Meet some of the bundles of joy born during the lockdown
- Credit: HANNAH ROGERS/ MAXINE WILSON/ KAYLEIGH ALDEN-HOLLINSWORTH
Babies born during the coronavirus pandemic continue to bring light to so many families at a time of uncertainty – here are some of the faces of Suffolk’s newest arrivals in our latest lockdown feature.
When we asked readers to send in pictures of babies born during lockdown, we were inundated with replies from across Suffolk.
So here we bring you our second feature of exciting stories from mums all over the county.
Nellie Rosalyn Baxendale and Esmae Florence Baxendale
Kayleigh Alden-Hollinsworth didn’t get just one bundle of joy on April 1 – she got two.
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Her twin girls Nellie and Esmae were born at Ipswich Hospital via an emergency caesarean after Kayleigh went into spontaneous labour at 35 weeks.
Kayleigh said: “I felt very nervous in the morning as we hadn’t long been in lockdown and I knew I would have to go into hospital alone to begin with.”
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Her contractions started thick and fast at 7am and when she got into hospital just a couple of hours later she was already 6cm dilated, so her partner was allowed to come up from the car park.
Kayleigh was taken straight to theatre due to Esmae being in the breech position and the girls were born at 11.22am and 11.23am.
Later that day the rules changed and all staff had to wear face masks 24/7.
“I didn’t mind but it was weird only seeing people’s eyes,” said Kayleigh, who was moved to special care the following day.
“Although I could FaceTime family and friends I felt very lonely and vulnerable. The staff were incredible and friendly and I could always sit and talk to them.”
After 9 days Kayleigh and the girls were allowed home so Rocco could finally meet his little sisters.
Charlotte Martin, 38, who lives in Woodbridge, is a stay at home mum to her six-year-old son and now her newborn daughter Emily, who was born at Ipswich Hospital.
Giving birth amid a global pandemic wasn’t something Charlotte would have ever envisioned, and despite feeling worried and anxious, she was quickly put at ease by the incredible midwives.
She said: “I was poorly with pregnancy sickness, so being in lockdown and away from the support of friends and family was very hard at times.
“Due to the restrictions in place, I had to attend antenatal appointments and scans without my husband, which was a shame for him to miss.”
Charlotte had a planned induction at 37 weeks due to health reasons, and was told her husband would not be able to accompany her to the labour ward, or be with her during the induction process until she was in established labour.
“Not knowing what was to come, and going it alone was a daunting prospect,” said Charlotte.
“On the day of induction, my husband and I said our goodbyes at the hospital entrance and I headed off up to the ward on my own. My husband found this hard, and I must admit I burst into tears as soon as my midwife Margaret greeted me at the ward door.”
Charlotte said Margaret quickly calmed her nerves and thankfully her labour progressed quickly, meaning her husband was able to join her for Emily’s arrival.
She said: “At first it was strange to see all the hospital staff wearing masks, and at times the masks made it difficult to hear what was being said. The additional full PPE that the midwives had to wear also looked a little daunting to begin with. However, it soon felt normal and the midwives were all saying ‘we’re smiling underneath’ which helped.”
Charlotte and Emily are now settled at home and are enjoying their time together.
She said: “Being at home with our little boy not being at school has given him the opportunity to bond with his baby sister and for us to settle into being a family of four.”
Lucy Anna Rogers
Hannah Rogers went into hospital on Friday, June 26 – wearing a mask and carrying her own bag to the door of the ward – leaving her husband waiting patiently in the car park.
She had contractions around every six minutes, but it was clear later on that everything had slowed down, so she returned home only for her waters to break at 7pm and the contractions coming every three minutes.
Hannah rang the ward and they asked whether she needed a home birth, but she made her way straight to the hospital in Bury St Edmunds with her husband and within 90 minutes baby Lucy was born.
Speaking of her experience, Hannah said: “The midwives were all in masks, gloves and aprons, but their great care and love for the job was as warm and strong as ever.
“We are thankful to them and to God for the safe arrival of our little lockdown baby whose name means ‘light & grace’.”
Hannah opted for an early discharge at six hours post birth making it home at 5.30am.
She was offered a Covid-19 test at discharge which she decided to have in case she was an asymptomatic carrier, finding out within 36 hours that the result came back negative.
Oscar Arthur Fairnington
Louise Fairnington was given the go ahead for a home birth two days before her due date, after managing to source a birthing pool from Suffolk Home Births last minute.
Despite this, when it came to the labour, baby Oscar arrived next to the birthing pool, instead of in it.
On Thursday, June 11 midwives Abby and Sharon visited the home of Louise and Andrew Fairnington to help deliver Oscar with no pain relief and in less than six hours – a much quicker process than Louise’s first born who took 52 hours.
Louise said: “Abby and Sharon were absolutely amazing and I felt so safe in their hands whilst they helped me birth Oscar.
“After the birth, Abby and Sharon set us all up in our bed and gave us a couple of hours together whilst they monitored Oscar. It was such a precious time together and at no point did we feel they were in a rush to wrap things up and finish for the night.
“We felt like they wrapped us up in our baby bubble and wanted to protect our time together.”
Louise and Oscar were transferred to Ipswich Hospital for monitoring due to him passing meconium while still inside the uterus.
Speaking of the experience, Louise said: “Going to hospital was the last thing I wanted to do but from the ambulance team, to the midwife support staff and the midwives in hospital it didn’t feel clinical and scary but friendly and relaxed.
“I even met a midwife on the ward who had been a student two years ago when I gave birth to my first son.
“Even with masks on you can feel the warmth and passion from all of the staff.
“I can’t thank the community, ambulance and hospital teams enough for such a positive experience in such an uncertain time.”
Molly Autumn Cook
Kim Cook gave birth to her daughter Molly on Wednesday, June 10, weighing 7lbs 15oz at 5.34am at Ipswich Hospital.
She said: “We had a fantastic experience with the labour and birth.
“I went into labour the evening before and very quickly my contractions were very regular. My husband was allowed to take me up to Deben ward with my bag but then had to return to the car.”
After some monitoring, Kim was examined and was 5cm dilated so her husband was allowed to join her.
“The birth went smoothly and the sun was rising as Molly entered the world,” beamed Kim.
“The midwives were fantastic - obviously wearing PPE but so supportive.”
Kim had retained tissue so needed a drip after Molly’s birth, but her husband was allowed to stay for five hours before they were transferred to the postnatal ward.
Kim said she enjoyed speaking to other mums whilst she was on the Orwell Ward – as no one had their partners with them.
She said: “The midwives were amazing and offered to help so often although they were rushed off their feet.”
Aria Kiara Anne Wood
Courtney Howard gave birth to her daughter Aria at Ipswich Hospital on May 31.
She said her experience at the hospital “was great” after being in slow labour for four days, where she was in and out of hospital.
“All the staff in the antenatal clinic and Deben ward made me feel calm and safe with their PPE on and the way they approached me,” explained Courtney.
Her contractions started on the Thursday and by 6.40am on Sunday morning she was 5cm dilated so her birthing partner was allowed to come up.
She said: “The midwife stayed with me from 8am until I gave birth at 3.28pm and all the way through she was holding my hand, asking if I was okay, getting me water etc.
“Her name was Sally and she made the stress of everything going on and the worry of the virus go away and I am thankful she was there that day – it was one of the best days of my life!”
Huxley Deane Fletcher Garrard
Huxley was born at Ipswich Hospital, weighing 7lbs 3oz on May 13, by a planned caesarean section.
His mother Elizabeth, said: “The care at Ipswich Hospital was brilliant.
“The staff were amazing and I felt so supported during the experience.
Aaliyah was born at Ipswich Hospital on Tuesday, May 5 via an emergency caesarean.
Mum Samantha Kershaw, said: “The midwifes were great, everyone was amazing.
“Things were not normal as I gave birth on my own as I was not in isolation with family. To say it was strange is an understatement.
“Some family members have not even seen Aaliyah yet and she is nearly two months old, as I am still very careful about coronavirus.”