- in Technology
The families of many babies born during the coronavirus pandemic have had to face up to waiting for the day they can finally meet their newest relations.
Grace Marie Cooper was born at Royal Derby Hospital on 7 April – and into a very different world.
A little over a fortnight before her expected arrival, much of the UK was advised to stay at home whenever possible.
She became the fourth grandchild of Janine Stone, who said it has been “devastating” not to be able to hold Grace because of the social distancing guidelines.
“It’s lovely to see a new baby in the family, but it’s heartbreaking not being able to touch them and cuddle them and have your first photograph taken with a newborn grandchild,” she said.
“Being born in the pandemic is an uneasy time, it’s unsettling for everybody, but we’ve got to put our trust in the NHS – they’re doing an amazing job.”
Grace’s mother Victoria had only had a baby shower party with her sister a week before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the measures to try and stop the spread of the virus.
As she prepared for the birth she then went into self-isolation, and so saw little of her family in the run-up to the event.
Grace and her mother are self-isolating with dad Adam and Grace’s sister Chloe at their home in Belper.
Ms Stone said she and other relatives were all looking forward to being able to properly welcome her into the world.
“I have managed to see Grace since they came home, through the window,” she said.
Ms Cooper also praised the “absolutely amazing” hospital staff for their support during her pregnancy, with Grace’s middle name a tribute to one of the midwives who helped deliver her.
Technology ‘A bit weird’
Marina Lois gave birth to her first daughter Jessie in Cardiff on 27 March. The restrictions imposed in the preceding days to tackle the spread of the virus affected the role her husband Steve Austins could play.
With advice “changing on a daily basis” in the run-up to the birth, she said it was tough being apart from her husband so soon after their daughter arrived.
“It was a bit weird being in there on your own,” she said.
“I had a caesarean, so I couldn’t lift her up very easily on my own, so I felt a little bit helpless.
“The staff, bless them, were there for me – they were doing their absolute best.”
Ms Lois – who already worked from home running a radio and podcast production company with her husband – had been intending to use the Easter weekend to introduce Jessie to the extended family, with her mother due to have come up from London.
Like many others, the holiday plans had to be put to one side, as have visits from Mr Austins’ relatives on the Welsh side of the family.
However, they have found a way to bring the cross-border branches together and stay positive in trying times.
“We’re doing video calls all together,” she said.
“It’s better than nothing. We had to teach mum how to use the video phone, which was something, but now we’ve got the hang of it everyone can see each other now.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do this five or 10 years ago with the technology that we had, so we are lucky it’s happened now.”