As we approach the first anniversary of the start of the Coronavirus pandemic here in the UK, we have been thinking back to what life has been like these past 12 months. Everyone's experience of this pandemic will have been so different with ups and downs for each of us. We feel strongly in the value of shared stories and experiences as a way of strengthening community and building empathy and understanding between people. One of the central roles of a coffee shop is making a space for sharing conversations and this is something we are keen to continue online while the physical space is not filled with the life as it always was (and will be again). We are grateful for the diverse contributions from our customers and team that we are sharing in this 'Our Pandemic Year' series.
A Lockdown Baby
I’ve lived in NB for around 8 years now but have been coming here for holidays since I was a baby. I live and work here and I love it. Throughout the pandemic, the community and the beach have been my saviours.
I got pregnant in January 2020 when I was out in Lagos, Nigeria visiting my partner. He’s from there but we’ve been trying to get him over here for a while now. If it wasn’t for the delays caused by Covid restrictions both there and here, it is likely that he would have been here before our son Isaiah was born in September 2020 - sadly that was not to be.
In fairness, the lockdown in 2020 was probably the best thing for my pregnancy as it forced me to slow down (I have a pretty full on job which usually has me driving about all over Scotland), take more time to relax, walk and generally be outside more and cook and eat better. My parents moved to NB just before the first lockdown started so, whilst the rest of my family live further away, I at least had them for company and support! We had a lot of outdoor Sunday lunches cooked by my amazing mum.
At the end of September, I had Isaiah and thankfully in the first few weeks after he was born, my immediate family were able to meet him albeit outside and with masks on! However, since the most recent lockdown started, I’ve not been able to see my family or friends, as they all live out with East Lothian and have really struggled with the lack of interaction.
Without my partner here, I’ve had to rely on my parents a lot and they have been incredible in supporting me. It is not the maternity leave that I imagined though as I haven’t been able to show off my boy or go to any classes or have friends or family around me to help. It has been quite lonely at times.
I’ve made the most of being able to go out walking with other local mums that I’ve met and that has been another great example of the NB community spirit. When the weather has been too terrible to go out with a young baby though, the days can be very long. As much as I love being with my son - he’s a wee ray of sunshine - it is exhausting and a lot of pressure to be his only source of entertainment all day and night.
I am so very grateful for:
- having a healthy pregnancy
- my beautiful boy coming into my life
- the amazing support and love of my parents, without whom I don’t know what I would have done
- the community spirit in NB and the fact that most people are respectful of the restrictions
- the other local mums who have been such good company on our walks
- the beach, especially on sunny days
- steampunk’s Insta posts which are always positive
- my ability to hope for better times ahead.
Thanks for listening ☺️
Would you like to contribute the story of your Pandemic Year? Please get in touch with us at email@example.com