• Katy Rigg

Elizabeth and Ava - 23rd March

Updated: Aug 23, 2020

Elizabeth’s daughter was born the day that the national lockdown was announced. In her story, she highlights the sacrifices many families with children have made over the last few months, and the pressures they have been under to find solutions in difficult situations, especially surrounding the imminent arrival of a baby.

The morning of 23rd March 2020, I arrived at Princess Royal Maternity in Glasgow for my 4th and final c-section. Having had three beautiful daughters, I had an idea about what the section entailed but I was apprehensive about having to stay in hospital with coronavirus threatening a national lockdown. My children were gutted to be told they couldn’t come and meet their baby sister in the hospital; a moment they had been excited about for months! I explained that I would Facetime and be home as quickly as possible.

On the day, the hospital staff were really lovely but there was definitely a unique atmosphere in the hospital. My daughter, Ava Margaret Jane McGoran was brought into the world kicking and screaming at 11:51am and she is an absolute treasure. My husband stayed with me in recovery and for one hour in the ward, but then he had to go home. My daughters Facetimed constantly to see their baby sister.

The midwives were amazing to keep going throughout, but the feeling of being in hospital was very strange. The busy wards were reduced to three mums, one of whom I now am friends with, which I suppose wouldn’t have happened previously due to visitors and distractions!

Over the past few years, our family have lost my mum, sister and gran who I certainly felt with me on the scary moments. I had lost quite a lot of blood, and when they announced that the country had gone into lockdown, I felt panicked! I was scared about how I’d get home. All the logistics of bringing the baby home terrified me and at that time, the midwives didn’t even know what would happen for aftercare.

The next morning, I was allowed to go home. This was very strange. Leaving the ward, I remember being scared for my baby to breathe outside. It sounds crazy but the uncertainty was immense. My husband and three daughters were in the car and my sister had come to watch over the car whilst my husband came to the ward to get us. You see, lockdown meant that the kids couldn’t stay at home as we couldn’t have a babysitter in the house, and my sister couldn’t even open the car door. My sister wasn’t able to touch or see Ava, or hug any of us. This was very surreal. The prospect of none of my family meeting her broke my heart. I was scared Ava would be strange around people as she could only see people virtually, but she is the opposite now - she loves smiling and meeting people.

Four months on, and although Ava has had all her immunisations, and her birth registered only two weeks ago, health wise I personally haven’t had a check up. My scar has never been checked and my low blood levels never chased up. With my older babies, we had a six-week check, but this time around there’s been nothing.

My lockdown experience has been an emotional rollercoaster and my daughter’s first few months on this world are already an epic story of how she got the country grounded on day one of her wee life!! 2020 might have been the year the world changed, but I can hand on heart say the world changed the day Ava Margaret Jane McGoran arrived.

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