I think every women has this image in their head about how pregnancy will be, it is the most amazing thing in the world and at the end- you get to bring your new baby into the world. There are so many things to look forward too, ultrasounds, baby showers, maternity session, that “pregnant glow” and having your partner there for the birth and Newborn Session. But this isn’t the reality for many pregnant women this year, alot of them have had to miss out on most of these things due to the current pandemic. At the end of the day, it is what it is but when you dream of these things for so long and it’s not panning out the way you thought it would; I can only imagine its quite heart breaking for most mothers this year. When I decided to start my series of motherhood blogs, I reached out to Anna. She lives in one of the hotspots in Melbourne and their area had just gone into lock down. At the time Anna was heavily pregnant with her first baby.

Who are you and where are you from? I originally grew up in hay and moved to Melbourne at 19 .

When did you know you were ready to start a family? My husband wanted a baby right away and I used to joke that after we travelled and he put a ring on my finger I would consider it . We then got married April 2019 and I was pregnant by November 2019.

What was your first feeling like when you became pregnant and how did your partner react ?
I was so unwell I had about 4 days off work thinking I had some tummy bug .I honestly did not even think that I could be pregnant as I had only just gone off my contraceptive 3 weeks earlier . I was going to a Rob Thomas concert the night I found out and I decided to not tell my husband until I got home from the concert and I could suprise him !
He was so over the moon and he thought I was joking around .

Did you know much about pregnancy or birth before falling pregnant yourself?
I did not want kids at all until I was about 28 years old – it’s true what they say when you meet someone and you know they are the person you want to go through life with . My husband when we met was so future/family orientated and it changed everything !I also have not much experience with babies or kids at all if I’m being honest .

Have you experienced any pregnancy symptoms like nausea, tiredness, pain etc?I have been sick my whole pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum and have been on odansetron the whole pregnancy , seasick bands , wafers and ginger tablets lol anything I could get my hands on to make me feel ok . Today is my due date and I had to have medication even today.

Have you felt safe and supported during this pregnancy by your healthcare providers?
Unfortunately due to Covid 19 everything has changed . My appointments have been cancelled , few and far between , Telehealth appointments , my husband has also not been able to attend due to covid 19 restrictions at my hospital . He did attend the 12 week scan however before Covid shutdowns . I had decreased movements and was admitted to hospital and trav was not allowed to attend , I drove myself to the hospital and stayed on my own for the monitoring over 6 hours . Not ideal .

Have you felt informed and feel like you have a better understanding of your body, your baby and your experience?
Not at all as stated above I have had to do a lot of research on my own , ask questions to my midwives remotely , we are on a second shut down here so there are no classes , groups , hospital tours , sometimes appointments have been booked for me that I wasn’t aware of . I feel like each appointment I was blindsided by things I wasn’t aware of would happen or tests I had to do etc.

Is this how you imagined pregnancy to be?
Not at all , I’ve missed out on so much . I’ve been at home in lockdown since March 13th pretty much only leaving the house for essential things .
No baby shower , less appointments but the worst is not having my husband by my side to experience this all with me . It’s been very lonely . I wish I could have my friends and family around , go shopping , baby expos , visit my nana , maternity shoot, none of which I have been able to do

How has this pandemic impacted your pregnancy and why?
The biggest problem for us right now apart from what I have previously stated is the hospital restrictions , my hospital have chopped and changed restrictions to visitors and partners and have not notified us personally . We keep up to date on their website … as it stands trav is not allowed in for induction or assessment and only for the birth/delivery . He is allowed to stay for 2 hours after the birth/delivery and then he is allowed to visit for 2 hours each day I stay after between the hours of 4-8pm . I have a private room and a husband willing to do anything so but due to covid this is likely not to change . I understand why but it doesn’t change the time my husband trav will miss with his newborn .

If you could change anything, what would it be? I don’t feel like I could have mentally prepared myself any better – covid came and ruined everything. I have a therapist I have leant in during this time which has been a godsend .

Do you feel like you still need answers or support in any area? Eg: Labour, breastfeeding, postpartum, pre labour signs
I’m feel like I’m a little lucky being so naive because then I can’t scare myself too much , I have been watching core and floor restore free classes online which have been great however .

Anna and Trav have welcomed a beautiful little boy, William John. I touched base with Anna a couple weeks ago to see how her experience was.

How was your birth experience?

My birth was pretty easy going , I started contractions on Thursday morning, by Thursday at 7.30pm my waters had broken and I went in to the hospital at 9pm and I was 3 cm dilated. I had an epidural at around midnight and he was born at 6am, it was all really quick.

And was hubby able to stay for longer then the 2 hours ?

These are all within 6 hours Hubby was only allowed to stay 2 hours after I left the birthing suite then he was allowed back for two hours between 4 – 8 pm

How were you feeling about that being first time mum ?

I was so exhausted I didn’t have the energy to fight it or ask for him to stay longer , me and baby slept but as it was a private room it was incredibly lonely doing it all on my own