We were so happy to welcome our little boy Archer on 31st March 2020. He arrived two weeks earlier than expected, and we couldn’t be happier as we were so worried about what will happen, and how things will be around his due date (15th April) due to COVID-19 outbreak.

It took almost 13 weeks to introduce him as the labour, delivery and recovery were more difficult than I had imagined. As a first-time mum, no one can prepare you for pregnancy, labour, birth, recovery and taking care of a newborn.

It all started on Sunday 29th March when I thought my water broke (don’t be fooled, if your water breaks, you will know!) and we went to the hospital. I got a cervical exam and found out my cervix is soft indeed, but I wasn’t dilated at all. As soon as we got back home, irregular contractions started. By Monday evening, they were regular and more frequent. On Tuesday morning, they were 5 minutes apart and lasting for about a minute. They were painful, but at least I could relax in between and prepare for the next one. We arrived at the hospital at 8.30am on Tuesday 31st March – I got checked and I was 3cm dilated. 

Because of the coronavirus, my partner couldn’t be with me at all in the hospital, meaning I had to go through labour, birth and hospitalisation all alone. It was very difficult to accept this even though I knew it was going to be the case for sometime. Hence I was able to mentally prepare myself and go through with the situation, my only wish being for both my baby and I to come back home healthy.

The labour lasted for almost 12 hours. I received an epidural when I was 4 cm dilated which helped me to take a half an hour nap, then my water got broken and the “fun” contractions started. I’m not going to lie about it – they were excruciating and overlapping sometimes so I wasn’t even able to take a breath between them. I reached the point where I started asking for any pain relief because I got to 10cm dilated, but the baby didn’t drop all the way in the birth canal so I wasn’t able to start pushing. Just when we prepared for an emergency C-section as the baby’s heartbeat was dropping, the doctors decided for me to push one more time and luckily, our son was born short after. He had his umbilical cord around his neck so he didn’t cry at all, but soon after they placed him on me, he opened his eyes, looked at me and started crying a little bit. It was amazing and I was so relieved, I couldn’t feel any pain whatsoever anymore. He latched shortly after birth and we were transferred to the maternity ward.

The next day I woke up with what it’s called a spinal headache – a severe migraine that can last between a few days to a few months which is a side effect of the epidural. The only time the pain is gone is when you lay down flat. But standing up or sitting down is extremely painful. This was so difficult to cope with as I was recovering from birth, whilst taking care of both my baby and I by myself. We had to stay 3 days in the hospital and these were the most difficult days I’ve ever lived. On one hand I was so grateful that both of us are healthy and it was mesmerising (and still is) to look at my son, but on the other hand I was devastated both physically and emotionally. My partner didn’t get to meet our son until Friday 3rd April, but it felt amazing to be back together and to go home. For the first weeks, no one had met our little boy because of the quarantine, which was again difficult for everyone – but at least we, as parents, got to enjoy him as much as we could.

I started feeling better after the first 6 weeks and we got to know our baby so much – it is much easier to care for him now. He is just perfect for us and we couldn’t be happier nor could we imagine our lives without him anymore.

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