A brave new mum who could not get to the hospital because her partner had been told to self-isolate gave birth on her living room floor – with only paracetamol for pain relief.
First-time mum Ashlee Graham, 26, welcomed her daughter Agnes into the world at home – a week after her partner Richard received notice he was on the COVID-19 high-risk list.
Ashlee had planned to give birth in hospital, but had to re-think at short notice after Richard was told he must shield for 12 weeks.
He was told he must self-isolate for the next three months so the couple instead opted for a home birth.
They hired a birthing pool so Richard could be present and could spend precious moments with Agnes after she was born.
Ashlee only had paracetamol on hand to ease her pain because by the time the home midwife arrived it was too late for any additional relief.
Ashlee said: “I hadn’t originally planned to have a home birth, but it ended up being the best option for us.
“We hired a birthing pool and the home birth midwife was there to talk me through what I needed to do.
“It also meant that we could have our home comforts – so as soon as I was ready, we shouted for Alexa to start the “push-it” playlist.”
Now 10 weeks old, Agnes has not officially met any relatives as dad Richard is still under strict house-arrest and the couple have not been able to leave their house.
They get all their shopping delivered and have kept in touch with friends and family over video calls and internet chats.
Ashlee added: “I haven’t left the house in months.
“I sit in the living room every day and stare at the spot where I gave birth – and I still don’t know when anyone will get to officially meet Agnes.
“I do feel a bit robbed of not being able to see my grandparents, or to even spend time with other new mums, pushing the pram around the local park.
“We’ve been keeping in touch with friends and family through the usual methods – FaceTime, sharing pictures, but it’s not the same.”
Around 70 per cent of new and expectant mum have reported increased anxiety levels, according to a survey by breastfeeding brand Lansino.
The survey also found that 60 per cent have reported increased levels of loneliness and 12 per cent say they have not left their home since lockdown began.
Ashlee, of Leeds, West Yorks., said adorable Agnes is keeping the couple going during the lockdown.
She added: “We’ve been inundated with cards and flowers through the post, but it feels strange that we haven’t had that flurry of visitors that all new parents seem to go through.
“It also means that taking a quick shower is more difficult than I thought it would be.
“I’m also exclusively breastfeeding, meaning I’ve been doing all of the night-time feeds, so I’m really tired.
“We wanted to make sure she was exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months.
“Agnes is totally keeping us going.
“It’s full on being a new mum and the days and weeks seem to have merged into one.
“I must admit that it’s not at all how I’d imagined this time but, we have a healthy baby and we’re embracing every moment.”