Amy Prentice, 27, and her husband Simon Prentice, 27, of Yaxley, welcomed their daughter Emmeline, now two-months-old, on April 22, at 2.41pm after a 24-hour labour.
Weighing 6lbs 9oz, the pair were so excited to finally meet their little girl nine days after her due date. Despite being overjoyed at having her in their arms, it still wasn’t the experience they expected for their first child.
Amy said: “When I went into labour, I stayed at home as long as possible, because I knew if I had gone to the hospital, my husband couldn’t be there the entire time.
“I had always planned a hospital birth, so I was happy with that, but I had anticipated my mum coming down straight after the birth to give help and support, particularly as Emmeline was our first, but we didn’t have that. In terms of delivery, it was okay, the biggest problem was going in by myself.
“I went into triage at 7am and Simon came in around 8am, he was just sat in the car after he dropped me off just waiting to be told he could come in. Although we had a few hours together after the birth, once we had a room on the postnatal ward he had to go.”
She added: “It was so bizarre for Simon, after he left he went home and slept. He was so deflated, he just went to bed, didn’t eat, obviously he couldn’t see anybody.
“The next day, I was discharged around 5pm and it felt like a weight was lifted off our shoulders because I could get help, and Simon was happy that he knew he was there to help too.
“I suffered quite badly with breastfeeding so I had to see my midwife, so we had a visit on day one and day five and in the end I phoned my local midwife and she was so supportive, she came to see me I had a good cry and said if you need more support just text me.
“Although it may not seem like it, there have been positives. My husband and I are teachers and he was able to work home for five weeks instead of just having two weeks paternity, so while others couldn’t visit he’s been able to work from home for longer. He’s back at school now but it’s a positive that we have got five weeks instead of two.
“My mum came to visit last week and she was eight weeks old and my mum saw her for the first time. We’ve had friends do window visits, but my mum first met her then it was sad but also great at the same time.
“I think it was hard having no support right at the beginning, we felt we couldn’t ask anyone for help in terms of physically being here, people were bringing us food and treats, but we couldn’t go out anywhere, or see anybody.
“No one could help us, so it was really hard in the first couple weeks. It was our first baby so it was hard, if it was our second we might have been a bit better, but we didn’t know what we were doing.”
Amy admitted it’s substantially easier now that she is able to see people, although family members still can’t hold Emmeline, it’s been better knowing that she does have people she can see and speak to for advice.
Poppy Barringer, 29, and her husband Aaron Barringer, also 29, had Shelby May, on March 21, just days before lockdown. Although her labour wasn’t directly impacted by the changes, with both her partner and her mum in the room and a two hour, 41 minute labour, giving birth to her 6lb 5oz baby at 2:41am, she still felt the effects when she got home.
Originally planning a water birth, Poppy’s birthing plan went out of the window due to how fast the labour went, but as she was allowed out at 10pm that evening, she was happy to return home so soon.
She said: “After I gave birth, my husband dealt with Shelby while my mum helped me get washed and changed as I’m an amputee. I went back home on the same night, and then the midwife came on the Monday.
“Shelby May is my first baby, and despite this, I only had a visit from the midwife once, because we went into lockdown on Tuesday, March 24.
“I haven’t really had much help since. The health visitor rang me for the first time last week to ask about her feeding, how she’s sleeping and how I’m dealing with things.
“It’s been hard, I haven’t felt like I had much support, especially without having friends and family around. Luckily my mum has been here because I had an operation to have a kidney stone removed, so she’s been helping, but I haven’t seen anyone else.
“We have finally taken Shelby to see my partner’s side of the family but she was 12 weeks old when they first got to meet her.
“My partner has a son and he came for the first time last week and he’s been able to see her for the first time and interact with her and we’re going on holiday at the end of July, to York, so it’s lovely that we have got that to look forward to.”
Although it’s been a challenging time, as lockdown slowly eases, families are able to see the newest members of their family and it has been helping new parents settle into family life.