Baby Rayna Noelle

I gave birth to my 2nd daughter on 17th April 2020 via a planned c-section. As we knew the date we were going to have our baby, we had a few weeks to think about what we were going to do. 
Originally we planned for my mum to stay with our 4yr old while my partner and I was at the hospital. Unfortunately, that plan didn’t last long as she received a shielding letter from the government.
As my mum was now high risk and things began getting stricter at our local hospital, we (well me mainly) made the decision that I would give birth alone.
We had all been in our own safe little bubble since mid March and I just didn’t feel comfortable with my daughter being exposed to anyone else in the end. I also felt it was pointless my partner being in the hospital with me and increasing the risk to our safe little bubble for the sake of 2hrs! He would have only been in the theatre for the op and then the hour we spent in recovery. 
It wasn’t really an issue to me until the morning of the section. I was nervous when I woke up but I think I would have felt that way even if life was normal…I knew I was about to have major surgery and also another baby at some point in the day after all!
Pulling up to the hospital and saying goodbye in the carpark to my partner and our daughter was when it finally hit me. I was scared – scared to be alone, petrified to walk into a hospital at the peak of a pandemic, scared I would get Covid and bring it home, scared I would die during surgery and not even make it home. All very dramatic but these were the thoughts running through my head while I said my goodbyes.
I walked through the hospital and to the ward in absolute tears. I could barely speak when I was buzzed in and I didn’t think I’d be able to manage to get my name out to check in. Thank God…and I’m not usually religious but I really mean thank God…because I was greeted straight away by two angels! My midwives Liz and Katie were there straight away to introduce themselves and let me know that they were going to be looking after me and that is exactly what they did.
They were in full PPE, as was everyone at all times, but it wasn’t daunting. It’s crazy how you can feel so comforted by someone who’s face you couldn’t even see. They got me prepared pretty much straight away and explained I was first to go into theatre. It was quite surreal as I didn’t actually know what time anything was planned for and just said I’d let my partner know. 
I only managed to send a quick text to say the time i was going and that was it. Gowns on, stockings on, face mask on and away we go. It happened so quickly but I’m glad because I didn’t have time to think about it.
Knowing I was alone, my midwives said they would make sure they took plenty of pictures of the birth so my partner could see everything and they did absolutely follow through on that promise. When I got my phone back eventually I couldn’t believe what amazing shots they had taken for me.
In theatre, again the staff were absolutely amazing. Everyone was so kind and caring knowing I was there alone. I keep saying I was alone but in reality I wasn’t. There was always someone holding my hand, stroking my head or touching my shoulder while I laid in that table. I was so relaxed in the end that I didn’t realise my baby had actually been brought out until I heard the first cry! I was mid conversation with a nurse and had the shock of my life hearing that sound.
When that screen went down and I saw my baby for the first time, that was it – game over. I was so overwhelmed with happiness that I could have been anywhere in the world. Covid didn’t matter anymore, it didn’t ruin things for me anymore because she was here.
My 2nd little girl, Rayna Noelle, was born at 9.36am and weighed 7lb 5oz. She was and still is absolutely perfect. It was hard not being able to hold her straight away and it does still upset me that the first person to hold her wasn’t her dad while they finished my surgery, but it’s a sacrifice we chose to make for the sake of our family. The midwife sat with me while I was being stitched up and held the baby on my chest for me so we were face to face until it was time to goto recovery.
When we were finally allowed onto the ward and I got settled it hit me that it was just me and her now. I only shared my ward with one other person so it was very peaceful and I got plenty of time to just sit in peace and quiet and process everything.
The hospital was so calm and clean and the vibe was so relaxing. I honestly had a better experience in hospital this time than when I had my first daughter. It was so nice being able to walk about freely and not have the panic of running into visitors and not be worried about leaving the baby when you need the toilet etc. The whole midwifery team were fantastic and nothing was too much trouble for them. They really stepped it up knowing everyone was there without partners etc and they were so helpful.
I honestly would do it all again tomorrow and I’m glad to say that even though i felt so robbed of a ‘normal’ pregnancy and delivery when things went crazy, it actually was one of the best experiences of my life. I feel so proud of myself for doing it alone and I have such a special memory and bond with my daughter that I can’t wait to explain to her when she’s older. 
I hope more women realise that they are stronger than they think and if they do have to do it alone that they absolutely can and have nothing to worry about ❤️
Sorry for the essay!! I haven’t really discussed it in this kind of depth (I’m nearly 9weeks post partum and we haven’t had any contact with anyone yet) so I’ve clearly been holding this in lol. 

What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing. If you have a story you would like to share about giving birth during Covid-19 or would like to book a session, please get in touch here

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