Welcome to our blog post, I met the lovely Kerri in my Facebook group (Babies in Central Scotland) which I run to help mums-to-be and new mums cope with pregnancy and motherhood during this pandemic and current isolation... We have so many worried pregnant and new mums in the group that Kerri agreed to share her experience of pregnancy, Labour and being a new mum during this current Pandemic to provide a little reassurance and support to other ladies... Thanks so much Kerri for sharing your story about her labour experience at Forth Valley Hospital, Larbert, Falkirk, Scotland...
It was a strange experience going from being ‘free’ to locked down. I am a nurse and went from being frontline when Coronavirus was starting to do the rounds in China and wondering if it would have much impact here - to starting my maternity leave a couple weeks before it really blew up in the UK. It was strange feeling like I had abandoned my colleagues in such a time of need and it was strange becoming ‘vulnerable’ when usually I’m on the side of caring for people I would consider vulnerable.
I was really worried that I wouldn’t be allowed a birthing partner. As visiting times all began to change and no one could give you a straight answer about what would be allowed it worried me. Being my first child I was worried enough without being able to get that reassurance from the midwives that I would be allowed my partner there too only worked me up more. I tried to stay calm and knew no matter what happened it would be for the best.
It was a bit gutting knowing the grandparents wouldn’t be able to come to the hospital and meet the baby the way I had always imagined but for me as long as Robbie was there with me then I could get over the rest of it.
My experience was amazing. I had an incredible midwife who I had previously met at parent craft classes in January and she was so calming and listened to all my concerns and needs and put me at ease straight away. She apologised over and over for wearing a mask and seemed genuinely gutted she couldn’t give me a hug after I had the baby 10 mins before her shift finished. My birthing experience wasn’t what I had planned - I wanted a water birth but due to baby being distressed ended up with hormone drip and epidural but Katie my midwife made my experience the best it could have ever been. In that time - Coronavirus didn’t even cross my mind even with the extra PPE all around me - they really make you feel like you’re in your own bubble and you’re all that matters.
Don’t panic about your hospital experience - they make you feel so relaxed and special. Corona virus doesn’t exist in your mind for the moment your baby is born ❤️
Robbie was treated really well - I really wish he could have been allowed in with me in the antenatal ward for my induction but I understand why he wasn’t. It was hard and sad walking into the hospital with my bags on my own knowing the next time I left I would be walking out with a baby alone too but while in the labour ward he was treated no differently to what I’d expect without a pandemic.
When I was ready to move to labour ward I was given plenty time to get in touch with him and tell him to start making a move into hospital - they let him in as soon as I was in ward 7.
Robbie has the same thoughts as me - wished he could have been with me for the beginning of the induction and found it hard to drop me off at the door and have to leave but knows it was for the best. We got to have 7 hours post birth in labour ward before I was moved back to Post-Natal ward and he never felt rushed to leave - that was important to me that he got the time to bond with roarie too and it was clear the midwives felt the same and were happy to give us that time while they had the capacity of rooms in labour ward.
I was moved to post natal ward overnight and was in until 1630 the next day. I found it really hard being there alone with a new baby that I didn’t have a clue what to do with. Especially knowing that In normal circumstances I could have had Robbie and my family there with me the full day visiting too. It was strange and I spent most of the time chasing the midwives to let me home! Robbie couldn’t come onto the ward to take us home so I never got that experience of being able to watch him take our son out the doors but it made it even more special when we were free to go knowing we would be together.
I hope reading Kerri's story about pregnancy and labour during lock-down helps to provide reassurance for all the nervous mummies and daddies to be out there. Big thanks again to Paula, Robbie and Baby Roarie for sharing their experience with us...
Love and Hugs