CHAPTER 4

Born in Quarantine

Graziana and Louise had two different and distinct experiences with pregnancy and labor during the pandemic, although they both live in the United Kingdom. Graziana and her family live in North Yorkshire, in the north east of England, while Louise and her family live in Aberdeen, Scotland. The former had a baby boy, Lorenzo, while the latter had a baby girl, Kinnarah. 

The differences don’t end here. Lorenzo was born on April the 2nd and Kinnarah was born on March, the 18th, only five days before the lockdown. Covid-19 didn’t affect Louise’s pregnancy until she arrived at the hospital for delivery, although she was still worried. 

“I was very worried it would reach Scotland and I was scared to catch it while pregnant in case it affected my baby,” Louise said. 

Graziana had a more difficult month leading up to Lorenzo’s birth. Her family was supposed to visit her, flying from Italy, one of the major Coronavirus hotspots in March. She was worried that her family would catch the virus and in turn infect her or the newborn. 

“Inside of me, panic arose,” Graziana said, “I locked myself in the house at the beginning of March, before the lockdown even began.”

The screenings and checkups of both mothers weren’t affected from Covid-19 and their partners stayed in the delivery room. They didn’t have any visitors at the hospital and Graziana’s family had to give up on the trip. Louise’s family managed to see Kinnarah before the lockdown but still, the new families felt lonely and isolated. They relied on video calls and Facebook groups to have the moral support any new mother needs. 

“I know that we were not as negatively affected as a lot of couples,” said Louise,  “but after Kinnarah was born we were just as cut off as everyone else.”

However, there is always a silver lining: time alone with the newborn. Graziana and Louise agree: the lockdown allowed them to create a strong bond with the babies, with any interference. 

“Pandemic parents like us, we should be proud, “ said Graziana, “because we did on our own, with only our strength.” 

Content by Gaia Zol.

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