Jamie wasn’t a lockdown baby, he was born in early January. He is our second beautiful babe and when he had just arrived we were really keen to have some family time. With our first baby we had lots of people over in the first few weeks, and we loved that but it’s a bit mad aswell so this time we were keen to adjust to being a family of four first. We had learnt from the first time round and we asked people to give us a couple of weeks before they popped round.
At around 3 weeks, Jamie got a rash and 24hrs later, he had a fever. We were in and out of hospital that weekend and on our second visit we ended up staying for 6 days. It’s was a terrifying time, they weren’t sure what was wrong with him but he had a raging fever which was only controlled by painkillers. He was on a cocktail of painkillers, steroids and antibiotics and monitored every hour. He stopped feeding and had febrile seizures. My heart goes out to anyone with a poorly child, my mind was all over the place and aswell as recovering myself from giving birth, I was now trying to care for a newborn in hospital. It turns out that he had a nasty virus which with him being so little had hit him really hard. Seeing him struggle like he did was heartbreaking. They told us to take care after we left hospital and so when we returned home, we stopped people coming to see Jamie for a bit and I just snuggled with him a home – grateful that he was recovering.
By the time I was feeling more comfortable and Jamie was a little less upset, we found ourselves in lockdown. Back in March I’m not sure any of us thought we would be in the situation we are now – still with restrictions and facing an entirely new but necessary normal but I feel so sad that people won’t know my little boy as a little baby – and probably won’t get to have a cuddle for a few more months. They have missed out on that gorgeous newborn phase – though the positive is I haven’t had to share him (other than with my eldest son and my husband) and I have had loads of cuddles.
I know that everyone has their own lockdown story. For some people this has been a life changing time. At the extreme end I know people who have had to say goodbye to loved ones in the most heartbreaking circumstances. Others have had to cancel or postpone weddings whilst others have had their careers thrown into disarray. Then there are other people like me that miss being able to touch and meet loved ones. People like me that have had a young baby and feel sad that the grandparents can’t shower their newly born grandchild in love, kisses and affection – who persevere with daily FaceTimes and video calls which just don’t really cut it. For us and our parents, the video calls are a life saver but they still can’t feel Jamie’s gorgeous, soft skin and smell his delicious little head. It got me thinking when my dad said on a video call one day when Jamie was giggling, that he hadn’t heard him laugh before, whereas I know Jamie has been laughing for weeks. More poignantly my Dad realised that he wasn’t the one making Jamie laugh. My Dad prides himself on being my elder sons favourite and without the face to face moments, it’s much harder to build that sort of relationship with Jamie.
I feel like the only people that know Jamie are my hubby and I. I know that’s true of most babies and their parents, but it’s especially true in lockdown. Whilst Jamie may not be the best sleeper in the world, he is a super happy baby. He is always smiling, giggling away. His big brother (though struggling a little that he has to share mummy) adores him. Rishi is always wanting to give Jamie cuddles and kisses, always wanting to see Jamie and if we can’t ever get Rishi to do something, if we say he can cuddle or hold Jamie, he’s there in a flash. One of my daily highlights is when Rishi jumps on to the sofa to say “hello” to Jamie – the two of them cuddle and lie there smiling at each other, no doubt planning how they will soon overthrow me and Daddy and rule the house (they are about there now). My favourite moment of the two of them together is when Rishi discovered he could blow bubbles on Jamie’s belly and make a funny sound just like Mummy which led to a lot of laughter all round. Jamie is so attentive, he’s always looking around and watching and taking everything in. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been doing a boring task, I look up and he’s right there staring at me. As soon as our eyes meet, he’s laughing. He’s just getting to that stage now where he’s sitting up, rolling around and just bloody interested in everything. He’s even starting to make crawl movements but I am not sure I can handle two babes on the move just yet.
I suppose what is different now is that I am happier to send pictures to anyone (even if they didn’t ask) and I want to tell people about how great he is. People often say new babies don’t do much before a certain age, but it’s not true. They are totally magical and I’m just sorry that people don’t get to see him turning from a noisy newborn into a bouncing babe. So… to my friends, I am not sorry for all the baby pictures and excitement I share with you – and I can’t wait for you to get to know him, like we do. If you know anyone who has had a baby this year, especially in lockdown – get in touch. Those first few months are tough and even tougher in lockdown. Share a text, a quick call, drop them a note – let them share those happy times that they can’t otherwise share.