When I wrote my own “Parenthood in Pandemic” story, I mentioned that isolation was one of the most difficult things to face. It is tough raising a newborn when you are unable to see family or friends. However, my facebook due date group has been one of the most therapeutic resources I have come to lean on through my journey in motherhood. Today’s featured parent, Laura Parker, is from that treasured facebook group. She is sharing her story of having a planned C-section while COVID-19 was ramping up.
What was your experience navigating through the fourth trimester during the COVID 2019 Pandemic? What was the most different from your expectations?
It’s been a real challenge – I ended up having a c-section which was technically planned, but very last minute, so I felt like all control had been taken away from me. Luckily, the hospital I had Noah at allowed a birth partner, but they didn’t allow visitors at all, so it was really hard having to video call people rather than let them meet him properly.
I got discharged the day after I had the section too, rather than staying for a few days – partly because they were fast-tracking people out of the hospital due to COVID 19 and partly because I couldn’t mentally deal with the way the hospital was (nervous staff, midwives way too busy to be much help if I needed anything, horrible atmosphere to learn how to breastfeed in).
We’ve had a few hospital visits since because of jaundice and weight issues and that has been so much more stressful due to COVID 19. Usually it wouldn’t have been such a huge deal, but I had to basically fight to let Noah’s dad come in and stay overnight with me due to it being so soon after my c-section – I needed him to help me to do basic things like lift him out of his crib but it still took a lot to get them to allow him in with me.
There’s been a general feeling of unease and worry because of the pandemic as I’m extra protective of Noah, as well as it being really tough not being able to have any visitors even now – I have no idea how old he will be by the time his granddad, guide mother, aunties, etc can give him a cuddle. I think Noah is the thing that has kept me sane through lockdown.
What ways have you found to cope with being a new mom and/or dealing with the isolation and fear that may come with raising a newborn in a pandemic situation?
I didn’t look at the news for a few weeks because it just scared me and stressed me out when realistically I had enough to worry about and am fairly sure I teetered on the edge of PPD more than once. I focused as much as I could on how happy I am to have Noah and his dad and tried not to think about the things we were missing out on – him meeting other babies, mum and baby groups, going out without worrying about infection…
Tell me about your favorite part of motherhood and what you most look forward to.
My favourite part of motherhood is being able to feed him and then hold him close and know that he feels safe in my arms. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he grows and develops over time and I can’t wait until he first properly meets our family.
What advice or words of wisdom you would like to share with other mothers?
Don’t be so hard on yourself! Most of us suffer from mum guilt for one reason or another and the thing is, as long as you’re doing the absolute best you can for your baby and yourself, you’re a great mum! Your mental and physical health is important, your baby needs you to look after yourself as well as him/her.
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Would you like to share your story?
Giving birth and transitioning into parenthood is rough. It has had even more challenges due to the situation to COVID-19. Therefore, I would like to honor all of the parents that welcomed a little one during this time. Tune in every Monday for a new featured parent.
If you are a new parent as of the quarantine, I have a questionnaire I would love to send you to help share your story. However, if you are a parent with your own story, please don’t hesitate to contact me for a feature!