‘Weve been weighing her on our kitchen scales’: Parents share ups and downs of having a baby in lockdown – Manchester Evening News

More than 75,000 babies have been born in England during the coronavirus lockdown.

And while each and every one of them has brought joy to their parents, for many it's proving far from easy.

Adapting to parenthood is tricky at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic.

With restrictions on birth partners and parents unable to show off their newborns to family and friends, it's been far from the experience they'd hoped for.

But with more time alone at home, they've also had that extra time to bond with their babies without any interruptions.

Here, parents in Manchester share their own experiences of having a baby in lockdown.

The birth of their daughter Rae was a dream come true for Laura and Rob.

After losing five babies and having two rounds of IVF in their six years of trying to conceive, she arrived at Wythenshawe Hospital, on March 23, the same day the government announced the country's lockdown.

Rae was born four weeks early by planned caesarean as the placenta wasnt functioning well and there were restrictions to her growth.

After Rae was delivered, me and the other mothers on the ward sat and watched Boriss speech," said Laura, who feels her daughter's early arrival was a blessing in the circumstances.

Im actually glad in a way as I think things would have been more strict at the hospital if she had been born on her due date, she says. Weve been weighing her on our kitchen scales and theyre happy with her weight.

But while Laura and Rob, also 35, are ecstatic at finally becoming parents, as the time in lockdown continues, it's becoming harder for the couple, who live in Cheadle Hulme.

Laura, a baker, has still not been able to see her parents, who live in Dorset, and she's missing doing the 'simple things' she's spent so long looking forward to.

"Its pretty tough to be honest, my resolve is wearing down as time is going on," she told the M.E.N's Manchester Family.

"Ive dreamt for so long about being a mum and doing simple things like taking her to the supermarket, cafs, mum and baby groups and its getting tough not being able to do these things and every day is monotonous.

"Im just hoping that restrictions are eased slightly so maybe we could do some garden visits to friends and family but I know nobody will hold her for some time to come which is sad."

Theodore Kenny-Conroy's arrived on March 20, four days after his mum Natasha Kenny was induced.

She was still in Stepping Hill when the lockdown began and described her time in hospital as 'terrifying', particularly as she wasn't able to have her mum Diane by her side.

"The staff were amazing but under so much pressure trying to keep everybody safe, said the 30-year-old, from Reddish.

"I was allowed one person as a birth partner, and I'd really wanted my mum to be able to come and go. There were complications so to have had that support would have been good.

"Staff were so stretched. We didn't see anyone except the midwife because we were all restricted to staying in our own rooms."

Natasha, a critical care nurse, says she's struggling to deal with the guilt of not working during the crisis and that her own parents and partner Scott Conroy's parents are yet to meet their grandson.

She said: "Theodore is amazing, the most important thing is that he's healthy. But one of the emotions that's hard to deal with is the guilt.

"I feel guilty that I'm not at work helping colleagues. I feel guilty my family can't come and see Theo. I feel guilty that I might be putting his health at risk.

"We'd hoped to see our parents - we thought it would be all hands on deck. Actually we're kind of isolated in the house.

"Neither of us have done this before and the services are so cut that you can't have a health visitor round - everything's just being done on the phone, but NHS staff have been amazing looking after us without coming round.

"We have so much respect for everyone on the frontline."

She added: "I feel sad that my parents haven't been able to hold Theodore, there's lots of calls but you can't smell a newborn's head on a video call.

"He's the first grandchild in the family and everybody's just waiting to meet him."

With the lockdown well underway, Jessica and Daniel knew the restrictions would be in place when they welcomed their daughter on April 26.

But Rebecca's arrival was more dramatic than expected when, 11 days late, she was finally born via an emergency C section after a failed induction.

She too had been a long time in the making for Jessica, 29, and Daniel, 36 - following two rounds of IVF treatment.

With midwife appointments at home and partner Daniel unable to be in the same room to reduce contact, they were understandably concerned about what the birth itself would bring.

But it all turned out well for the couple, from Bury, and they have nothing but praise for the NHS.

"I cant say how glad I was to have people there in the NHS that could see an emergency happening before it did and Im glad there was a full team," said Jessica.

"I cant even imagine what wouldve happened if there had only been half a team or if my surgeon or midwife who spotted the problems wasnt in because they was ill because of stupid people not listening to the rules regarding Covid.

"I cant say how much I appreciate everyone involved in mine and her care for risking going to work to keep us safe, fed and clean in the hospital and our care during pregnancy and after birth.

"Im just so proud of her and it doesnt feel real after everything its taken to get her here - it's literally a dream come true."

She does have some concerns about accessing services for new parents.

Are things still in place for me to access and get support from?," she said.

"A lot of mother and baby groups have been cancelled and Im not sure what happens if I get postnatal depression.

Its important to be thankful and know how lucky I am, but its also important to try to get these reassurances.

And, for now, Jessica's having to rely on video calls for relatives, including her dad who lives in Blackpool, to see her baby girl.

When he can finally see the baby, hes going to have to do some granddad duty, she laughed.

"It is heartbreaking but we are enjoying lots of video calls and sending lots of videos to everybody."

Despite the uncertainty, the couple are grateful for the special gift they've been given.

I need to remember that Ive gone through IVF and Ive given birth, added Jessica.

Ive found it quite difficult, but at the end of the day, we just had to do things differently.

"Theres not always going to be a pandemic lockdown baby - it's a unique moment."

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'Weve been weighing her on our kitchen scales': Parents share ups and downs of having a baby in lockdown - Manchester Evening News

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