A-Z

Razia

Brief Outline:

Gender: Female
Ethnicity: Pakistani
Background: Razia is [age] and is Pakistani. She is married and has three children. She worked in government services and is setting up a business. Razia found out she was pregnant early during the pandemic. She was concerned about the impact of Covid and the pandemic on her pregnancy. She caught Covid in January 2021 and was in extreme pain. Her baby also suffered from breathlessness. She is living with long Covid symptoms, and finds the brain fog a particular challenge. 

 

More about me...

Razia heard about Covid in early 2020, but ‘didn’t really pay much attention to it because it was happening on the other side of the world’. She found out she was pregnant with her third child soon after. She found the uncertainty around the impact the pandemic was going to have on her pregnancy care difficult. Two of her siblings also had babies during the pandemic, so they were able to share experiences. 
 
When the first lockdown eased Razia and her husband decided to maintain a more cautious life, because they weren’t sure about the potential impact of Covid on Razia’s pregnancy or the baby. After she had the baby the country went into another lockdown. This was difficult because it meant she lost her social network – ‘everything around you changes, that support network can’t be there and you need them’. 
 
Razia remembers that she and her husband felt ‘a bit under the weather’ in January 2021. A few days later she woke up in such pain that she felt like she’d been ‘battered with a baseball bat head to toe’. This lasted a few days and was like a ‘terrible flu’. Her baby also had some symptoms and was struggling to breathe. It was difficult to get professionals to take the baby’s symptoms seriously, but eventually a GP recognised that he might also have Covid and he was referred for further tests in hospital. 
 
Razia’s husband recovered from Covid within ten days, but she was affected by longer term symptoms which lasted several months. Brain fog, breathlessness and fatigue were particularly challenging for Razia. The brain fog was worse than anything she had experienced before, saying ‘it’s not just forgetting why you’ve walked into a room or forgetting where you’ve put the keys, it’s actually bigger than that, it scared me’. She was frustrated with the difficulty of getting an appointment at the long Covid clinic. 
 
Though lots of life plans had to change because of the pandemic and the long-term effects of Covid, Razia was grateful that her children were healthy and happy. She took strength from her religion, and listened to Islamic hymns to help her meditate and relax. 

 

 

Razia has a busy life with small children and doesn’t really watch the news.

Razia has a busy life with small children and doesn’t really watch the news.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

Basically, I kind of heard of something back in January, February time. Didn’t really pay much attention to it because it was happening on the other side of the world. I don’t really watch the news much, to be honest, because I’m always busy with little ones and when I if I do watch, I watch sort of local stuff that’s going to affect my day to day. So it’s not like I didn’t care, I just didn’t know enough about it so I wasn’t going out of my way to follow the story but that was also the time I found out I was pregnant with our third baby. So, when it started spreading and it started becoming, people started talking about it more, I wasn’t still quite sure what it was and that’s when I started looking into it because people were coming to the UK and they were talking about a virus that’s not just like the flu, it’s different and it’s worse. The effect it was having, the fact that places shut down in China and airports, people were talking about closing borders and I was thinking, “What’s going on?”

 

Razia’s mother wanted to be with her at the end of her pregnancy, so she went through the difficulties of international travel.

Razia’s mother wanted to be with her at the end of her pregnancy, so she went through the difficulties of international travel.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

My sister-in-law and myself, due in September and October, so the plan was that mum was going to come from May and then stay until our babies were going to be born but then because there was like all the restrictions, this that, mum couldn’t come. She missed my sister’s birth in May. So she missed her having her son. And then because we were unsure we kind of planned to be without her, if that makes sense. And then come September, first week of September, my mum did come because it kind of eased, at that point, in August. So she did come and it was all a palaver because we had, you know, the whole flying over, the getting, when she’d done the test, she got to the airport and they said, “You didn’t have it done by the right clinic.” So she actually go on and change her flight so, you know, it was all very stressful. So even something that, the fact that it was great that she was making it for my nephew’s birth but it was just the added stress. Is she going to? Is she not going to? And then she stopped, because there was a stopover in Turkey, their rules for flying were different and there was online forms that should have been filled before she boarded that she didn’t know. No one told us that, when you book the flights, no one tells you. So there was all this stuff and that was really stressing. And then she made it for that though. So she made it for my nephew’s birth and she made it for my son’s birth.

 

 

Razia’s husband is a taxi driver. To address their worries about him bringing the virus home he changed clothes and showered as soon as he came in from work.

Razia’s husband is a taxi driver. To address their worries about him bringing the virus home he changed clothes and showered as soon as he came in from work.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

So he was like, he was concerned about him with bringing it home to the kids more. And bringing it home to me because he was like, “The last thing I want is be the reason why you fall ill.” So he was more concerned about that, but I said to him but, “Well, I’m concerned that you might get it because you’re the one who’s running around looking after us and, if you’re poorly I’m going to struggle to do his role.” And he was he was able to be a bit more flexible and cover a bit of my things. So I said, “I’m struggling to do yours.” So we came up with a plan where, when he would come home, he wouldn’t touch the kids or he wouldn’t come and grab them or he would go straight sort of make sure, even though he wore gloves and everything and masks. And so he would, you know, come in and make sure he’s showered and he’d make sure he’d like cleansed himself and everything and then played with the kids. And he’d always make sure that that he would he had like loads of sanitiser in the car and he’ll sanitise the car properly, even like in between picking up customers like the door handles because you never know how careful someone else has been or not. So because of all that, we weren’t as worried. And he felt a bit like, we agreed that he shouldn’t rely on everyone is taking the right measures. He needs to take extra.

 

 

Razia could not find any information about Covid during pregnancy.

Razia could not find any information about Covid during pregnancy.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

And how I looked at it is, you couldn’t find, I couldn’t find the answer to a lot of questions online because that was the only place I could look. The health visitors don’t know. The specialists at the hospital didn’t know. The midwives couldn’t tell me so you, I always, you know, I even did everything, you know. And I didn’t know so then I’d look online saying is it more risky for me as a pregnant lady? Is my child, if I get it now, is my child going to born with it?

 

 

Razia thought she was just under the weather until she woke up with terrible body pain.

Razia thought she was just under the weather until she woke up with terrible body pain.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

And, at first, we just thought, do you know what, it’s, we’re just a bit under the weather, you know, bit under the weather and then my husband, he very rarely gets ill, touch wood, and he was like, “Well, I think it’s, my body is really hurting.” And then the kids had it and at first we thought it was a little bit of a sniffle, you know, January, as that happens but we had, I think three days when once I woke up in the morning and I was literally in more pain than I probably was in labour.

 

 

Razia’s brain fog causes her to continuously forget things, which makes her fearful about caring for her children on her own.

Razia’s brain fog causes her to continuously forget things, which makes her fearful about caring for her children on her own.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
EMBED CODE
PRINT TRANSCRIPT

I’d forget how to do the basic things and so, when people talk about brain fog and then I tell, you know, it’s like when you’re pregnant. When you’ve had a baby or when you’re a parent you might get it anyway, you’re, you know, even if you work long hours you might be used to forgetting things. It’s not just why you’ve walked into a room or forgetting where you’ve put the keys. It’s actually it’s actually bigger than that because, when you’ve got three, because it scared me. I said to my husband, I’ve got three little ones at home and, you know, he’s going to work probably thinking, “Are they safe with her today? Is she going to be all right?” [laughs]. Yeah, no, he’s right to but then the anxiety starts kicking in because I think, before I do anything stupid get the kids out the kitchen and I literally, got to a point where I was like, I’m not having the kids in the kitchen. Even when I’m not cooking, even when no oven is on, no nothing is on, nothing is boiling, and my anxiety would kick in. I get so anxious, I’d be like, no. And I’d look around thinking, literally, like cooker’s off, hob’s off, oven’s off, kettle’s off, everything is off. Right. And then I’m like, what else could they hurt themselves, what have I not done? I then start looking for things I might have got wrong because it was happening that often.

 

Previous Page
Next Page