Maternity leave during lockdown has its advantages

Pandemic Pregnancy: A Government-enforced ban on house visitors was something I could only have dreamed of after my firstborn

The plan for house visitors this time is that I’ll hold the  child up for viewings at the sitting room window and anyone wishing to pay homage can pass home-cooked meals through the letterbox in return.

The plan for house visitors this time is that I’ll hold the child up for viewings at the sitting room window and anyone wishing to pay homage can pass home-cooked meals through the letterbox in return.

 

Maternity leave has begun – that blissful part of maternity leave before the baby arrives. There is so much potential for these few weeks.

This is part of a series by Aisling Marron on her pregnancy during the pandemic.

My plan is to cram all the prep I never got round to in the past eight months: read the baby book, watch the antenatal videos, practise my breathing (I don’t mean to brag, but I’m actually already pretty good at breathing), eat five fruit and veg a day, check my app to see what fruit or veg the baby was the same size as at various points along the way (note: today it is “as heavy as a honeydew melon”).

I just asked the internet how heavy a honeydew melon is. Answer: 4-8lb, so they are fairly hedging their bets there. Thank you, App.

I’m also going to look up hypnobirthing, batch cook, declutter, spring clean, catch up on my Kegels – oh and my sleep and my moisturising and bouncing on my ball (whatever that does).

Obviously I’m going to sort all my photographs too. A job that has been on my list for literally 10 years but now is the time. Tomorrow, I’m going to get organised. How exciting.

This maternity leave is different from my first in that it is beginning in a lockdown and while that means I’m missing out on the opportunity for catch-up coffees or getting my nails done or browsing the shops or visiting anyone, it also has its advantages: an enforced slow down. I am heavily pregnant after all. Something that I am reminded of and feel with every step. As I turned over in bed last night, my husband piped up: “Did you know, the largest ship ever constructed was the Jahre Viking and it had a turning circle of two miles?”

Dunno what could have put that into his head but just giving me a hand would have been nicer.

Even though I now have a toddler, lockdown meant that in many ways this pregnancy was a lot less busy than the first. There was no haring across town after work to evening Pilates and yoga and yogalates and aqua aerobics. I did one lunchtime Pilates class a week in my sitting room and was delighted with that amount of exertion. I also spent every week of this pregnancy telling myself that I’d definitely start the pregnancy fitness programme that I bought two years ago… next week. And a feeling of calm would come over me knowing that I would definitely start it next week. (That’s on the to-do list for the next few weeks too.)

It seems mad now to think that we had 10 visitors to the hospital in the two days I was there

And while I’m not looking forward to the prospect of going through any part of labour without my partner there beside me, I am so looking forward to bringing the baby home.

A Government-enforced ban on house visitors was something I could only have dreamed of after my firstborn. It seems mad now to think that we had 10 visitors to the hospital in the two days I was there (and I’m not even counting the other parent of the baby who will now be deemed a “visitor” and allowed in for just two hours a day). Although, my mother-in-law did bring prosecco and plastic glasses when she visited so I guess I’ll just have to pack those myself this time. Will add it to the “hospital bag essentials’’ part of the to-do list. Clink clink.

A friend who just had her first baby told me she loves the newborn cuddles, and that she can’t put him down. We had so many visitors to our house that I can remember looking enviously at other people cuddling her because it seemed like I didn’t get to enjoy her that way. I was always just feeding and passing her on.

The plan for house visitors this time is that I’ll hold the infant child up for viewings at the sitting room window and anyone wishing to pay homage can pass home-cooked meals through the letterbox in return.

Advice I previously received for the weeks immediately after having a baby was to spend the first week in the bed, the second week on the bed and the third week near the bed. I might also get a little bell for summoning my husband. One ring for coffee. Two for chocolate. Three for wine. Four for maternity pads.

This is my only ambition for the first month at home and I think it sounds like a great plan. 

Part 1: This is all getting a bit Angela’s Ashes
Part 2: We got bad news at the first baby scan
Part 3: What’s the oldest woman you’ve delivered a baby to?
Part 4: Not yet telling your colleagues about the baby
Part 5: I go in to the scan and it turns out, I do miss my husband
Part 6: Was she asking if the baby had magically appeared?
Part 7: I am more apprehensive about having a second child 
Part 8: I’m living for my monthly maternity check-ups
Part 9: We decide we’ll take a little holiday
Part 10: Maternity leave during lockdown has its advantages

@aislingmarron

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