Melbourne mum Sarah Haidar finally meets her newborn son after being stuck COVID quarantine in Brisbane for 9 torturous days after the birth – despite being COVID-vaccinated.
Overwhelming tears of joy streamed down Sarah Haidar’s face last night as she laid eyes on her tiny baby baby for the very first time since giving birth to him nine days ago alone by emergency caesarean.
“When I walked in my heart was pounding and I was nervous and started crying,” Sarah reveals the next afternoon exclusively to Kidspot.
Baby Ilyas was born at just 30 weeks, on June 1, by emergency caesarean, five days after Sarah and her husband, Moe, 29, flew into Brisbane from Qatar to begin their two-week quarantine.
Sarah was forced to undergo the surgery alone as Moe was denied an exemption by the Queensland Government to be with his wife for the birth of their first child, despite the couple both having had a full course of COVID-19 vaccination – and testing negative for the virus.
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Sarah Haidar laid eyes on her precious baby boy for the first time after giving birth 9 days ago. Source: Supplied to Kidspot
“We finally met our newborn after 8 days stuck in quarantine”
Shaking, scared and with no support, doctors didn’t allow Sarah even a glimpse of her first baby before taking him to a room on his own in NICU.
At 6.30 last night their quarantine hell finally ended, and Sarah and Moe rushed to be with their baby, spending three precious hours with him.
“The minute I entered I was crying, happy tears. I felt like a mum right away. I felt like Ilyas also felt like mum is here,” Sarah gushes, sharing that she also experienced contractions again, which the nurses said was from the oxytocin flowing through her from holding her baby.
“He needed his nappy changed when I walked in, so I did it. I got to clean his face and feel him. He has very soft skin.
“I got to put him on my chest with blankets on top and he just relaxed and stayed there sleeping for two hours. He didn’t move and he is normally a very active baby.”
Sarah’s heart was beating so fast, but she felt enormous peace holding her tiny baby who is just 30cm long.
She says their baby boy is so tiny that Moe has been too scared to hold him, and instead has just stroked his hand, but he hopes to cuddle his son this afternoon.
“He is the most precious thing – it was the most rewarding thing ever,” the 27-year-old mum says.
“He has big features, big eyes, big hands, big lips but he is small. He has a lot of hair and he is very active… he looks like his dad.”
“I got to put him on my chest with blankets on top and he just relaxed and stayed there sleeping for two hours.” Source: Supplied to Kidspot
“I feared my newborn wouldn’t recognise my voice after the week-long separation”
The days spent locked up in their quarantine room in the hospital filled with fear and anxiety that a bond with her baby might be lost melted away instantly as Sarah gazed into Ilyas’s eyes.
“It was like he recognised my voice. His eyes are wide open, and he looks up at me when I’m speaking to him,” she explains.
“Even the nurses tell me when he hears my voice he just knows.
“I repeated the same words to him I used to say to him when he was inside me – ‘my darling, my heart, you are the light to my soul’. I call him my little munchkin, my darling.”
However, she says nothing will make up for those nine days without being to hold him and only seeing him via video calls, being told about his development by nurses they hadn’t even met.
“No one should go through it, it was awful. I lay in bed thinking, ‘how did this happen to me and why?’.”
“There is no excuse for them taking my newborn baby
Sarah fears she may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the ordeal, and they have arranged to have counselling to prepare her for shock that may set in in the coming days and weeks.
Now as a mother herself, Sarah cannot comprehend the actions of the Queensland Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, who is also a mother.
“I don’t understand how she can be so heartless. She is a mum and grandma how would she feel in my position,” she says angrily.
“There is no excuse for them taking my baby. There is no reason for not letting me see him.”
Sarah Haidar’s husband, Moe, (pictured leaving the hospital) was too scared to hold their tiny premature baby boy when they first met on Thursday night. Source: Supplied to Kidspot
“I couldn’t wait until the morning when I could return to my baby”
Leaving Ilyas last night after three incredible hours soaking in his sounds, smell and touch was so hard.
“I didn’t want to walk out. I didn’t say goodbye, I said, ‘see you tomorrow morning my darling’. I didn’t want to leave but I was exhausted and had to breast pump,” she emotionally explains.
“After I left the hospital, I felt I should go back but my body was physically and mentally exhausted… I just turned to my husband and cried in his arms. I couldn’t wait until the morning when I could return to him. We woke at 6am and left to visit him – I didn’t sleep all night.”
Tomorrow, the doctors will attempt to remove the machine helping Ilyas breath.
Once this is successful, they hope to be able to fly him home to Melbourne, where they will have family support and can recover from the horrific experience.
They have asked the health minister to provide a care flight as it will cost $30,000 but have been told they need to ask the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Sarah and Moe have also contacted a lawyer and are looking into a negligence claim relating to the separation from their baby.
“This shouldn’t happen to any woman,” Sarah stresses.