The global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted families in many ways, but one heartbreaking side-effect of the physical distancing measures required to limit the spread is that fathers are separated from the partners during the birth of their children.
One father's message nearly had us in tears, as he revealed that due to South Africa's Covid-19 response, he won't be allowed to be by his wife's side when she goes into labour soon.
In response, this new dad of twins sent us his story. Get your tissues...
On the 23rd of April at 04:00 in the morning I was woken up by a sudden shout of "Honey, let's go!" so we drove to hospital and there we were received with open arms by all the medical personal.
At 07:10 and 07:11 the twins were born. I was part of this whole process as a dad for only 2 hours. I saw the twins for about 15 minutes, when a lady working there stated I should be out soon.
The babies were both admitted to NICU, as they were born at just 36 weeks.
So in a rush a few kisses are blown and I'm out.
For the first 4 days it was only myself at home wondering what's going for what. A lot of phone calls, a lot of messages were received.
The next part was better, I got my wife back home after 4 days.
Still the babies were in the NICU, and I haven't seen them again. My wife did manage to get a photo of the twins.
Now they can't be released until the doctors working with them are happy.
So everyday at 06:00 I have to drop off my wife at the hospital and pick her up at 18:30. So that she can feed them and also attend when needed for paperwork and so on.
We're now heading for week 3 and I've only seen them once.
I still have to go and get nappies everyday and what ever the hospital asks for, for what they need to help the babies. I've seen so many stores, and had to stand and wait until I can find what is needed.
I have a lot of respect for the staff working there, and also all the rules that apply.
On Friday we received notice any one visiting the hospital will only be allowed should they have been tested for Covid - 19.
We then went to the appropriate clinic to get ourselves tested, but were turned away as we didn't have any symptoms.
We understand all the requirements regarding this difficult time and way we live in, but I can only have faith in this time and hope that our 2 new baby girls are safe and that they will get better soon.
I'm home alone, and my wife is sitting in a waiting room waiting to get good news. She experienced her first mother's day, and she is strong.
Counting all her steps toward NICU.
Seeing new faces getting used to the regular faces, knowing the sun is out and coming back home everyday when the moon is shining: we have faith in our system and we respect the system.
But getting use to the system is a lot of work, a lot of traveling, a lot of ups and downs.
A lot of people and a lot of advice, a lot of structures and a lot of ways to work with this system.
We can all only stay strong with no contact or words.
Each one of us are in a time capsule healing and working on our own day to day activities.
We will win this time, and we will win this battle. We are from South Africa.
- New father of twins
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