Blog post by Jess Horwood

A lockdown pregnancy

A first pregnancy is an exciting time for any couple.  It’s a time for making preparations, shopping trips to find beautiful tiny babygrows and for precious time with family and friends. With a little one due in August, COVID-19 has been a frightening and uncertain time for us.  I remember with absolute clarity, and always will, our stressful conversations over the dinner table in mid-March.  Both of us being key workers in one form or another and conscientious ones at that, we tried to explore a way through this time which would protect our ability to work but also keep our growing family safe.  Never before had we been forced to consider an ‘other’ so much more important than ourselves.

After a stressful couple of days, we have both been lucky enough to be able to work fully from home since shortly before lockdown began.  As a fit and healthy individual, I have struggled with my new ‘vulnerable’ status, feeling incredibly guilty that colleagues of mine have been continuing to work in the department, essentially enabling myself and others to be shielded.  Overwhelmingly though, the relief of relative safety has been immense.

We have struggled to come to terms with preparing for a new family in isolation.  Forced separation from our family at this time has been by far the worst thing.  There have been tears, tantrums and frustrations but as time has gone on, we have realised how lucky we are.  This uninterrupted time as a couple has been the perfect way to prepare for the arrival of our baby.  We have always been close but have bonded in a different way over the past 100 days, becoming one another’s colleagues, and friends, as well as spouses. Although there is frustration – I challenge anyone to research pushchairs and car seats without seeing one (!) and sadness – making my first pair of curtains for the nursery without my mum on hand to help was a tearful time – along the way, we have been given the gift of time.

No longer do I have to battle through the commuters to make my way into the hospital every day – leaving at 7am and often not arriving home until after 6.  Although we have missed friends and family immensely, we have escaped social pressures which dictate we should stay out longer and later than we might feel we would like to at the moment.  We have had time to explore our beautiful countryside surroundings and have been delighted by the supportive community in Eynsham.  We rarely leave the house without bumping into a neighbour who asks how we’re doing, we have been prioritised for delivery from the ‘Market Garden’ due to my pregnancy and due to safety measures imposed, I have even felt safe using our wonderful local Post Office.

We understand people are frustrated by the imposed situation but surely for all of us, it has also brought something new and positive. We should focus on this moving forward and on how this experience can shape our futures for the better.  We look forward to introducing our new addition to Eynsham when they arrive at the end of the summer.

Author: Eynsham Lockdown Editor