Polly’s Baby Blog
I remember when I announced I was pregnant, people thought it was an actual prank. I’m probably not going to be the most traditional Mum, but I’m happy to be that offbeat, unconventional Mummy and give you a real insight into parenting, as I stumble my way through motherhood and try to find my own vibe. Enjoy x
Giving birth during the Coronavirus-era
I gave birth 3 weeks ago, just on the cusp of the UK lockdown. By some bizarre timing, like falling down a rabbit hole, I went into the hospital leaving one world and life behind and five days later I came out of the hospital with a baby into this new world of isolation, as we know it today.
With everything that comes with being a first-time mum, my emotions and hormones were running high. Trying to process what was happening in the world with a new-born was tough. I was scared and anxious, no-one really knew what was happening, the fear was spreading. The fake news crawling in every corner of the internet. There was zero clarity from health officials and the government. I cried a lot. I felt angry that I was being robbed of these special days which I longed for so much. I wanted to show her off; I wanted my mum to spend quality time with her first grandchild. I wanted all my friends to meet her and the silly little things, I had stupid amounts of biscuit and tea supplies in readiness for the visitors. I was angry because my post-natal health was fine, I was just engulfed with frustration with what was right to do by my family and friends and the new baby. I had this beautiful new baby that everyone was so excited to meet, my friends calling, and texting ‘can we come over for 10 minutes just to see her’ and all I wanted to do was lock myself away and protect my new family from this ‘killer virus’ everyone was talking about.
I didn’t want to be seen as over-reacting, everyone was still out and about, and whether it was right or wrong, no-one knew really but controversially the Stereophonics concerts in Cardiff was still taking place, schools were still open and restaurants were full to the brim. The first few days of being home my baby daughter briefly met most of my nearest and dearest which I’m so grateful for now in hindsight, as it will be a very long time until she meets them again, but I remember, my heart would pound into the pit of my stomach when someone would hold her. Even as lovingly and protective they were over her I couldn’t help my feelings. ‘Stop breathing on my baby’. I was conflicted. ‘She’ll be OK, apparently, babies can’t get the virus.’ Stop getting scared mongered by the media I thought, but it was an anxious time. Unprecedented. No-one knew how to deal with it. All these thoughts swirling in my brain. My partner and I decided on a ‘blanket ban’, as harsh as it was on anyone seeing her until we had more facts on what was happening with the virus. As it happened, the advice on social distancing came in and the lockdown was enforced a few days later.
So, then there was just three of us and a moment of calm. Ten days on from the lockdown we are all feeling well and keeping safe. I’ve just fed the baby and changed her nappy, she is dozing off again, so in a bit, I’ll do my daily video call to my Mum, sister and best friend to check-in on them and then usually I’ll decide whether it’s time for a box set binge or a little leg stretch down the road with the pram. It’s part of a new normal routine for now and one that I’m actually really enjoying. In between the dirty nappies and feeds, I’m cleaning out a draw or a cupboard, having time to plan and create content for when I eventually head back to work, listening to music on my record player and really soaking in that perfect sound and what I really love doing is sitting with a cup of tea and talking to my partner, spending time to be present with each other, telling stories. I am more alone than ever, and I say that because I’m usually surrounded by people, friends and family on the daily. I don’t feel lonely though. I feel very content. It’s me, my partner, my baby girl and a whole community out there that I’m part of.
Even though my circle and my wider community are now online and the way we communicate might be through a phone screen, there is a mass effort from all of us, striving together in adversity, in a time of crisis to fight this global emergency. We support each other, we fight on together and we will eventually get through it together.
Life works in mysterious ways. In this new way of living, even though its barely been two weeks, has this crisis which is so frightening and so sad for the entire world, brought us closer together? Are we all starting to realise what is really important in life? We have been stripped back; our privileges taken away. We have been forced to live the simple life. Will we ever be as materialistic as we were before? Will a simple hug and handshake mean so much more than any gift? Will my daughter look up to nurses and doctors in the future like she possibly would to a sports star? We are becoming more compassionate and supportive of our elders, the more vulnerable in our community. We are looking out for each other and our mental health. I feel lucky as I embark on this journey of motherhood that I’ve discovered the meaning of connecting with what matters the most within life. Thousands of lives have been lost already, and the numbers keep rising and it’s terrifying. These people aren’t just a number or a stat, they are our mothers and fathers and my deepest condolences go out to anyone who has lost anyone during this pandemic. When we are all allowed and feel comfortable to re-start life again the reunions will be epic. A moment in time we will never take for granted. Who cares where it will be and what we look like- I well up just thinking about it. There is a new world to be won, but in the meantime, stay home, stay safe and let’s keep talking. Let’s spread more of this amazing community spirit and positivity and less of the virus.