Meet the Quaranteenies! 3 Stories of Beautiful Babies Born in Lockdown!
For all parents, the first year of our child’s life is a huge milestone. For parents that have welcomed a child into their family over the pandemic it’s been a massive challenge. Whilst the rest of the world suddenly stopped, babies continued to be born - even in Downing Street!
Coronababies, Coronials or Quaranteenies (however you want to refer to them) are a unique and special generation of babies brought into the world during the pandemic.
I had my son Iggy just before the first lockdown and like many other Quaranteenies, he has lived his whole life in lockdown and the lingering aftermath. So, in a celebration of these little heroes and their parents, I wanted to share special stories from three families I had the pleasure of photographing in between the lockdowns.
Each family has kindly shared a recent snap they’ve taken of their little one and shared a bit about their personal experience of becoming parents in a pandemic!
I’m so touched to share these personal stories and to have been able to help them capture precious moments in a difficult time.
Meet my Quaranteenies!
Natalia, Bryan & baby Anastasiya
Born in between the first and second lockdown, baby Anastasiya arrived on the 10th of October 2020 (5 days early), at the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, London, weighing just over 7lbs.
First child for Bryan & Natalia, thankfully Bryan was able to be there for all the scans and throughout the birth.
This family feel that one positive part of becoming a parent in the pandemic was the precious time they got to spend together in their small bubble. Forced to be on their own as their families live abroad, they had time to re-adjust to being a family of three and bond with their little bundle of joy which was so special. The pandemic also worked in their favour when they had to return to work because they were working from home, so could grab quick cuddles in-between zoom calls and webinars!
Gorgeous Anastasiya has grown into a boisterous little girl whom Natalia and Bryan say, “Gives the tightest of hugs and makes you work for sloppy kisses.”
Luckily Anastasia’s photo sessions with me (a newborn session in November and a sitter session in May) didn’t need to be rescheduled. Having moved house within the period of the two shoots, Natalia and Bryan travelled from London for the newborn session and then from Nottingham for the sitter session.
Natalia said “Jess made us feel welcome and relaxed and Anastasiya gave Jess lots of smiles” Natalia and Bryan are most looking forward to travelling again and seeing much-missed family and friends. They said,
“It’s been hard not to see our close family and seeing Anastasiya grow up so fast without regularly seeing her grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.”
Kelly, Aaron & baby Noah
Kelly & Aaron welcomed their much wished for first baby, Noah, 5 days later than planned on the 20th of October 2020 at UCLH. Weighing 3.66kgs, Kelly laboured for 5 hours alone then nearer the birth Aaron was allowed to attend. Aaron was only allowed to be there for 8 hours, but the midwives extended it due to Kelly needing an emergency c- section. Thankfully Aaron could be with her in theatre. After the birth Aaron was only allowed a 45-minute visit in the post-natal ward despite Kelly having to stay in!
Despite the restrictions in place for Noah’s birth, Kelly & Aaron say they benefited from extended time at home meaning they could share bath times, the nappy changes and of course enjoying adult company
- even when Aaron had to return to work as he worked from home.
Noah is a gorgeous bundle of joy that is fascinated by the world, people, dogs and trees! Kelly said, “I was worried he wouldn’t cope as he’d not been held by almost anyone other than us, (only the doctors & nurses and Jess) for the first 5 months of his life – then he was passed around to everyone! – but he’s coped perfectly well!”
Luckily my shoot with this family was scheduled before the announcement of the lockdown on the 31st of October – the newborn shoot was the day before! Kelly said “I loved the shoot. As a new mum those days were overwhelming but Jess was so kind and friendly and put me completely at ease!”
This family say they can’t wait to travel again, they’re Australian so hope to be visiting soon!
Amy, Chris & baby Scarlett
Amy and Chris welcomed Baby Scarlett on the 8th of February 2021 at Frimley Park Hospital. Three days past her due date, Scarlett arrived (fashionably late) weighing 8lb 13oz and is a perfect baby sister for Jack aged 3.
A quick birth (just over an hour after they arrived in hospital!), the only difference to a non-pandemic birth for Amy was that Chris and the midwives wore masks throughout, but Amy didn’t have to. Amy commented that “The midwives in the Mulberry Birthing Centre were absolutely amazing and I feel like I had a fantastic experience despite everything going on.”
The positive part of parenting in a pandemic for Amy was that they got to experience the lovely newborn bubble properly and avoided the stress of fitting in feed times with visitors or the common challenge of breastfeeding in the early days in front of people.
Scarlett has grown in to a happy, easy going baby who adores her big brother Jack and watches his every move. She’s commando crawling already and loves cuddles and attention!
Amy & Chris were originally scheduled to have a newborn shoot with me mid-February, but this was postponed to the end of April, which meant that Scarlett was sadly too big. They opted for a studio session with whites and greys as the colour scheme. Despite the changes Amy said “We had such a great experience at our shoot with Jess. Scarlett fell asleep on me at one point and Jess quickly posed her like a
newborn and we managed to get some newborn style shots which are my favourite ones!”
Amy & Chris look forward to taking the kids to Croyde in September and getting out and about on lots of lovely family day trips!
It’s been wonderful catching up with these families and seeing how their little ones have grown (in size and personality).
There’s no doubt that within the pandemic expectations for many families had to be adjusted and then adjusted again. For some mums, the journey to parenthood was lonely, with no birthing classes, no baby shower and no mums’ groups to meet up with. As these babies begin to walk and talk, there’s the feeling of a year of missed firsts. Yet there have been some positives too, of special times, beautiful bonds and a bigger celebration of the little moments.
So, in celebration of these beautiful babies who are now toddlers, I’m asking you to post on my Facebook your Quaranteenie! Post a recent photo and tell me something wonderful about their personality. Proud
mummies and daddies or doting grandparents, aunties or uncles. Let’s celebrate these little ones and the joy they’ve brought!
As the vaccine roll out continues, kisses from grandparents are now a-plenty, and reunited family Sunday lunches back firmly on the agenda, let’s all rejoice that the world is slowly getting back to normal.
Love Jess xx
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