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AIBU?

Feel sad when I look at pics of my lockdown baby

46 replies

downnner20 · 27/09/2022 22:59

Wondered if anyone else feels like this when they look back at pics of their lockdown babies ?

I suppose it depends on the experience you had.

My baby was a few weeks old when we went into lockdown, but only a few days old when the covid hysteria started to take off.

It was my first baby and I took the whole covid thing really badly. I thought we were going to die if we got covid during those early weeks. I was an absolute wreck for months and months and months. I couldn't eat. I thought everyone I knew was going to get covid and very possibly die. I thought my baby would die from covid. I just couldn't get a grip at all.

I sanitised like crazy, was scared to go for a walk and was just.. like I said.. an absolute wreck. For the first while I couldn't eat anything. Every tickle in my throat or every time anyone around me cleared their throat or coughed, sent me into an absolute panic. It was truly awful. I could not get a grip. All I did was read about covid and how to protect myself and my family.

When I look at photos of my baby during that time, I get really upset. I never want to go back to that time. It was so dark. Do you think that will affect my baby ? Now a toddler. I did my best to look after her of course. I never neglected her etc. would this affect her ?

I feel really really sad when I think about that time. I try not to. I hope we never have to live through something like that again.

I've heard people say they had a good time with their babies, as they had all this uninterrupted time etc. I didn't appreciate that at all. I was just in a panic. I've had another baby now, in more normal times and it's so much nicer. I'm enjoying it so much more. It makes me sad that I never experienced that with my first baby. However, it's all good. In the grand scheme of things, it could always be worse.

Can anyone relate ?

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MotherofLs · 27/09/2022 23:05

Had my 3rd right at the beginning of the hysteria and lockdown. It is horrible when I compare the start my others got to life with my 3rds. It really does feel like I've been cheated 😞

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MintJulia · 27/09/2022 23:09

Your baby will be completely unaware of it, unless you harp on about it.

The best you can do is to look forward, enjoy your second maternity leave with both your babies and make up for lost time. Make it doubly sweet this time round xx

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megosaurusrex · 27/09/2022 23:09

I had my little one just as covid things were starting to ease up, so I was really grateful to be able to go out with him and take him to baby groups, etc. I would've found it so hard otherwise. All the parents I spoke to who had their babies at the beginning of lockdown said the same thing, that it was so difficult not being able to go out with them.
Having a new baby can be a massively anxious time. Add on top of that the anxiety about Covid at the beginning of the pandemic, the lack of support, uncertainty about where to get baby supplies, etc, I can imagine it being enormously stressful.
YANBU at all.

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IrishMamaMia · 27/09/2022 23:10

My second child was a few months older but I know what you mean. I was very deeply disturbed by initial lockdown, the mass panic and the media hysteria. The isolation while looking after two young children for long periods alone was really hard on me, I'd had a great support network (husband had to work long hours as an effect of the crisis.) After a particularly hard day I asked my GP for antidepressants and this really helped my mindset even though it was still a struggle.
I guess it was such a traumatic event particularly in hindsight and as post-partum women we were particularly sensitive to it. As a first time mum it must have been additionally hard. I'm so glad you've had a more normal experience with your second child.
I do get a strange feeling when I look back at photos from that odd period but I try to focus on how the kids hardly remember it now and how we've come through it all okay. I do feel very lucky not to have lost anyone to Covid and to have had only mild infections myself...sorry I've really warbled!

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LazJaz · 27/09/2022 23:11

I relate

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Puppyseahorse · 27/09/2022 23:45

I can relate in that I had terrible postpartum anxiety, but it wasn’t covid related. It was one of the worst times in my life, and I feel awful and embarrassed when I recall it.

it helped me to learn that anxiety is a very normal evolutionary behaviour to experience after having a baby. Your brain and body are trying to train you to be extra alert to threats so that you can keep your baby safe.

so, don’t feel guilty. Much of postpartum mental health is physiological- I’m sure you’re not the only postpartum mum who was affected in that way by the covid hysteria.

and no, I really don’t think your baby (or mine) will have been affected.

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MooseBreath · 28/09/2022 00:03

I didn't struggle with worrying about catching COVID, but I was in a constant panic that DS (born May 2020) was going to grow up in isolation from other humans and never develop proper relationships. I wound up in CBT for it because it triggered my PPD. I don't look back fondly on DS's first 6 months or so. I loved him so much at the time, but all I ever felt was anxiety.

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pitterypattery00 · 28/09/2022 00:06

I can relate. My child was born a few weeks into the first lockdown. I didn't have Covid related anxiety or depression but I did and do feel sad about so much that happened.

  • having to stay in a tiny room on postnatal ward for a few days after baby was born. Partner wasn't allowed to visit and I was only allowed out of room to go to toilet. Felt like I was in jail.
  • Massive feeding issues that no one could help us with for 6 weeks due to procedures being suspended due to Covid. Our early weeks were horrendous.
  • No baby groups to go to.
  • My parents couldn't visit until 4 months after the birth. We didn't see other members of the family til 13 months. No family locally so no one to form a bubble with even when that was allowed.
  • Never met health visitor, all contact over phone.


I could go on. I'm unlikely to have another child so I just have to accept that having a lockdown baby will be my only baby experience. It's my antenatal group that got me through it to be honest. A lovely group of women, all in the same boat, and although it was often impossible to physically meet we supported each other via WhatsApp and Zoom etc.
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ExtraJalapenos · 28/09/2022 00:20

Im so sorry you feel like this OP, but it will get easier with time.

I know Its not the same but my dd couldnt feed properly for months after birth and was so scrawny and tiny and ended up having an undetected tongue tie at 4 months, she had to relearn how to actually suckle and it was hell. I never took her out because she was constantly glued to my breast and the lack of sleep, constant tit out, and her relentless crying because she was never getting enough milk just destroyed me at a time I felt I should have enjoyed my newborn. (One twatty nurse referred to my dd as 'starved' as though I'd intentionally done this, and I considered dropping dd off at my mums and driving off a cliff because of that comment, it cut so deep). I git diagnosed with PND months later when I finally sought help.
But until she was 9/10 months I don't think I took her out unless it was for 10 mins around the park or a drive through.

She only started putting on weight and actually suckling properly at 6 months and I punished myself mentally for a further few months until she actual looked like a healthy child.

I used to not be able to look at her pics from when she was born up until the age of about 9 months for a very very long time.

She is nearly 5 and full of vigour and you wouldn't think she had such a shitty start to life and such an ill mother.

Its taken a few years but I can finally look at those pics of her and ill think ',oh poor thing' but then immediately smile because she's a healthy little devil. They'll come up on my 'this time x years ago' in my Google photos every day. And I can see how this time 4 years ago she was just so tiny and weak. But i feel ok about it now. I just see her as perfect when I look at those photos.

Give it time, lockdowns were rough. But just look where you are now. This will get easier. And trust me, it won't have affected your little one as much you think.

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GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 28/09/2022 00:27

My dd was a very sick baby with a heart condition, so her first months were spent in and out of hospitals, and my first months as a mother spent feeding her day and night, barely getting any sleep at all.

Its not only lockdown that can cause a difficult start to parenthood. You just have to look ahead and enjoy what comes now.

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GertrudePerkinsPaperyThing · 28/09/2022 00:28

Mine is almost 14 now, and an absolutely wonderful teenaged, I should have said. Heart problem long fixed by operations.

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RainbowCrayons · 28/09/2022 02:35

I feel very similar except for the fact I focused on the restrictions rather than covid itself. I live somewhere where there were quarantine camps and children could be taken away from their parents if infected, even babies (I still get a wave of rage when I think of all the people who wanted a 'proper lockdown' in the UK). I'm still struggling but now masks have finally gone I don't have the visual reminders quite so much which helps. I don't have much advice as you can see, but you aren't alone even if we would have had totally different opinions in the early days of lockdown.

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2ndTimeRound90 · 28/09/2022 11:01

I don't feel sad when I look back at pics specifically but our first was a March 2020 baby and we went into lockdown while I was in labour. The amount of emotional distress and worry in the weeks just before and then a few months after his birth is something I don't think most others really understand. It wasn't PPD but when I think back to that time the tears come so easily! The first grandchild and first baby in our family in 15 years, just so much that we just won't get back. My second birth was also significantly impacted by covid in a different way. I will definitely be speaking to someone about it all when I feel ready

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MereDintofPandiculation · 28/09/2022 11:24

Before the 60’s, children didn’t go to school till they were 5, and there were no baby groups. Many women weren’t living close to family. Many over 60s have nevertheless been able to lead happy and fulfilled lives. A certain level of anxiety is normal after the first baby, and it’s quite usual to feel more relaxed with the second. You can’t change what’s happened, be proud that you survived it together, and look toward the future

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WimbyAce · 28/09/2022 12:01

I also had a lockdown baby, right at the beginning of covid. My biggest regret is that she didn't meet grandparents properly for months, literally visits on the doorstep, no cuddles. Apart from that we had a lovely time as my partner was furloughed so in effect had paid paternity leave for 3 months. Also our older daughter was not at school so it was actually a lovely bonding time. The weather was great so he was able to take older daughter out everyday after I had done some homeschooling in the morning, sometimes I went too with baby, sometimes we just snuggled on the sofa. Obviously it was world's away from how I expected life to be but we made the best of it.

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Violettaa · 28/09/2022 12:05

Same. I cannot believe that it was illegal for me to even see my mum, when I was totally alone with a newborn.

The people who designed those rules should be ashamed.

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cantseeme · 28/09/2022 12:25

As a first-time parent with a baby born just before the lockdowns I did feel a really strong sense of loss - I felt that I lost out on all the mother and baby groups, going to a cafe during maternity leave and all those things, and time to travel to see family and instead was absolutely on my own at home 24/7 with the baby then went back to work. Nobody else even held him for weeks on end. In a way the biggest loss was baby memories - instead of visiting family, it was just days at home with short walks on repeat, so I don't have so many pictures and memories of those first months as nothing different really happened. However, it definitely made me a more confident parent.

I do feel though that the COVID generation of toddlers have still lost out a bit on playdates - people have been slower to reestablish routines of inviting strangers into the home.

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mmmflakycrust81 · 28/09/2022 12:29

I understand OP. My experience was a real mix. I was pregnant when we went into lockdown and gave birth summer 2020. No one other than my husband and the midwife saw me heavily pregnant - I feel like I missed out on the waddling around the shops, meeting up with friends, swimming.

I feel sad for all the things my DD lost out on - as all the pools near me were closed we never got to go swimming and now compared to babies born in the last year shes miles apart from them. By the time baby classes started up again, she hated strangers going near her.

We rarely saw family over that winter as I was terrified of infecting them. I feel like DD missed out on so many cuddles.

I try and focus on the bright side - Covid resulted in working from home changes, and it means we are able to spend so much more time with her. I have no idea now how I thought it would be ok us both working in the office full time with DD in nursery 7.30-6pm.

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Kinderbuenos · 28/09/2022 12:31

All children were impacted by covid one way or the other. The best we can do now is do our best going forward

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downnner20 · 28/09/2022 12:55

Kinderbuenos · 28/09/2022 12:31

All children were impacted by covid one way or the other. The best we can do now is do our best going forward

Yes. Everyone was impacted by it. Not just children.

We are sharing our experiences of how we feel us and our babies were impacted.

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justanoldhack · 28/09/2022 13:32

Yes I relate. It was totally, utterly shit. First baby, born into early lockdown. It was a very specific, entirely shitty experience. You'll get people who did not go through this saying "but everyone was affected in different ways", which is of course true, but they can't ever understand what it was like

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NameChangeLifeChange · 28/09/2022 13:35

OP I hear you it was crap time. I had my second DC 6 weeks before lockdown and had just got into a good routine with both kids and was coping better than I thought. The lockdown, trying to manage with a baby and toddler while DH worked from home was a living nightmare. I developed severe PND and needed CBT and mediation. Honestly when I look back at photos im grateful for them as I don't remember those months 2-5 or so for my baby. She was the most gorgeous delightful easy baby and yet every day I just cried and cried.

Both kids seem to be doing so well, loving school and nursery and very happy. No ill effects for them but I still feel sad about it regularly and genuinely think I supressed that time in my memory. I'd love another baby but I'm too scared of what could go wrong next time and I couldn't cope with it again with 3.

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CoveredInCobwebs · 28/09/2022 13:40

Hi OP, I've literally just been researching this for work and you are definitely not alone - quite a few studies were done with new mothers in late 2020 and a large percentage reported feelings of disappointment that the normal experience of childbirth/new motherhood had been stolen from them, increased anxiety, etc.
It's absolutely normal and okay that you feel this way, and it's also okay to look back on it and feel really sad, especially in light of the experiences you are having with your second baby.

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drspouse · 28/09/2022 13:46

MereDintofPandiculation · 28/09/2022 11:24

Before the 60’s, children didn’t go to school till they were 5, and there were no baby groups. Many women weren’t living close to family. Many over 60s have nevertheless been able to lead happy and fulfilled lives. A certain level of anxiety is normal after the first baby, and it’s quite usual to feel more relaxed with the second. You can’t change what’s happened, be proud that you survived it together, and look toward the future

My mum had me in the late 60s - she had lots of other mum friends she could see at the park, in their houses, go to the shops, I would play with the children of friends at their or our house. When I was a baby and not playing yet she would go round or they would come round for coffee. People who didn't have their family close by (my GPs lived overseas) would have friends, neighbours etc. (I am reading My Naughty Little Sister with DD and the older sister spends lots of time at a neighbour's house).
It is not the same at all as being in lockdown.

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Brieeeeeeeee · 28/09/2022 13:48

Yes. I feel the same, and I’m not going to have another baby so I’ll never get to do it “properly” either. I do see the positive moments - I loved all the walking, the nice spring weather and the cuddles. But I was so lonely.

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