WE were told there would be a baby boom as a result of couples conceiving during lockdown.
Last week, former footballer Rio Ferdinand and his wife Kate announced they were expecting.
But now experts fear the stress that comes from being holed up with your family during the pandemic may have put people off having children.
A study by the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology found one in three of those who had been hoping to conceive had abandoned the idea in lockdown.
Jenny Francis speaks to three couples who wanted to try for a baby, but have changed their minds since Covid-19 struck.
‘We’re thinking twice now, about bringing a child into world’
Clare Phillips, 25, lives with her fiancé Lee Blackmore, 28, a plasterer, in Cardiff.
They had planned to try for a baby after their wedding in July this year, which has been cancelled.
Clare, a child behaviour specialist, says: "I have always wanted a big family. If someone told me in January that I’d change my mind about trying for a baby this year I’d have thought they were mad.
"I met Lee on Facebook in May 2014 and when he proposed in Mexico in September 2019 we couldn’t wait to start planning our future together.
"We both wanted to marry before having children and organised a wedding at Craig-y-Nos Castle in Powys, for 75 people.
"We planned to start trying for a baby immediately – on our wedding night.
'THE FUTURE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE'
"When lockdown first hit, we thought it would only last a few weeks.
"But when it became apparent how serious it was, we realised all our plans for this year were falling down around us.
"I was furloughed and Lee, who is self-employed, had no work.
"We watched the news constantly all day and hearing of the deaths, the impact on the world and how long this could affect us for has been terrifying.
"Lots of our friends have had children already and while I was always a little jealous before, hearing about their struggles in lockdown has made me realise how tough it is right now with children.
"Some have been having to juggle home schooling with working from home and cooking meals and doing housework.
"Some don’t have a garden and, with no friends or grandparents to help out, it’s been really stressful and daunting. They are nervous for their children’s futures and it has made us stop and think twice about bringing children into the world at the moment.
"Our wedding is now scheduled for June 2021 but we don’t even know if that will go ahead because the future is so unpredictable."
‘Clinic cancelled the fourth round of IVF due to lockdown’
Tax manager Lisa Jenkins, 40, and her husband, Barry, 44, an engineer, had their fourth round of IVF treatment cancelled during lockdown.
Lisa, of Cheltenham, Gloucs, has endometriosis and has now developed further growths on her ovaries.
She says: "I met Barry in March 2015 and we were married a year later in April 2016. I’d always dreamed of being a mum so we started trying for a baby on our wedding night.
"In July 2017, after still not getting pregnant, I went to my GP.
"I was diagnosed with endo-metriosis (a condition affecting the ovaries and fallopian tubes). I was 37 and my world fell apart.
"I told them how desperate we were to have children and I was told IVF was my only option.
'I WAS DEVASTATED'
"My endometriosis was stage four, so waiting for IVF through the NHS would have hugely lowered our chances, so my specialist advised private IVF straight away.
"In November 2017 I had my first cycle of IVF in Oxford. But the embryo didn’t take. We knew the first time it might not, and Barry supported me through round number two in September 2018.
"This time I was devastated when the result was negative. Neither of us wanted to give up so I underwent a third round in May 2019.
"When I got a positive pregnancy test I was overwhelmed, but at six weeks, I miscarried.
'MY BODY WAS READY'
"We decided to give it one more go and booked in at a specialist clinic in Bristol in December 2019.
"This time I was put on more drugs and started having injections to prepare my womb in January.
"The transfer was scheduled for the end of March – then lockdown hit. My body was ready and screaming for a child but the clinic cancelled due to Government rules.
"I was full of IVF drugs but had no options and no one could tell us when that would change.
"I started having pain at the end of May, so had a scan on June 7, which revealed I have developed more cysts in lockdown, making my chances of conceiving via IVF in the future a lot less.
"With every week passing without proper treatment, our chances of being able to conceive are less and less.
"I am doing everything I can to stay positive but not knowing how our finances will be affected after the pandemic also scares me as we might not be able to afford it.
"Every morning I open the kitchen fridge and I’m confronted by IVF drugs. They are a reminder that my baby dreams might be gone for ever."
‘We can’t afford it after wages were hit’
Council worker Samantha Foster, 29, and her partner Gareth Weeks, 31, a chef, are putting off having children because they are worried they can no longer afford it.
Samantha, from Leeds, says: "Gaz and I met in a pub in March 2019 and haven’t been apart since.
"Last year, three of our friends had babies around the same time and it made us both realise how much we wanted kids.
"We weren’t bothered about getting married first so decided to start trying in January this year.
"We spent the end of 2019 planning out 2020 so we could maximise our earnings and save for a baby.
"Gaz took a well-paid job in France, where he was a chef, catering for a high-end chalet for four months.
'COULDN'T DEAL WITH THE PRESSURE'
"He had a job lined up in a hotel but, just as he arrived back, lockdown happened and he was out of work.
"I have been able to continue working from home, but my plans to get extra work at weekends in cafes or bars have been taken away.
"At first we tried not to worry, and decided only to put off conceiving until lockdown was over. But we never imagined it would go on this long.
"The entire hotel and catering sector has been ripped apart and we have no idea what the future of Gaz’s career looks like, as who knows when hotels and events will re-open?
"My job is stable at the moment but everyone is on edge about being furloughed or made redundant if the state of the economy doesn’t improve.
"We can’t afford a baby right now and wanted to be in a position to buy a house this year, but that’s not going to happen.
"We would be first-time parents and couldn’t deal with the pressure of not knowing when our next pay cheque is coming in, or worrying about being able to afford things for our child.
"Friends with children are always telling me how expensive baby things are.
And you can’t even think about second-hand items during lockdown as who knows what the rules are on that?
"It’s been devastating for us but for the next few years trying for a baby is off the cards."
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article