New Dad Mike Denver“It’s a tough time for everybody, you’d love to be there to spend time with them and see the birth.”

As heard on The Ryan Tubridy Show

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Almost everything we hear regarding hospitals these days is Cornoavirus-related, unsurprisingly. And the restrictions currently in place throughout the country to try to slow the spread of the virus have so many knock-on consequences that’s it’s sometimes hard to keep up. We know all about the effect on sport and socialising. We know travel and tourism has been drastically affected. But some people will experience the restrictions on a far more personal level than others. Country singer Mike Denver spoke to Oliver Callan – sitting in for Ryan – about how the restrictions affected him at a time that’s supposed to be one of the most memorable in a person’s life: becoming a parent.

Mike’s wife Liz has been virtually bed-bound for the last few months and they’ve been in and out of hospital a lot, but the last four weeks made things even more difficult. Liz spent almost the entire month before the birth in hospital and Mike wasn’t allowed in for a lot of that time.

“It’s been a long road, but it’s definitely worth it, so it is, when you see the end result – there’s nothing like it.”

There are strict rules about visitors in hospitals due to Covid-19, which affected Mike and his wife Liz when the time came for little Mia to make her début.

“I wasn’t going to be allowed in anyway, but it was a little more rushed than we’d expected, so by the time I got to the hospital the mammy and baby were just coming out of theatre.”

Mike was allowed see his daughter as they brought her up to the Neonatal Intensive care Unit (NICU), but he wasn’t allowed visit Liz back in the ward, which was hard on both of them:

“Liz was brought down to her own ward and I suppose that was the more difficult time, really, because I suppose it’s always the wife or the partner that needs support more than the baby in the early days and that was I suppose more difficult that I wasn’t allowed to see Liz.”

Mother and baby are healthy and now at home in Portumna, Co Galway. Oliver asked Mike, given the restrictions preventing dads-to-be being present at the birth of their children, what advice he might have for fellow first-time dads who have to pace the car park waiting for news.

“It’s disheartening. It’s a tough time for everybody, you’d love to be there to spend time with them and see the birth. It’s a huge part of life for ourselves and for everybody that is having a baby, it’s horrible not being let in but I suppose truly when you do get them home, it brings the excitement out and you forget about all the bad times really.”

Liz, Mia and Mike Denver are at home making the most of their isolation together before Mike starts gigging again in the Summer. You can hear the full chat with Oliver here.

Niall Ó Sioradáin

© The Listener 2020

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