A mother has described how she had to cope alone with the premature birth and death of her baby daughter during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Faye Mceniry, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, went into the Conquest Hospital in Hastings on March 23, the first day of lockdown, after she began to bleed at 20 weeks pregnant.
She was unable to leave hospital because her condition did not improve and was later transferred to Brighton, where Tula Bea was born on April 26 weighing 1lb 2oz.
Tragically, the youngster suffered complications and died on May 7 at the age of 11 days, the first and last time that Ms Mceniry was able to hold her daughter.
The 35-year-old, who has two other daughters, said that due to Covid-19 precautions, her husband Jamie had missed the birth because he was not allowed to stay in the hospital unless she was in full labour.
And she was also unable to have visitors, forcing her to cope without friends and family.
The hairdressing instructor from Hastings College told the PA news agency: “There were no visitors allowed at all until I was in established labour, which meant my husband missed the birth and the baby was taken straight away to intensive care, so Jamie didn’t get to meet her until day five.
“It has been so traumatic.”
Writing on Facebook, Ms Mceniry said: “The first time I got to hold my baby was the last. My life will never be the same.
“Because of Covid-19 it’s like she never existed because no one got to meet her.
“Because of Covid-19 I birthed alone. Because of Covid-19 I spent six weeks on my own, as no visitors allowed.
“Because of Covid-19 I spent six weeks away from my husband and children at home.
“My body is telling me I’ve had a baby but she’s not here, a piece of me is missing and I desperately want her back.
“Tula Bea Mceniry you have made me the proudest mummy the way you fought so hard to stay in this world, you were just too tiny and precious my darling and I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.”
Ms Mceniry said that she hoped to hold a memorial for her daughter when she is able to hold a funeral following investigations by the coroner.
She said: “I can’t register her birth or death because of Covid-19, I can’t even arrange her funeral, I feel in limbo, it’s just ruined my life really.”
A fundraising page has been set up to support the family at www.gofundme.com/f/precious-tula-bea