This week marks a year of living through a global pandemic. A year since we hugged freely, commuted daily & ate out spontaneously. I don’t know about you, but amidst the longing for ‘normality,’ I actually feel proud. We did it.
At first, I was pretty sure a 3-week lockdown would be the death of me- especially being 6 months pregnant. But here we are, a whole year later, and I’m still smiling and still hopeful for an eventual lifting of the restrictions and finally hugging friends and family.
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it’s been the least bit easy. Labour during a pandemic, with your husband being restricted access, is soul destroying for any expectant mother. In fact, it has definitely been the hardest and scariest experience of my life so far. I’m sure any other pandemic mummies reading this can relate.
In short, baby Dhillon didn’t come easily. In fact, I was in labour for 72 hours. Yep, you heard that right- 72 whole hours. After 26 hours of contractions at home, without my waters even braking, I decided the pain was too much to stay at home and headed into hospital. Endless video calls to Mr. D, and one epidural later, we decided the C-section route would be the safest one to take. Thankfully Mr. D was allowed to be present during the active labour.
But baby Dhillon also didn’t come drama free. With breathing difficulties and imbalanced IV levels, my poor baby boy ended up in special care for four days. Every time I visited him; I would end up sobbing looking at his tiny body attached to so many tubes. It would’ve been a scary time for any new parent, let alone when your partner can’t be there with you due to COVID restrictions.
Another agonising separation came about when I was discharged & Kartar wasn’t. But thank god, Kartar’s IV levels were normalised and the special care unit made arrangements so that we could stay together. Talk about a MASSIVE relief. As grateful as I was, it left me all on my own, managing a new-born whilst simultaneously trying to recover from major surgery. I couldn’t even lift my baby! Those first few days were physically and emotionally painful, and if it weren’t for my friends or family being available on video chat, I’m not sure how I would have survived.
All in all, COVID-19 made the special moment of having my first child, super lonely and painstakingly difficult. Believe me when I say I had a good cry many times. And that was just the start of the rollercoaster that is being a first-time mum in a global pandemic. I could write you a long list of the difficulties and frustrations I’ve faced the last year, but as cheesy as it may sound, in hindsight I’m feeling positive and grateful for the experiences I’ve had.
As hope springs up in the form of easing restrictions, it’s so important to not only reflect on what we have struggled with, but also what we’re grateful for. We’re over the hardest part.
The West Middlesex Hospital were amazing. Despite how traumatic that week of Kartar’s birth felt, they were supportive throughout. Although returning to work, in a virtual #WFH environment isn’t easy, my managers have been so understanding- even offering me a new role far better suited to my interests. And of course, since the pandemic began, our family has grown to 3 and we now have a healthy, sweet boy to occupy our days.
So, as we wrap up a year of ups and downs, laughs and cries… what are you grateful for in hindsight? I’d love to hear from you!