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New mums’ baby joy in the middle of a health crisis

THE road to becoming a parent is a difficult task for anyone, but navigating your way through it all in the midst of a global pandemic is not something that happens everyday.

“We were very naive about the virus in the beginning and we took the approach of each day at a time and hoped it would be over by the time our due date came around,” explained new mum Valina Woods from Lisnaksea.

“It finally hit us at my 37 week appointment when the midwife explained the restrictions for during birth in detail to me that this was going to be very different to my other experiences. When I found out Lloyd (her partner) would only be allowed into the hospital when I was in established labour and had to leave afterwards put a damper on the birth for me. However, looking at it with a positive attitude really helped us come to terms with the new normal and I feel that for us it really worked out well.”

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Speaking to the Herald on the experience of taking her newborn home in the midst of lockdown, the proud mum explained, “Baby Elijah has brought such a nice atmosphere into the house it’s been lovely. We are all getting extra time together as a family and the kids are getting the chance to help out and be more involved in looking after the new baby – Lockdown worked out as a positive for our little family.

“The first few days were hard without having both sets of parents around to help. I feel like we’ve been lucky as my partner is at home now full time and between him and my two older boys I’ve a great gang to help out.”

Another new mum Newtownbutler woman Sorcha Hogan told the Herald, “As I watched the virus spread in China even then I was on edge, I got so scared at the thought of having to go into hospital and if my partner would be allowed in with me to see his son being born, I realised early on that this wasn’t going to be a normal situation.”

Speaking on what life has been like after the birth of her son Freddie, Sorcha said, “I’ve tried looking for the positives as we won’t ever get these moments back, so we might as well enjoy our time together as a family.

“The weather being nice has been such a blessing because Delilah my eldest can get out in the garden to play, but this isn’t normal life so I think when we have to go back to our normal life it’s going to be weird for us all.

“I don’t know when I will feel comfortable taking Freddie and Delilah into a shop or even a play park again which is a weird feeling as a parent, Freddie’s will be so isolated probably for the first year of his life.”

While Sorcha is enjoying spending quality time with her family during lockdown, she does admit that not seeing loved ones due to Covid restrictions has been hard; “All of Nick’s (her partner) family live in England apart from his mum so it’s hard not being able to let them see Freddie, also not knowing when they will meet him is very strange because normally we would be planning a Christening but all of that isn’t happening.

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“Watching my family meet Freddie from a distance was so difficult, it broke my heart, it’s not normal and after having a baby your emotions are everywhere anyway but not being able to hug my mum afterwards was so strange.

“I’m very lucky that it’s my second baby, I couldn’t imagine having to be so isolated when I had my first, I would have struggled so much more. Delilah and Freddie definitely lift your spirits in the darkest of days, being a mum is the best job in the world no matter what’s going on in the world and nobody can take that away from you.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA