You can do it mamas: I gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic and I look at myself with pride

Photo: Zoey Lowrie and her newborn Izaac (Supplied)
Photo: Zoey Lowrie and her newborn Izaac (Supplied) 

When UK mother Zoey Lowrie realised the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic, and that she would be giving birth to her son during it, she was worried.

"I have suffered from terrible anxiety from a very young age" the 25-year-old tells Essential Baby.

"I've had periods where it is really bad and other times where it is controlled well, so when I started hearing about COVID-19 I tried to avoid the news as I knew I would end up panicking."

Lowrie, who already had two sons with her husband Mike, five-year-old Callum and two-year-old Arryn, before giving birth to baby Izaac last week, describes how the news soon became "impossible to escape."

"There were restrictions being put in place that affected everyone, with pregnant women being told they were high risk and should self-isolate immediately" she says. "I began to panic more and more and ended up taking my eldest son out of school before the government shut them the week after."

Lowrie, who lives in a small countryside village in Scotland, shared her concerns  leading up to her son's birth in a powerful Facebook post, that has since gone viral.

The post has been liked almost 3000 times and shared almost 2000.

"I was preparing myself mentally and physically on the lead up [to her son's birth] and then it all changed so quickly" she explains.

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Lowrie received a call from the hospital she was booked into to say the ante-natal ward was being closed due to the new covid-19 wards being set up, meaning her birth plan had to be changed.

Her original birth plan involved her husband staying with her in the hospital. "This new set up meant there were no private rooms available and my husband couldn't stay with me" she says. "I was extremely upset after receiving this news".

For Lowrie, being pregnant during a global pandemic was extremely challenging.

"I was meant to be excited for having my baby, but I wasn't", she admits.

"Everything felt like it was going wrong and I was really overwhelmed. I cried to my husband and even said I didn't want to have the baby because I was so scared, not only him, but my mental health too"

"But the day came for my boy to arrive. I put my big girl pants on (literally) and knew I had to do this."

Despite feeling desperately overwhelmed, the mother-of-three was determined to look past the negatives of the situation.

"Giving birth during the pandemic has allowed me to shift my focus from the outside world to my own home and my own family" she tells Essential Baby, saying it's nice having the opportunity to be home safe together and adjusting to being a family of five.

"It's almost as if we are all getting to know each other more deeply as sometimes", before adding another positive to the 'no-visitors rule'

"I'm not worrying about people turning up at our door each day and the house being untidy or that I've not showered or even brushed my hair some days" she laughs.

Photo: Zoey's three gorgeous sons (Supplied).

Photo: Zoey's three gorgeous sons (Supplied).

Despite having anxiety and being overwhelmed with the prospect of giving birth during the covid-19 outbreak, Lowrie has an important message she wants to spread.

"For new mums -- your birth plan may not be how you envisioned it, but don't dwell on this -- try and keep your mind set on the end goal" she says. "Your baby will be safe in your arms before you know it."

"I know ladies are panicking," she wrote in her post. "New mums are worrying. But I wanted to try look at the positives to my birth story.

She also thinks it's important to adjust your mindset to being at home all the time.

"We are not 'stuck' at home," she explains. "We are safe at home, and our home is full of love and happiness."

"I look at my little family in our own cacoon and I feel pride" she continued. "But most of all, for the first time in a long time, I look at myself with pride."

She hopes by sharing her story, it will "ease some of the anxiety ladies may be feeling just now."

"You can do it mamas!"