There seems to be a huge spectrum when it comes to Coronavirus and how it is affecting people. On one end are those who have had their lives completely turned upside down. And on the other are those sharing memes along the lines of ‘we’re just being asked to sit and watch Netflix’.

My business is in tatters. While there’s hope for 3 months pay at 80% the reality is I’m now almost up to a full year of lost income. My gut is telling me it’ll be even more than that – this is not a good time to be running a boutique travel business!

It’s not just the financial hit. I’ve been planning 2020’s projects for a long time and it’s been painful unravelling all my hard work.  I’ve got more unravelling to do but I need to sit and wait now until we have more information. It’s a strain. Making tough decisions and having to be the one to deliver bad news to staff and clients – most are understanding but not all. I feel like an artist watching my art go up in flames.

And with that also went my maternity plans. The security net that would allow me to take some time off to be a first-time mum when the baby comes in less than 2 months time (please come late!).

It feels like a ticking time-bomb. Everything is already so unnerving and such a mess. This doesn’t feel like the time to add newborn to the mix. I’m feeling worried and distracted, robbed of what would have been a happy time for us.

There are lots of changes to the pregnancy of course. Birthing options and appointments reduced. Partners can’t join appointments or scans. Going to the unit is when Coronavirus feels most real. My husband stays in the car and I feel like I’m entering that science scene from ET – questions, temperature checks and handwashing stations with people in head to toe PPE before I’ve even got through the door.

My midwife warned me if either of us show symptoms or the unit comes under stress they may not allow a birthing partner. ‘You won’t be alone though, you’ll have us’. All I see is a strip of eyes, I wouldn’t recognise my midwife if I passed her in the street.

I feel a lurch of pain for all those sick in hospital, alone, with just a blue mask looking back at them.

I listen to my baby’s heartbeat, ask my questions and return to my husband. We both pretend we are ok with it for the sake of the other.

The hardest is the isolation. I really struggle with this and as a ‘vulnerable’ person it’s only just started. We moved to an area where we know nobody 2 days before isolation – lucky in some ways but not in others. It’s hard settling and getting ready for a baby when you can’t pop to the shops or meet people. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in an Airbnb rental. They say it’s easy to make friends with a baby. But will that be the case post-COVID? Will people be looking for new friends or will they just want to spend as much time with their old ones?

My pregnancy is so lonely. No one will feel my baby kicking or see me growing. I don’t get the ladies chatting to me in supermarkets telling me ‘that’s definitely a boy because you’re not showing from behind’. I can’t meet other expecting mums or do my NCT course or eat too much cake over coffee catch-ups. I won’t get to go swimming once, I don’t know why I was looking forward to that so much but I was.

And of course, babies are to be shared. I want Gil’s family to be able to fly over to meet the new arrival, to see my sister, mum, friends giving cuddles. That’s a sad thought. How long will this distancing go on for? My family is working on the frontline so the risk is higher.

My body is sore and uncomfortable and I’m trying to stay mobile and healthy but it’s hard when I’m sat down most of the day. Joe Wicks can’t help me on this one. I do some fruitless hip swings when I waddle to the toilet but motivation is low. I feel guilty about my anxiety levels and sugar-fuelled emotional eating.

Everyone keeps advising me to just tune out from it all. But how? My emotions are so acutely heightened – is this Coronavirus or the pregnancy? Probably both. I don’t watch the news but the stories still reach me. It’s like Facebook chooses the ones that will sting the most. Like Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong. That one hurt. 

Of course, I don’t want to get the virus and I’ll do anything to protect my unborn baby but the worry I feel is not just for us. It’s for others. All the Mary’s and their families. The isolated and lonely. And what about the poor in other countries. At least we have the NHS and government support. I so want to help, to hug those who need it, but there’s nothing I can do.

There’s never a good time to have a baby, sure, but when I saw an article predicting an increase in pregnancies during lockdown this really confused me. Each new pregnancy another strain on the midwife unit and a risk to the staff who work there. I can’t understand why anyone would choose to give birth in this uncertain mess.

The default advice is to stay positive. Maybe this will be a good thing in the end. Maybe we’ll now be amazing mindful parents. Or maybe we’ll just be fraught, stressed and under financial pressure. Maybe we’ll have an extra special bond because of all the time alone. Or maybe we’ll be emotionally drained, stuck with a clingy child. It could be worse…..well, at least that point is always true!

I’ve accepted it. That’s all we can do. Although I don’t have to like it. I’m sorry little one that you are going to be born into such turmoil. 

It wasn’t meant to be this way!

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13 thoughts on “On Having a Baby During the COVID-19 Pandemic…

  1. Lots of love and virtual hugs ?, your very strong and I’m sure you, Gil and bump will be ok. It must be so hard but hopefully the bloody virus will be sorted out soon and things will all be ok again,
    You will build your business up again.
    Hopefully the world will be a better place after this.
    Lots of love Bex

  2. This is heartbreaking. I’m sorry you have to go through that. It’s not fair is it. I wish you all the best and hope things improve for you and your family. Stay safe and stay mindful 🙂

  3. Oh Bex! Such a hard time for you both! And for everyone. I can’t say anything that will change it for you. You know we will always be here to support you on Love her Wilds return! Hopefully 2021!
    All I can say it try to stay positive. You will get through this, you and your family, and of course Love her Wild. Hard times lie ahead but with determination and all your followers we will do this together. Xx

  4. I feel heartbroken for you reading this. Don’t be alone. Reach out and do share. Hopefully this blog in itself wS cathartic. I know nothing is as it should be but there are some alternatives. Have people told you about mum apps? Mush and Peanut for example? Having people you can talk to with pregnancies and babies at the same stage as you is such a help. We’ll get through this. Do take care xx

    1. Thank you! It was really therapeutic writing it. I almost didn’t share it but I’m glad I did as I’ve heard from lots of expecting women who are feeling the same. I’d not heard of those apps before but will take a look! xx

  5. I feel ya. I’m due any day now and while I know there’s people suffering more, I can’t help but feel robbed of my last few weeks with my colleagues, friends and family. My dad popped round the other day so that he could see my bump through the window. I’m scared about having to spend any time in hospital before or after birth as my husband can only be there for active labour and delivery. I cried my eyes out when I heard that. I also cried when I thought of all my family that would only get to meet the wee one through the window. I’ve come to terms with that and I’m now actually seeing it as a blessing – it will give us the chance to bond and establish feeding without having to host people or feel that I’m being peered at or getting unsolicited advice.
    Still hella crap though!

    1. That sucks Elaine. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one feeling robbed of those moments. I think there’s a lot of pressure on pregnant women to feel grateful and happy all the time because others are less fortunate but I think it just adds to the struggles. This is a crap time! I wishing you all the best with the delivery and hoping you won’t have too much time in hospital away from your partner. Sending you lots of good thoughts!

  6. Bex my heart bleeds for you . The stark reality is that you have been robbed of the first special experience of pregnancy

    Yes there will always be someone having a harder time but by acknowledging your feelings and giving them space you will allow yourself to cope with and identify with others in a similar position and the old saying a problem shared …… rings true . Only another in the same position can truly identify with how you feel and help you make sense of it
    The strange times we live in are affecting us all in many ways
    The future remains u certain in many ways for all of us

    One thing for you that is certain is your miraculous body is growing a new life . A mini you and Gil combined how lucky the world will be to have this child in it your gift to the world

    You are both amazing inspirational people , and whatever comes your way you will manage and adapt
    When this is over people will be reflecting and looking at new ways of living sharing and being meaningful together . I see you being a massive part of that

    For now take a deep breath , the air has not been so clean for a long time . The colours never so bright and the birdsong so loud . Embrace your bodily discomfort it’s preparing for the new life emerging .

    When I moved to France with a 2 yr old and baby I was so lonely and isolated that I resorted to approaching people in the supermarket ! I lucked out and made some friends

    Use media you are great with it So many will be out there feeling the same . You will meet other mums perhaps virtual to start but you will get the support you need

    I wish I could hug you
    Much love Sandra x

  7. Hi Bex , I don’t know if you will remember me – its Charlayne ( Liams mum ) I just wanted to say a huge congratulations to you & Gil on the very imminent birth of your baby!
    It sounds like you both have had the most incredible few years travelling all over the world & will now be about to have a very different kind of adventure with a precious little one!
    Good luck Bex & I know you will be an amazing mum!!

    Lots of Love Charlayne xx

    1. So great to hear from you Charlayne! Of course I remember 🙂
      Thank you so much!! I hope our paths cross soon. It’s been such a long time! xx

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