Naracoorte's new parents grateful to community during coronavirus

A doting first-time mother has discovered early on it does take a village to raise a child, especially when unfortunate circumstances arise.

Following the arrival of their son Fraser James at Naracoorte Hospital on May 14, Cristina and Steve Wedding express much gratitude for the care shown by their family and the community.

You see their 7lb 3 oz bundle of joy was born during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

While it's a memorable moment in time they can share with their son, it did cause them some panic.

"I was a bit terrified and thought what if I catch this (virus) and it affects my baby, what can I do," explained the Naracoorte Herald senior sales representative.

The couple was told a few weeks out of the birth that a cesarean section was required due to their child's unique position in the womb.

"Fraser was front breech...his toes were on his forehead, so he was folded up like a book and there was no way he was coming out naturally," she said.

The couple was grateful to hospital staff who phoned a few weeks out of their son's due date to update them on what measures were in place as a result of COVID-19.

Apart from the temporary removal of gas, used during labour for pain relief, changes to the hospital's entrance and strictly no visitors allowed did not affect Mrs Wedding's birthing plan.

"Being our first child we had people looking after our pets so Steve could stay the four nights in hospital without having to leave," she said.

Born and bred in the town with family all around, the Weddings turned to facetime to show off their beautiful boy.

Furthermore, the couple managed to meet Steve's family via a large window panel at the hospital's maternity ward which kept to the social distancing rules.

"It was nice but it was also sad because you could see they wanted to reach out and hold his little hand and they couldn't," she said.

As for little knowledge known on the virus and pregnancy during the early days, Mrs Wedding said she had turned to the internet for answers.

Yet explained that it was her doctor who put her mind at ease, instructing her to stay home at 28 weeks.

"But it was lonely being stuck in the same walls for two months and I was a bit nervous to venture out incase I came across some who may have been sick," she said.

In jumped her lovely mum Selina Letton who phoned each day of her pregnancy to check on her state of health and wellbeing.

Mrs Wedding further appreciated her supermarket's click and collect system and when that ceased, Steve took over the weekly shopping.

The couple's contentment also extended to the care and support shown by the midwives and doctors at the hospital which included up-to-date communication.

Hospital staff had assured the Weddings that the midwives, who generally work the wards, would not work any cases involving respiratory illnesses.

"That was a massive relief for us," Mrs Wedding said.

"So at no point did I feel uneasy of how they were dealing with it all...especially being a first time mum with 400 other things racing through your mind let along coronavirus."

Once home, her village continued to assist her.

"After Fraser was born, people would kindly drop of gifts and food at the door, ring the doorbell and leave," she said.

The caring attitude extended to the Australia Post delivery man whose parcel service had been altered during the pandemic, from no signing to ringing the doorbell only.

"He must have known somehow I had given birth as he later told me he hoped I didn't mind, 'I stopped ringing your doorbell'."

With restrictions now easing, the new mother catches up on news from her two neighbours who also gave birth at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We had chatted quite often over messenger, but now we have a coffee at the shop down the road."

The prenatal class which evolved into a mother's group has also resumed.

Mrs Wedding was pleased when earlier on an online mother's group was created, with plenty of baby photos posted.

"Finally, I am getting to meet all these babies," she enthused.

As the town gradually emerges from the pandemic, Mrs Wedding said the care and wellbeing of her family among the community is still evident.

"I think because it's been drilled into us to stay home, we are still a little nervous and are still careful."