Celebs tell of stress, joy of giving birth during lockdown

Karlien van Jaarsveld with her new baby. Picture: Instagram
Karlien van Jaarsveld with her new baby. Picture: Instagram

Only a foolish man gets in the way of an expectant mother and her birthing plan.

But some new and expectant moms have been forced to be flexible during lockdown.

Rapper-turned-entrepreneur Siyabonga "Slikour" Metane and his wife, Melissa, welcomed their baby girl Shaka Khensani Metane on March 23, three days before the lockdown began.

"In terms of the actual birthing process, that really changed significantly because we had intended for our families to be there - both our mothers and our kids," Melissa said.

"We wanted all of them to be there to welcome Shaka, but unfortunately because of Covid-19 they couldn't. The hospital had already amended the rules and was stricter. The father was only allowed to be there during the birthing process. Then he had to leave and the visiting hours had also been cut short - he was only allowed one hour of visiting and family wasn't allowed at all.

"It was really stressful and emotionally taxing to be left alone for those hours after the birth. However, we understood why the hospital had to be so strict. It was for my baby's wellbeing, and mine and everyone else in the hospital."

For actress Gabisile Tshabalala, who is due to give birth in the next few weeks, the fact that her family will not to be with her as she had planned has made her nervous.

"At the moment, I don't know if my husband will be allowed to be in the labour room with me or if I'm going to be alone. It has instilled fear in me.

"But I have been feeding myself with the word of God and trying to shut out every other thing," she said.

Melissa and Tshabalala said they understood how privileged they were to have been able to buy the necessary items for themselves and their babies.

Melissa said she was more concerned about the mothers who did not have basic resources during this critical time in their lives.

Musician Busisiwe "Cici" Twala, who is about to become a mom for the first time, said it was stressful to add Covid-19 to the long list of worries as a new mother. The fact that her family can only offer "cyber support" troubles her the most.

"Pregnancy on its own causes so much anxiety, now in addition to that we have to add Covid-19 stress," she said.

"This is our first baby and none of us really know what we are doing! Covid-19 has robbed me of a special moment that I wanted to share with my family.

"Especially because we all thought I would never have children and now I am having one, and it's really hard for me not to have them around."

Singer Karlien van Jaarsveld, however, has embraced the quality time she has had with her son since his birth on April 1.

"It has been absolutely amazing. Our boy is beautiful. It is a quiet, isolated time for us. Family visits are amazing, but this situation is something we will never be able to experience again. I wouldn't have it any other way," she said.

"I have not been anxious one day since the pandemic started. I asked my doctor for a permit so that my mom could come over and help out with my kids.

"I love this lockdown, though not what brought it about. I love having so much time with the people that are most important to me.

"We tend to give the best part of who we are to other people, and our families get what is left. This is an opportunity for change that we will never have again, I am excited for people to see God in this time, and really get to know Him."

She said she was "praying for the people who are not privileged", adding: "It is my sincere hope that everyone who is able will help at least one other person in this time."