Lockdown Baby

Lots of great things have come out of lockdown for me; working from home means that either me or my husband can now drop our son off at school and pick him up – something which commutes and office working did not permit. I am shopping locally which means eating better food and because I’m not adding lots of unnecessary items in a supermarket trolley, I seem to be spending less as well. I have a new appreciation for where I live and feel so lucky to live in a beautiful area. The best thing though to come out of our lockdown – is my son. Born the 21st April 2020, he is a true lockdown baby. At the time, the experience of having him did not seem that strange but when I take the opportunity to look back – it really was quite surreal.Going to those final scans and appointments by myself, walking through deserted hospital corridors and then eventually going through the horrific contractions on my own was actually not very nice. When my waters broke and we got to hospital my husband was told to leave and staff said they would ring him when I was in labour. For the next four and half hours I was on a really eerie, open ward with a couple of other women – both of whom were there to be observed for a few hours then went home. Meanwhile I was screaming in pain, lying on the floor (it would seem my pain threshold is extremely low!). I could hardly speak and it was in those hours that I could have really done with my partner. When I was almost in full labour they said I could ring him but I honestly could hardly even say his name due to the pain. Luckily he was in the carpark so arrived quickly and our son was born not long after.Like I said, I hadn’t really given this much thought until recently but now I think about it, I think it’s only the fact it was my second child that meant I was okay with it all. If it had been my first I would have been terrified and desperately needed someone with me the whole time. However, the most important thing, is that he is healthy, happy and none the wiser about the strange times he has been born into. We have spent a lot of time together, me and my baby boy. But equally and brilliantly so have my husband and our other son. We had a good few months just the four of us – all in our bubble, something unachievable in the pre-covid world due to work, school, two weeks paternity leave and the hustle and bustle of life. Time stood still for us and we were able to just be together – uninterrupted and that was marvellous. Since the schools have gone back and my husband is now working from home, normal life has ever so slightly resumed. On sunny days it is lovely going for a walk with the pram, saying hello to people we pass but when it rains, the indoor options are limited and opportunities for social interactions dwindle. I am particularly missing libraries being open as they are somewhere I would go on a wet and windy day with the baby.I have decided to go back to work early – mainly to give me some interactions with other adults, it’s a strange feeling being envious of your husband sitting on his computer having a team meeting, everyone animated, contributing and chatting away! Not that I don’t love every second with my son (okay I really don’t love it when he’s screaming!), I adore him more than I can ever express on a keyboard but the isolation that lockdown has created for us new mums can sometimes feel quite a challenge. Ultimately, lockdown and the ongoing measures have provided our family with so many blessings – a gorgeous boy, time together and an ongoing opportunity to be more present in both our sons’ lives. These are strange times and many people will have found the isolation so unbearably isolating. The Chatty Cafe Scheme has adapted and are now providing weekly phone calls to so many people around the UK – the same person rings up, at the same time on the same day. We would love to recruit an army of volunteers to help us with these calls. If you can dedicate up to thirty minutes once a week to phone someone for a chat then please get in touch. You might be a new mum/dad and like to receive a call or you might want to volunteer to ring someone. If you are pregnant with a baby due these next few months, please don’t worry! Make sure you ask the hospital if someone can accompany you to scans if you are particularly nervous as they may let you. (If you don’t ask you don’t get!) and just know you are in safe hands – those antenatal staff are amazing! If anyone is interested in volunteering or receiving a call please contact Abi – abi@thechattycafescheme.co.uk
Love Alex and George 

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