CHAPTER 1

Sophie and Alexia live on the opposite side of the world, the former in gloomy England and the latter in sunny California. But they have one thing in common, a tiny thing really. A little human, a gorgeous baby girl who was born during the Covid 19 pandemic. And they were born almost a month away, Alexia’s daughter Ayzel Alani was born April, the 18th while Sophie’s daughter Olivia was born May, the 17th. 

Both mothers had to go through pregnancy and labor during the world of Coronavirus, which changed their plans and gave them a few more reasons to worry. The biggest one was being alone at the hospital. 

“My biggest concern was worrying about being alone during the whole process as this is my first pregnancy,” said Alexia.

The changes started at checkups and screenings, when both had to go alone to the doctors office. Both in the United States and in England, no extra guests were allowed in the office, which means Sophie’s mother couldn’t accompany her. 

At birth, the differences between how the two countries decided to deal with Covid 19 came alight. 

Both Sophie and Alexia had a cesarean and that was their only commonality. 

In fact, at Beverly hospital in Montebello, California, Alexia’s partner wasn’t allowed in the operating room. On the other side of the ocean, Sophies’s partner could stay during the procedure.

“My partner was by my side the whole time until after the baby was born, he had to leave about 50 minutes after,” said Sophie.

Sophie’s partner reunited with her and their newborn Olivia in the recovery room. Still, the cesarean procedure was so quick, she didn’t mind being alone at her daughter’s birth. For the first few days, both mothers were alone with their babies, since both in the USA and in England, visitors were not allowed in the hospital. Sophie was alone in the recovery room for three days, when she finally went home to her partner. Back in California, Alexia and Ayzel went home to self-quarantine. 

Grandma went over to help the new parents, always with a mask on. Still, most of the time Alexia and her partner were alone with their first-born and they missed their family’s help. The support from their community stopped at the porch steps, where friends and relatives left supplies. Sophie also missed her support system and help with Olivia, since she has always been a people person. Sure, sometimes you need time to yourself, but not when you have to raise a newborn during a pandemic. 

Covid 19 didn’t just affect Alexia’s motherhood. Her maternity leave started earlier because of the lockdowns in California. So she had time to prepare for postpartum life and to reduce stress during her first pregnancy, both silver linings during the scary months of the pandemic. Unfortunately, because of Coronavirus restrictions, she is not back at work yet. 

Covid 19 has changed the rules for pregnancy and motherhood, leaving parents alone at hospitals and in their homes. No matter where in the world mothers and babies are, they will always be attended by nurses in protective personal equipment, empty recovery rooms and friends waving from the sidewalk. Still, nothing can take away the joy of birth. Not even a pandemic. 

Content by Gaia Zol

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