'We'll make it their best Christmas ever' say mums of Doncaster lockdown babies

Their first Christmas maybe a pandemic Christmas – but Doncaster families are determined to make it the best one ever for their lockdown babies.

By David Kessen
Thursday, 24th December 2020, 7:00 am

Families across the borough welcomed new arrivals this year into a world of social distancing where they could not even visit their grandparents or meet other babies.

But with Christmas now nearly here, mums and dads have told how they plan to make sure that it is still the most special day for their new arrivals.

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Lonely wards and grandparents at the window for Doncaster's lockdown babies and ...

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Stacey Wallace's twins Bella and Amelia born 15th April 4lb and 4lb5.jpg

The first laboratory confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Doncaster were on March 10 – and the borough, along with the rest of the country, went into lockdown nearly two weeks later on March 23.

Mum Kelly White, from Askern, aged 34, gave birth to son Hendrix on Monday, May 18, by caesarian section at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. He is her first child.

After she, Hendrix and Paul had lived in lockdown isolation until June, the little boy’s grandparents finally got to see him at that point. But the tier system and the second lockdown meant that they have again had only limited contact since the autumn.

It has meant that they have only been able to spend a small amount of time together since his arrival.

Stacey Wallace with Bella and Amelia

Now the three of them are set to form a bubble with Kelly’s mum and dad Carol and Brian, and her grandfather David which will mean they are able to be all together for the first time since he was born – and Kelly thinks that will make for a special Christmas

Kelly and Hendrix briefly were able to go to mum and baby groups in the summer, but they are now online again. The pair of them are self isolating in the run up to Christmas for safety.

She said: “We will be in a bubble, me, my husband, Hendrix, and mum and dad and granddad.

"On Christmas Eve, we will be playing Jingle Bells on the doorstep with some bells, as are many families across the area at 6pm

Hendrix White on his Christmas Cards

“When we are all together on Christmas day it will be the first time that we’re all together since March, when Hendrix was not born. I started isolating in March because I was pregnant. Grandad had been shielding and did not come near.

“I’m looking forward to it. We’ve not been able to do anything as a wider family since our son was born.

"Being allowed to do this is the best Christmas present that we could have possibly had, and at one stage I was a bit worried the Government would cancel it.

"We will do Christmas presents at home, and then go to mum's for the day, with a Christmas dinner together.”

Doncaster locdown mum Kelly White with Hendrix and Paul

The couple have had Christmas cards printed with pictures of Hendrix on the front, so those who they cannot meet this Christmas can still see his picture.

"It definitely feels like the best Christmas ever,” said Kelly.

She is hoping that with the roll out of a coronavirus vaccine, birthdays will be back to normal by the time Hendix celebrates his.

Stacey Wallace and her partner David Williams also became lockdown parents during the spring, near the height of the first wave of infection.

While parenthood was not a new experience for them, it was not just the one new arrival.

Stacey gave birth to lockdown twins at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on April 15.

Stacey, a carer from Intake, had Bella and Amelia by caesarian section attending daily appointments at the hospital alone, while partner David looked after their three older children, the oldest being aged 10.

They have a big family – and this year it will be just the seven of them together on Christmas Day.

But they are determined it will still be a very special day for Bella and Amelia, as well as their older siblings.

Stacey said: “We’re a family of seven now, so it will just be us in the house.

“My parents are classed as vulnerable, so it’s going to be family video conferencing for the extended family.

"What we do is the same every year. Christmas Eve is an activities day, and we go round in the car looking at all the Christmas lights. Then we have a family day with presents.

"We have all met up with the grandparents since the original lockdown restrictions were lifted, so the family have managed to see the girls.

"Since the new restrictions were put in place we’ve been able to go on walks together, but they’ve still not been able to hold the twins yet.

"On Christmas Day we will do as near to normal as we can. It will be about having fun making gingerbread houses , and redecorating the house with decorations we made on Christmas Eve. We usually have a big family get together with 30 people. Clearly we’re not doing that this year.

“Instead, we’re doing a massive video call, with all of us on there. We’ll arrange it so that all the children open their Christmas boxes at the same time, and then we’ll watch a Christmas film together, while we’re all linked on the video. We’ve got a projector to watch.

"Their first Christmas is still going to be a special day for the twins. Christmas is still going to be special – we’re going to make it special.

“It’s been a trying year for them all.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.