With restrictions in place across society due to the coronavirus pandemic, new mothers and fathers have been welcoming their babies in some very unusual circumstances.
Maternity units have a strict no visitor policies, with some hospitals not allowing partners to be present during delivery.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and others haven't been able to properly meet new arrivals, and many new parents have found themselves unable to leave home for now.
However, new mums and dads have also had the opportunity to spend lots of time with their young sons and daughters.
On today's Hard Shoulder, some new and expectant parents spoke to reporter Laura Donnelly about their experiences of welcoming new arrivals during lockdown.
Natalie arrived back home to Laois with baby daughter Romy just as social distancing was introduced.
She explained: “I was really lucky in that I had Romy just before all this happened… my husband could be there during the birth… he could look after her while I was in recovery.
“My parents and his parents could come to visit.”
They went out for dinner on her dad’s birthday when Romy was just over two weeks old, but things have been very different in the weeks since then.
Natalie explained: “During social distancing time, before the lockdown, they were able to come to the garden and look in the pram at her. But they couldn’t get a cuddle or see her properly… how much she’d changed.
“Now she’s just at the two months mark, and they haven’t seen her since she was two weeks old. It’s great that we have Skype and Facetime, but it’s not quite the same - there’s only so much photographs can do for grandparents."
Natalie says Romy will be told all about this experience when she grows up.
She said: “When she’s older and we’re telling her a little about when she was first born, she’ll know that she was a lockdown baby… that she was born in 2020 and it was a very unusual year.
“She’ll know she was really lucky, and really loved, and that [this was] such an unusual time that we’ll never forget."
Natalie also said she isn't forgetting how fortunate she is to be healthy and safe at the moment.
She said: “There are people out there who are sick or who have lost loved ones.
"I know how lucky I am, and will be ready to go face the world as soon as this is all over.”
Diana and Ciaran from Dublin welcomed baby Oisin to the world as lockdown began
Ciaran explained: “It was very surreal initially.
“You have to leave [the hospital after delivery], and you’re back to reality in a house by yourself. It seemed... ‘did that actually just happen?’
"I really, really missed them even if it was just three days."
With mother and baby now back at home, Ciaran says the difficult part is that they can't see friends and family.
He explained: "In particular my parents… they’re in their 70s, they’re both cocooned up, and they’re really feeling not being able to see him in person.
“We’ve had him in the car so they could look through the window, as kind of a workaround for them. But they’re really feeling it."
Ciaran added: “Every day my mam almost has a tear in her eye about this. The first time we drove over with the groceries we didn't tell her we were going over... she broke down in tears of joy.
“He will be absolutely smothered with love [when they can see him].”