Having a baby in normal circumstances is already pretty darn difficult. Having a baby through the Covid open season is not just challenging, it can be pretty overwhelming.
I had my baby, little A, on April 8th 2020 (or as you may recall, right around the peak of the first COVID wave). As you might imagine, when me and my husband first decided to get pregnant the world was still a “beautiful” place, not threatened by this specific virus. Would my decision of having a child have changed had I known? To be honest, that is not a question I can reply to as the circumstances are very different. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my baby for the world. Is it possible to have a baby through this? Absolutely!! Does it come with extra challenges? You can bet it does!!
Anyway let’s get a little bit more into it.
As I said, my baby was born in April, at full term. It was very scary. When COVID broke loose back in March (up here in Scotland), nobody actually knew what we were facing. The news out there was terrible. I basically locked myself home at 8 months pregnant and hoped that my baby would be okay. It can be nerve racking for an expecting mama to have to face something like this. For a new mama, nothing is scarier than the possibility of your baby falling ill. Sure, there are plenty of diseases out there. But let’s be honest, to this day I’m still not sure exactly what we are facing (much like the rest of the general population), how to be sure to avoid it, and most of all, we still don’t know how to cure it – even if there are promising vaccine announcements making the rounds, it could be years before we can get our hands on those. These are all questions that, 7 months after my baby was born, are still in my head. After all, what kind of world did I bring my little one into?
I was lucky enough that my husband was able to be with me during delivery. However, he was not allowed to come in while I was in observation – for a whole hour, while in active labour. I can only imagine what it feels like to have to go through the whole thing on your own. My husband couldn’t stay with me at the hospital after the baby was born either. Postpartum is already a big challenge; having to do it on your own while still having to care for your newborn baby is absolutely insane.
Then, you bring your little one home and another challenge begins. Caring for a newborn baby is extremely difficult – life as you know it is over. Everything suddenly is about that little tiny human that depends on you 24/7. And then there is COVID… preventing your family and friends from meeting your little one and helping you out, impeding/delaying even the most basic things – such as registering your baby – etc.
Let me tell you a little bit more about my story:
Me and my husband are both Portuguese and by the time our daughter was born we had been living in the UK for nearly 5 years. That means, despite being born here, little A was a few months shy of qualifying to be British. So we basically had an additional challenge right there, because the nearest Portuguese embassy is a 4-hour drive away – in Manchester, an area where COVID was running rampant when we went there. To cut it short, my baby was only registered with the local council at the end of July and we were only able to obtain her passport by the end of September. Additionally, only our closest family members were able to fly in to meet little A, and only for 2 days at the end of August, when the quarantine rules were relaxed for a period of time. We also had flights to Portugal in September which we had to cancel because our daughter didn’t have her passport yet. We finally flew to Portugal on November 13th, with no certainty that we will be able to come back, as every other flight we had booked so far has been cancelled. Fingers crossed!!
Finally, there is the possibility that you or your child might fall ill. Even the smallest thing such as taking your child to get some fresh air can be stressful. What if you cross paths with somebody infected? Interacting with people is a big part of baby development. That is how they learn and socialize and define their personalities. But how can you allow anyone near your tiny baby? What if that is the reason your baby falls ill? What if they don’t interact with anyone else and then they become terrified of strangers? Your decisions here will affect not only your baby’s health, but their personality as well, and as a consequence their whole life.
I think what I am mainly trying to emphasize is that having a baby through COVID is not only challenging, but also nerve racking and full of uncertainties. I can only tip my (metaphorical) hat to you if you are one of the parents who are facing the most beautiful thing in the world through these dark times. You are absolutely amazing!!!
Do I mean you shouldn’t have a baby now? Absolutely not! Can you do it? HELL YEAH!!
Despite all of the above, my baby is still happy and healthy. Having little A has been so fulfilling. It totally changed my whole life and more importantly the way I look at everything. I honestly can’t imagine my life without her. It’s like it was always meant to be. She is the best part of me and I love her to the moon and back.
If you are an expecting parent, I hope this (at least the last paragraph xD) will put you a little bit at ease in regards to the times we live in. There are people that have done it (having babies through COVID). For crying out loud, I am doing it – and if I can, believe me, it is possible!! 🙂