfortable and baby needed to come out so I had to suck it up and face the fact I was potentially deliver our baby alone. The more the news developed, the rule was that partners weren’t allowed into the hospital until the woman was in established labour. Facing the inevitable induction I was going to be alone for the first part and I was absolutely p**ing it! BUT, what could I do!
Those last few days passed and still no signs so bags packed and to the hospital we went. Hubby dropped me off and in I went, with the biggest deep breath I have ever taken!
I just talked to baba and tried to calm myself the whole time.. I won’t go into the induction details but Covid test was taken and induction took place. Another lady joined the ward in the same situation so I found myself chatting to her to distract my nerves more than anything! THEN, the best thing ever, the midwife came to see me and ask if I wanted to go home (I mean a few hours passed, hubby had stayed in the car park for a bit but then drove home waiting to hear from me to say I was in further labour) they let me go home as I was a low risk pregnancy!
I snapped her hand off, I hadn’t even contemplated it being an option. Hubby picked me up and home we went! It was around 7pm. We was in bed soon after and I managed to get to sleep quite quickly. It was 8:30am when I woke up to strong period pains – all this time I had spent wondering what it would feel like and now I finally knew!
The plan for me now was to stay at home as long as possible (ideally until in established labour) so as the contractions began I went into hypnobirthing breathing mode….