I am absolutely petrified about touching my new baby – and he hasn’t even been born yet! It’s so different from the fear of holding a first baby for the very first time – and somehow accidentally breaking them or not supporting them correctly… I’m scared of making my baby sick. Welcome to the world of giving birth during a pandemic.
Even though I am self-isolating to the point where the only external place I attend for myself is pregnancy-related appointments, I still fear picking up and passing COVID-19 on to him. And I really hate thinking about it.
Essentially anyone could accidentally and unknowingly pass it to him. His dad, possibly even a member of the medical team, heavens, his own siblings could do it when we return home from the hospital.
Giving Birth During A Pandemic – I’ve No Idea What To Expect
I don’t know how I’m going to be able to interact with this baby. But I know it probably won’t be the same as his siblings. And that makes me question whether our bond will be the same or even if it will be as close.
Will he know my scent as well as what my other babies did? They would stop crying as soon as they smelled me enter their room. Will he miss out on anything by not having chest to chest time with his daddy? Our other little ones have such a strong bond with their father and they always had chest to chest time with him. Will keeping his siblings away from him cause tension between them later on?
One thing I’ve noticed with our little ones is the way they always insist on smelling their newborn sibling’s head constantly, they’ve grown up so close to one another and now I don’t know how physically close anyone will be able to get to the new baby.
It’s A Nightmare
This second wave of COVID-19 is a nightmare. And the hotspots are everywhere – including the suburb of the hospital I’m booked into to give birth.
There are so many local schools, childcare centres, shopping complexes and everything in between that are reporting to have had positive cases of COVID-19. I feel as though there is no way to truly protect oneself, even if you are self-isolating – especially if you still have children at school or a hubby at work.
In fact, at my last antenatal appointment they advised me to self isolate with my hubby from 36 weeks onwards if possible. Even if it were able to do that, we would still have four young school going little ones making the risk of contracting the deadly illness almost unchanged!
I believe that to do it right I’d have to be able to place my whole family into lockdown together. That would ensure a safer and more controlled outcome – but which school would allow parents to simply start remote learning due to pregnancy. And if it were allowed for pregnancies then how many more allowances would schools have to make?
How Different Will It Be?
As I sit here with Braxton Hicks preparing my body for its incredible journey ahead I can’t help but wonder how different giving birth during a pandemic will be. How different could the procedures possibly get? How do the staff manage to protect themselves in a situation where social distancing is highly unlikely to occur. Will masks be enough and how in heavens am I going to be able to use the gas whilst wearing one?
Meeting my baby for the first time couldn’t possibly be the same as what it once was. Even if I wasn’t wearing a mask, I can’t see myself holding this baby nonstop for hours after birth just bonding with him the way I did with my other babies… and it breaks my heart not knowing what the right thing to do is.
Giving birth during a pandemic may only require a few additional steps. But it’s what comes next that causes an unreasonable amount of uncertainty for me.
I’m torn between the joy of wanting to breathe in my newborn, not letting him go – and at the same time not wanting to breathe anywhere near him or touch him for fear of infecting him.
That is giving birth during a pandemic. The uncertainty, anguish and panic mixed in with the joy, love and excitement.
It feels like such an uncertain situation when our health and well-being and that of our family depends so heavily on everyone doing the right thing.
I don’t know what to expect when giving birth during a pandemic, really I don’t believe that anyone does. But it’s not the first time mankind has done it. 2020 won’t see the first group of babies to be born whilst a deadly disease wreaks havoc on the world. Each time we’ve faced such disastrous conditions mankind has clearly succeeded, and it won’t be much different this time around.
Our 2020 babies will know that we love them, no matter what, even if we have to exercise a little extra caution around them this time around.
What advice would you give mums giving birth during a pandemic. Tell us in the comments below.