The bundles of joy may have entered the world in unprecedented times but the joy they have given their parents is a familiar emotion.
Nikita Barber, from Eye, had her first child on March 31 2020, a daughter Isabella Hollowell. The family celebrated her first birthday with a cake smash in the garden.
Nikita calls her the ‘light of the lockdown’ as their love for Isabella has kept her going through the challenges.
Nikita said: “We had to stay in the hospital for a few days with no visitors at all which I found emotionally challenging as her father was missing out in time to bond.
“I think as a first time mum this has been challenging for us all with no baby groups where we can speak with other mums and allow out babies to learn to communicate or even the support from health visitors as they would have been in the past.”
Looking ahead, Nikita can’t wait until May 17 so she can take her little girl to soft play areas as ‘show her more of the world to explore and make new friends.’
First time mum, Zoe Baker, who lives in Bretton, gave birth to her little girl Maddison on May 20 2020 and the family will soon be celebrating her first birthday. As most mothers anticipate their pregnancy being hard to forget, Zoe found her ‘surreal’ but as a family unit they ‘made it through together’.
She said: “Having lockdown suddenly thrown upon us is something I’m never going to forget. I was heavily pregnant and to then suddenly having all appointments stopped and being over the telephone was so hard.
“Maddison is our first child and we had no antenatal classes. When the time came to go into hospital I had to go alone until I was in established labour then I could phone my husband to later come and be with me.
“I was in labour for over 30 hours which resulted in an emergency c-section. We had to stay a few nights, which was very lonely as my husband and Maddison’s daddy couldn’t visit us. Thankfully modern technology meant we could video call him so he could see her.”
Hazel Sharpe who lives in Parnwell, gave birth to her beautiful little girl Meadow Hardy during lockdown on June 10. Though Hazel initially ‘didn’t mind’ lockdown as it gave her time to adjust to being a first time mum, did find it challenging.
She said: “It got progressively harder after as her family wasn’t able to meet her and have missed out on nearly the first year of her life and lost out on a lot of bond making so I’m over the moon now that lockdown restrictions are lifting and she can meet all her family at a nice summer bbq soon!”
Cat Hasson gave birth to her ‘cheeky, happy boy’ Elijah-bear on June 15 who will soon be turning one. Delivered on the bed at home by his dad with little sister Noëlle (4) and his big brother Riley (16). Though it was a ‘scary time’ for Cat she found it an ‘amazing experience’.
She said: “Having a baby in these times has been both rewarding and hard not seeing family members would have been the hardest. We’ve done window visits and video calls. One thing I am truly grateful for is the time my children have all spent together, he is one of six, and watching Elijah grow and the bond they have made. He’s thriving in all areas, we have a few words he can say and is nearly walking!”
Jo Ellis, from Werrington, gave birth to her daughter Ellie-Mae Ellis on November 13 who is approaching her first birthday in the next few months. With Ellie-Mae being her first child, Jo found the experience ‘daunting’ but couldn’t praise NHS staff enough.
She said: “This was my first baby so having to go through the scans on my own was daunting and I was very nervous.
“What I found most disheartening was only allowing one birthing partner in the hospital, therefore my mum and dad were unable to visit me in hospital, being their first grandchild that was heartbreaking for them.
“I can’t thank the NHS staff enough for looking after me during my stay, they all work so hard day and night. The midwives who looked after me were complete angels.”