A new life in lockdown: Longridge mum whose baby was born on first day of lockdown reflects on the past year

Baby Hayley is today celebrating her first birthday exactly one year after the Covid-19 lockdown was introduced as the Post remembers all Lancastrians lost during the pandemic.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 12:30 pm

She hasn't seen her great grandparents or aunties and uncles since being born last year.

It has been a year like no other and little Hayley's first birthday will surely be one to remember.

Mum-of-four Janine Nelson, from Longridge, gave birth to her fourth child Hayley Jo Dillon at Royal Preston Hospital last year and was in the recovery room when she found out the UK was plunging into a national lockdown.

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Baby Hayley was born on March 23 last year, the day the lockdown was announced

In a year she described as 'chaotic' and 'unsual', the stay at home mum has reflected on the reality of raising her fourth child today as it marks the one year anniversary of the lockdown.

She said: "It has certainly been strange and unusual raising a child in the lockdown. She had just been delivered by emergency c-section when I found out that we were going into lockdown.

"All my other children were so excited to see the baby and we really thought they would be able to come and pick up their new sister from the hospital until about a week before when there was discussion of a possible lockdown.

"It has been extremely hard work raising Hayley because I also have other children at home that I have had to look after on my own whilst my partner has been at work and I haven't even been able to ask family for their support."

Hayley Jo Dillon has lived her first year in a pandemic

Janine is also a mum to 14-year-old Lauren, Emily, 6 and Denny, 3 and lives with partner Garry.

The closure of schools during the national lockdown also heightened the difficult reality of lockdown life for Janine who was trying her best to raise a newborn child alongside homeschooling.

As one of seven children, not being able to rely on her large family to help her look after one-year-old Hayley has proved for a challenging year.

She added: "It was difficult to get the support of my family because of all the restrictions. After I had Hayley, I was alone with her in the hospital for three days because of the procedure I had and nobody could even come and visit her.

Today, March 23, marks the one-year anniversary since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed

"We have had to just use facetime where we can so that her great grandparents and her aunties and uncles can see her but it hasn't been the same.

"When I had her, the mood in the hospital was strange. Nobody really knew what was going on at first and what it would mean for us but all the staff stayed upbeat and kept us calm.

"Hayley still hasn't met her great grandparents because they are extremely vulnerable and even struggles with the movement of the pram because of how little we have been able to get out of the house.

"It has been so hard and I can't even imagine how difficult this year would have been for all the new mums because this just isn't normal and you can rely on the support and love of your family.

Baby Hayley holds a red rose to resemble Lancashire and remember those we have lost to the virus

"It has been extremely difficult not being around other people and my children have struggled with not being able to go out or go to school and see their friends.

"We have all been completely cut off and I have been on my own a lot with my children. I can't wait for us all to get back to some normality again. I used to joke with my grandma that Hayley would be walking by the time she meets them and she actually took her first three steps yesterday."

Boris Johnson has now announced the roadmap out of lockdown, with the rule of six being introduced again from next Monday, March 29.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the national lockdown, as UK residents were encouraged to take a minutes silence at midday to remember those lost to the virus and show support to the front line workers.

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