Dad says first hello to new daughter via Facetime after mum delivers baby alone

Emily Watson introducing baby Charlotte Hope through the window to grandad Neville

Louise Walsh

A Meath mum who had to give birth alone because of Covid-19 hospital restrictions had to Facetime her partner so he could meet his new baby daughter.

Emily Watson's dad, who flew home from the UK to see his new grandchild, also had to greet the baby through a window when the couple arrived back to their home in Trim after she was discharged.

The 32-year old mum gave birth to her fourth child, little Charlotte Hope, in Mullingar Hospital on March 28 with the support of only the midwives and other women who were well separated in the ward.

Charlotte arrived into the world, weighing 8lb 4oz at 5.28pm and had to meet her daddy Tommy Collins through Facetime a short while later.

However, Emily was full of praise for the midwives, who she says had been receiving abuse over the phone from family members of other expectant mums who weren't allowed to have birthing partners due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

"I was brought in to be induced and had to stay overnight because the first induction wasn't successful," said Emily, who already had two boys and a girl.

"I had been told that I wasn't allowed have any birthing partners so I was prepared for it and the midwives were amazing.

"One stayed with me the whole time minding me and a further two arrived to help with the birth.

"After Charlotte was born and as soon as I was able, I Facetimed Tommy to show him his new daughter.

"Of course, we were upset he couldn't be there but we both knew this measure was going to keep the baby safe.

"There were lots of angry dads and family members ringing and giving the midwives abuse but it's not their fault.

"These measures were taken by the HSE to keep us all safe. I have to admit I was anxious about going into the hospital after reading about a Covid-19 case there, but all was fine.

"Nurses did constantly have to ask the same questions to see if I had symptoms but neither I nor the baby were tested.

"There were other women in the ward, all socially distanced and we all supported each other.


"My dad Neville came home from the UK to meet Charlotte but he could only see her through the window.

"He's home for a while now but we don't know when he'll be able to cuddle her.

"My mum has met her on Facetime and Tommy's parents have been sent pictures on Facebook so it's a really tough and emotional time for all of us.

"My teenage daughter Eleanor gave Charlotte her middle name - Hope.

"It's all everyone can do right now to see the end of his virus."