By: Sally Sculthorpe
About The Poem
My son, my son, halfway to one. My words are for you in the years to
come, about my pandemic pregnancy as a Lockdown first time Mum.
In December 2019, I gasped as a blue line appeared on test number
three. I hardly dared to imagine how life-altering this could be.
Then nausea struck and tiredness was hard to overcome. I felt a
fluttering inside as you grew from a berry, to a grape and then a plum.
When the news of Covid-19 broke I was barely showing, a Baby on
Board badge the only identifier of the life I was growing.
There was a buzz amongst colleagues. Have you heard? My office
became a haze of hand sanitiser. At first it seemed absurd.
How quickly, the risk of the virus began to linger in the air. Infectious
and invisible but as the number of cases rose, we knew it was there.
Queues formed outside shops without end, preparing for a pandemic
that felt pretend. People fearful of impending disaster panic-bought
their worries in toilet roll and pasta.
Shall we stockpile nappies? Add to the madness. My common sense
impeded by the sadness, that this is not the pregnancy I had planned.
On 16 March 2020, the Government locked down the nation. You and
I little bump are to stay home and safe, a shielding staycation.
We built a routine for our at-home workplace. Took a daily walk past
rainbows stuck to windows, I waddled at an ever-slowing pace.
Furloughed in April. I focused on keeping us free from germs.
Maintained my social distance, diligently followed the Government’s
We took taxis to hospital to check-up on you. As my bump grew
bigger masked drivers asked cautiously, So when are you due?
Hospital appointments alone, partners were banned. Your Daddy
paced the carpark, nervously waiting while my stomach was scanned.
A record-breaking hot Summer. Neighbours smiled as I shuffled down
our street. I sweated like a baked potato in the blistering heat.
More hospital visits wearing a mask secured from ear-to-ear. My face
is covered but cannot hide my fear as the due date drew near.
I went overdue, carrying you. For thirteen long days I drank raspberry
tea and climbed countless flights of stairs, but it was not to be.
We’ll induce you on Friday. They said casually. I felt terrified and
anxious, ready to pop. My hospital bag packed with a face mask on
I laboured for hours cared for by shielded faces with kind eyes. The
pain was already forgotten when we heard your first cries.
One look at your curled-up limbs and face with a nose like mine. I was
flooded by a feeling of unconditional love that is impossible to define.
In your early weeks we feel the strain, of another virus strain and the
lockdown loop began again.
Daddy works from home in the living room. To entertain you, I sing
‘Twinkle, Twinkle’ feeling silly with other parents over Zoom.
Loved ones smile and talk to you through screens. Saying your name,
like you know what it means. Digital faces putting on a show, who are
far away and missing you grow.
Your Granny can’t hide her sadness, He won’t know us, she said.
Grandpa’s more stoical, This can’t last forever, he is upbeat instead.
Winter hits hard with little to do. I walk in all weathers, braving the
elements, sheltering on Lloyd Park’s benches to breastfeed you.
Second guessing. Over-stressing. Are you still breathing? Is that red
rash teething? You chew your fingers until they look numb, we look for
a hint of white on your red sore gum.
We took you home into the parenting unknown, a blur of sleepless
nights and yet almost six months have somehow flown.
Milestones are met and missed by most. He’s trying to roll! I text the
Grandparents to boast.
You know what you like. You look so bored with a toy, or disinterested
in a game today, that just last week was your very favourite to play.
So much restriction for one so small. I’m glad you’re oblivious to it all.
Now there’s hope, a vaccine, steps out of this before you can crawl.
My son, my son, halfway to one. What a beautiful spirited human
When you ask me how did it feel, what do I remember of a time so
There is one lasting memory that will never fade. This was the year in
which you were made.
I will love you forever my lockdown little one. I couldn’t be prouder to
be your Mum.
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