Tracy Maguire remembers the moment she saw doctors insert a swab into her three-week-old baby’s nose to test for coronavirus.
The new mother says it is one of the “worst things” she has seen.
“It was the first time I’d seen my baby cry tears,” she said. “I held her, I was crying and we were just trying to get each other through the situation”.
Born prematurely at just 3lbs 5oz (1.5kg), baby Peyton was diagnosed with Covid-19 at just three weeks old.
Her arrival on 26 March – eight weeks before her due date – defied all of the family’s planning.
Despite feeling healthy, Tracy was told she may have pre-eclampsia during a routine appointment and was sent straight to Wishaw General Hospital in Lanarkshire.
‘She’s fine – but she has Covid-19’
After those first weeks, during which Peyton enjoyed a bath in the ward, she began to show the slightest of symptoms – a sniffle and a few coughs, almost undetectable.
Tracy told BBC Radio Scotland’s Mornings with Kaye Adams programme the news that her baby had become one of the country’s youngest virus patients was traumatic.
“They said ‘she’s fine, don’t panic – but she has tested positive for coronavirus’,” said Tracy.
“I think the doctor was trying to keep me calm but I was sobbing.
“As much as she was fine I thought at what point was she with the virus? How is she fighting against it when she’s so wee? It was just the unknown.”
Peyton was given steroids to help strengthen her lungs and received “amazing” care from neonatal nurses in the days that followed her diagnosis.
However, after recovering from her Caesarean section, Tracy was told she would have to go home and isolate for 14 days away from her baby.
She said: “I was pleading on the phone with the doctor saying I don’t want to be away from her.
“As much as everyone was looking after her, I’m her mum. Even if it was the cold, I’d want to be there with her.”
Doctors relented and allowed Tracy to stay – but Adrian would have to go home and complete the isolation period in order to see his baby girl.
As days passed, the number of deaths in Scotland caused by the virus continued to increase – but Peyton recovered.
She and Tracy were discharged on Monday and Adrian has now held her for the first time since leaving hospital.
Tracy said: “From Adrian’s point of view, I think he felt a bit useless – first his baby is coming early and secondly his wife isn’t well and he couldn’t be there.”
‘Put your trust in nurses’
Now home and settling into a routine, Tracy and family have praised the doctors and nurses at Wishaw General who guided them through a remarkable and daunting birth.
Tracy said: “They are doing a job that is unreal – they put their life at risk to make sure my baby was getting fed and cuddled in their full PPE.
“It’s spectacular, you’ll never understand how grateful you can be to people. Peyton is my most precious thing in the whole world and I trusted them to look after her.
“To any mums that are worried, put your trust in these nurses.”