Locked Out – a Guest Blog by Barefoot_Boy_Mum
I’m 58 and Counting’s step-daughter, and I moved to Perth, Western Australia (WA) for a working holiday in January 2012.
Fast forward 8.5 years and I’m now happily married, with a beautiful home, a goofy puppy and two incredible boys who are the centre of our universe.
The youngest of these boys, affectionately known as Fox, is now six months old. So if you do the maths, yes- I was pregnant and gave birth right in the middle of a global health pandemic.
I feel I need to state that we are incredibly lucky to be here in WA. Life never really came to too much of a halt for us. Yes we went into lockdown and my husband worked from home, but officially we were only in lockdown for 6 weeks and it gave us some beautiful bonus family time.
There were large negatives of course. I had to leave work earlier than planned and take our oldest son, affectionately known as Possum, out of childcare as we were too high risk. My husband was no longer able to attend any prenatal appointments or scans, and we weren’t able to have anyone over to help me wrangle an energetic 22 month old or go to playgrounds etc.
During our lockdown one of the measures was that we couldn’t leave our ‘zone’. We live in Perth metro, and my mother-in-law, who was to have the Possum, lived outside of that zone on a rural property. Thankfully the restrictions eased just in time and she was able to be with him while we were in the hospital.
The birth of Fox was right on the cusp of the height of Covid for us – a week earlier and my husband wouldn’t have even been allowed to attend the birth of our beautiful son.
The hardest part however was when I gave birth to Fox. He became unwell and needed some extra care in the neonatal nursery so I was in hospital for five days, in which time the Possum wasn’t able to visit at all. No-one was.
I’d only ever been away from him twice before, and I missed him so much.
Life went back to our ‘covid normal’ when Fox was around four weeks old, but people still didn’t really visit, due to the fear of sickness, which we appreciated.
It was so different to the first time when we had the Possum and an influx of visitors.
It was nice to prolong our bubble, but lonely all at the same time. My mum had to cancel her trip over, as did my dad, and we couldn’t go back to the UK as planned in September.
My husband’s office was set to go back to city work life as soon as the restrictions lifted, which meant two buses and two trains per day for him. Fortunately our obstetrician signed him off to work from home until Fox was six weeks old so that he had his first set of immunisations.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly understand how fortunate I am being in Australia, even more so WA.
But as the UK faces another Lockdown, I’m staring down the – what feels like endless – tunnel of being locked out. I’m locked out from seeing my family and my friends. I’m locked out from introducing my baby to his grandparents, aunties, cousins. I’m locked out from the Possum enjoying some quality time with his family. I’m locked out from meeting my beautiful niece who is already over a year old! I’m locked out from a cuddle from my Mum I’ve so desperately wanted since the Covid cloud descended, especially during the ever challenging fourth trimester. I’m locked out from being with my Dad as he battles more health problems. I’m locked out of having a drink with my sisters and the biggest sister hug.
I’m locked out. And I feel like I have to keep my feelings locked in. My heart truly goes out to all of you in the UK facing Lockdown once more. You can do it. You will do it. And we will be reunited once more.
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