20 Babies Project

"I had to go through the whole process of having a caesarean on my own. I had one hour with my partner and then I didn’t get to see him for three days…"

20 Babies at BALTIC: Kate's Story

At Tommee Tippee, we've been lucky enough to support and work alongside BALTIC's lockdown-inspired 20 Babies project, and we're proud to be able to share the individual experiences of some of the parents who were involved.

Here's Kate's story... 

"Before Isaac arrived, I thought his birth would be a routine C-section. I'd had two C-sections before with my first two babies, so I assumed my partner would be there and that I'd be able to have visitors.

Then when the pandemic hit, you couldn't see anyone.

I had to go through the whole process of having a caesarean on my own. I had one hour with my partner and then I didn’t get to see him for three days. Isaac didn’t get to see his dad for three days. His brothers or grandma didn’t get to meet him. It was just me, him and the same midwife who came in and out of the room. It was hard when we were in the recovery room. After a C-section, you can't move, so I was constantly pressing the bell for the midwives and asking them to help me pick him up. It was really difficult not having the help that would normally be there.

When I went into the hospital my mam had isolated for 10 days so she could move into my house to look after my other two boys. That meant that when I came out of hospital my mam was there for three days to help out before she had to go back to work.

 Bec Hughes | @the.house.of.hues

After that, we didn’t really see anyone! It was just Isaac, his brothers, and his dad, which was hard. My dad would pull up in his car and we'd have to hold Isaac up to the window or use FaceTime so he could meet him.

When you have a new baby, you're so proud of them and you want to show them off to the world. Everyone was dying to meet him, but they couldn’t.

The 20 Babies project was a chance for Isaac to be around other babies his age, and a chance for me to be around other parents who've gone through the same experiences as me.

Because of lockdown, we haven't had much of a chance to go to playgroups or social baby events. So when I was told about the project at BALTIC, I thought it sounded brilliant. I think Isaac loves it. He’s just not shy. He's made some great friends and as soon as he sees them his face just lights up!

Since we started the project, he's become more independent and sociable. He used to be very clingy, but now he's starting to come out of his shell.

It's been great for me too. Having other adults to chat to gives me a nice break from baby talk and it's been interesting to hear other mam's perspectives on the pandemic and to learn how it affected them. Being a part of this project is helping me learn that the pandemic affected people in many different ways.

I'm sometimes quite reserved, but when I'm with the group I feel confident to chat about what I've been through. Everyone's been in the same situation, so it’s a lot easier to talk. Looking back on what we've all been through and reflecting on the whole experience of having a baby in the pandemic makes me feel proud and it helps to be able to talk about it with other mams."