Over the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of meeting amazing ladies in Bedworth and Atherstone. In Atherstone I attended The Tots Club House and in Bedworth St Michaels Children Centre. All of these ladies have had babies during Covid. I wanted to find out for them what it’s been like and most importantly what their support has been like during Covid.
While I was pregnant and after having my baby a saying that kept coming up was ‘it takes a village to raise a baby’ but during Covid there has been no village. To gather this information I asked the ladies to do a drawing for me, using circles to represent their different connections and then lines to see if they felt connected or not.
As they drew we talked about all our different experiences of having babies during Covid. I was blown away by all of these women. Some had IVF delayed for months after waiting for three years already. One lady had recently moved to the area for university from aboard, moved in with her partner and had a baby so still hasn’t yet seen her friends or family. Another lost her mum due to Covid when her baby was just four weeks old, while her self partner, baby and father all had Covid. Redundancies have been made and made again and again brining financial worries and delays in plans like buying a first home. The mums experienced isolation due to furlough, having to isolate and not being able to have visitors, one lady told Covid was ‘Isolating’. They experienced anxiety and sadness from attending scans on their own. They really have been through it.
They are positives too. No body tried to touch your belly while you were pregnant, no one comes too close to your baby now. There haven’t been too many visitors wanting cups of tea when you’d like to sit on the sofa. Mums with baby number two have enjoyed the family time they got with baby number one. Others enjoyed not having the pressure of going in to the office when they were pregnant. Some have set up their own businesses or changed jobs as a result, it gave them a new perspective.
To allow the mums the best chance of doing their drawings the amazing family team from Heritage Warwickshire came along and played with the babies. The mums sat with me and we draw with pastels, chalks, felt tips, fine liners and a lot of my recycling. I am blown away by their drawings they are so artistic and creative and they really do tell a story. I’m excited to sit down, lay them all out and begin to create my design for the light installation from them while I listen to their interviews.
The interviews have been recorded for an achieve which will be kept by Heritage Warwickshire. The mums told their stories as they drew and I recorded them. The light installation will be shown in Bedworth from Nov 2021-Jan 2022 and Atherstone Jan – March 2022.