Pandemic Birth Stories
What is more anxiety provoking than preparing for birth?
Answer: preparing to give birth during a pandemic!
We have spoken to countless expecting parents who are so nervous for their pandemic birth. As if the thought of it alone isn’t stressful enough, the hormones on board make anxieties reach a new level. What will it be like? How can I take more steps to be cautious? Will my baby be taken care of properly?
Although we may not be able to relieve your anxieties, we wanted to do our best to try. Luckily, we reached out to some new mothers who have given birth during the quarantine to give us first-hand accounts of their birth process. We hope you enjoy these pandemic birth stories as much as we did!
Katie: Chillicothe, Ohio
Baby Jonny born March 20, 2020
“The hospital was different, I was allowed only one support person during my whole stay and they took our temperatures at the entrance and asked us some screening questions before we could check in. The nurses were actually on PPE restriction so they tried not to use gloves unless they had to, often only using one instead of 2 and they washed their hands more often. They were keeping stays to a minimum and I went home 25 hours after he arrived. Also they were avoiding elective procedures and circumcision was on that list so that was different. We opted out of that anyway but it was interesting that they were scheduling them later.”
Courtney M: Wisconsin
Baby Maddox born March 21, 2020
“The virus wasn’t too bad in our area yet when I delivered, but the hospital I delivered at was still very strict about keeping the virus from spreading. It was just me and my husband in the delivery room (which we planned on) even before the virus. The doctor and two nurses. We were still able to pull up to valet and go thru the emergency entrance when we got there and a security guard brought us up to the maternity floor. After we delivered a few hours later my husband went to our vehicle to grab our bags when he came back into the hospital they almost didn’t let him back in. they had to call upstairs to make sure he was my husband and not a visitor. No visitors were allowed..which I actually really enjoyed not only because of the virus but it was much more relaxing. I was sore and not up for visitors anyway. We were able to go home the next day. We named our baby Maddox Skip (Skip after his grandpa who passed away 10 years ago in a motorcycle accident). We did not have to get tested, but the hospitals regulations may have changed on that matter now.”
Lilly: Brighton, Colorado
Baby Ozzy born April 1, 2020
“I had a scheduled csection on April first. I had to show up at the hospital around 530am and had my csection at 7. It was a little weird upon arrival cause the only entrance at the hospital was threw the er. The rules were only 1 support person during my entire stay and they were not allowed to leave the hospital, no children. When we (husband and i) arrived at the er we let them know we were there for a scheduled csection. They took my temp and asked me a series of questions such as- Have you been around anyone sick? Do you have a sore throat or feel sick.? Have you been outside the country.? Etc. My husband was also asked these questions and had his temperature took.(if his temp was over 100° he wouldn't be allowed but he passed) we did not have to take a covid19 test. the hospital did have a "room-in" policy which basically we stay in the room and baby will stay with us in the room as much as possible, any test for the baby would be done in the room with us. The only time he left us was to be circumcised but was brought straight back to us... hubby was allowed to be in the operating room and was able to cut the umbilical cord as well. After surgery it was a little more difficult cause i couldn't walk the halls but i did walk around my room alot. All food was room serviced. It was like a normal experience except with no family there. It was difficult being away from our daughter for the 4days but we were able to video chat and call her all the time. Honestly the whole staff went above and beyond to make it as normal as possible. I was so anxious and worried about the whole experience from the things i was hearing but it was nothing like the stories. It was literally way better than expected.”
Becky: Gananoque, Ontario
Baby Leontine born April 7, 2020
“Once the pandemic started my weekly appointments alternated every other week from in office to phone call appointments. I was allowed one support person. When we arrived at the hospital in labor we had to go through the screening questions, however since I was in very active labor and almost collapsing they put me in a wheelchair right away and asked us the questions before we went into the labor and delivery floor. They were so panicked by my state at the hospital entrance that they forgot the protocol lol. In normal circumstances, they would have asked us the questions, have us wipe down our belongings and sanitize our hands upon entering the hospital, as well as, before entering labor and delivery. I didn't have to wear a mask while I was in the labor or in the hospital. They didn't test my boyfriend or I. Now comes the unfortunate part. My daughter came out not breathing so after being stabilized she was transferred to the NICU. Daddy was able to go with her and be there while they got her hooked up to everything and intubate her but then that was the last time he saw her until we brought her home 10 days later. I was in the hospital from Tuesday to Thursday and he was able to stay with me but the covid rules for the NICU were only one parent every 24 hours. He gave up time with her so I could be with her. While she was there I could be there at any time for as long as I wanted. Every day I want back and forth to be with her and I had to get screened upon entering the hospital and before I could enter the NICU. I had to wash my hands before entering and use sanitizer before touching her. I also had to wear a gown if I was coming into contact with her. I didn't get to hold her until she was a week old and more stable because she had tubes and wires all over for her heart, IV's, feeding tube and brain monitor. She was discharged at 10 days old and on that day they changed the NICU rules again. Parents were now only allowed one parent still and you were only allowed to be there for 3 hours at your scheduled time. No parents after 8:00pm. I know I was very scared leading up to delivery. I was nervous about being at the hospital during this. We did not get to see our other kids for almost a month because we quarantined ourselves for the 14 days in case we came into contact with anything while at the hospital. My son is immune compromised so we took that precaution for him. Lastly, she was two weeks early and I am actually glad she was early because so much changed in that time we were there, like the NICU rules. So I didn't have to deal with that thankfully. I hope this helps and you can ease some fears of those expecting.”
Cassy: Tacoma, Washington
Baby Arbor born April 9, 2020
“Upon entering the hospital was a little strange. I couldn't enter through the emergency room. We had to go to a white tent where they wheeled me in a wheelchair and took me down a hall to temp check me and asked if I had a cough or wasn't feeling well. They didn't swab test me for the virus. They gave me a mask to wear, which is the only mask I used the entire time I was at the hospital. My partner was able to leave and bring me back some food from a restaurant, which was nice. I got to the hospital just before 9am and was able to be discharged the next day at 5pm. 24 hours after I gave birth. They were quick to discharge all seemingly healthy deliveries. The staff all had masks on and some were okay with us not wearing our masks in our room. I personally cannot stand wearing a mask all the time. It actually wasn't a terrible experience. I felt safe and cared for.”
Jessica: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Baby Weston born on April 10, 2020
“As far as precautions go... the nursing staff continually took my temperature, as well as my husband's. The nurses were wearing masks and coverings over their scrubs and shoes, but we were not required to wear masks. The maternity ward was completely "locked down." No visitors and I was only allowed one support person (my husband) in the room. We were not required to be tested, but the hospital staff did ask if we were experiencing any symptoms. I only spent one night in the hospital this time around. The hospital staff were trying to get people out and back to their own germs as quickly as possible, as long as everything went smoothly. Overall, it wasn't that much different than our first go around. The hardest part for me was not having my mom there, in the delivery room. I did video chat her, though. I had my phone sitting on the table while the baby was being born.”
Morgen: Norwalk, Ohio
Baby Michael born April 14, 2020
“They really didn’t take any precautions while I was there besides washing hands and cleaning my room daily ! The day after I left they enforced the rule that all mothers got the corona test and everyone had to wear mask. While I was there I was only allowed one person the entire time and they didn’t want that person leaving at all. Honestly one person was enough for me. It really helped me and my fiancé bond and It’s something I’ll never forget!”
Linda: New Braunfels, Texas
Baby Grayson born April 16, 2020
“This is my third baby so I thought I'd know the ropes of going into the hospital, when I'd want to have visitors , when I'd announce him being born etc. Not this time around Covid19 hit and my 2 week appointments ended up being alone nobody was allowed to be with me.. I'd walk into the building get my temperature checked , get a sticker signed that I did , get handed a mask & a squirt of hand sanitizer & off I'd go into the elevator to my appointment. The mask were so hard to breath in especially a person that wears glasses they kept fogging up. This being my last baby & being alone was sad at first but then I'd be excited to get to the car to tell my partner all about the appointment that day!
At 35 weeks they scheduled my repeat C-section for April 27th ( 39 weeks 1day ) I was surprised because I had my other C-sections at 37weeks but I was happy to go as far as I could. My Dr. then told me the hospital was only allowing one person to be with me at all times! It had to be the same person no switching people out just the same person that came with in the beginning. I liked this because I had told my partner I didn't want to have visitors until the next day anyways & I'd announce when I was ready! My Dr. also told us that we would not enter the ER like we would normally do if it wasn't for Covid19.. to avoid all people we were told to enter a side door. Well here we are at 38weeks 2 days I couldn't take the pain I was in so my dr went ahead & said, "We are having a baby tomorrow" I was more than ready! Hospital bags in the trunk ready to go , carseat installed & nerves running high! Next morning IT'S GO TIME! carrying all our stuff we enter this side door it actually led straight to the birthing center it was actually very calming to not have to enter the ER & avoiding everyone who could be sick! This also calmed my partner because he was more nervous than me about the fact I had to have our child is such a pandemic. They checked are temperature & we were good to go all set up to have a baby! All staff had mask at all times & constantly cleaned their hands they made sure things were all clean & wiped down before we got into our room. I was prepped for my surgery & was very nervous at this point its a scary moment but the drs talked to me through the process making me as comfortable as I could be at a time like this. They started & as the anesthesia hit me i got very nauseous & felt embarrassed that I couldn't move & they had to hold a bag beside my mouth with a suction tool... they kept telling me "you're doing great mama" & even though I didn't feel great it was nice to hear them repeat that over & over again I then felt like I could relax! Next a little cry! My son is here! I'm crying I couldn't wait to see his face. I finally get to see him although I felt to weak to carry him my partner & staff made sure to have him close by so I could look at his handsome little face! Over the next three days in the hospital I had great staff they helped right away when I needed it & they always made sure they had mask & gloves on before touching me or Grayson.
I will say at first it was weird just one person being allowed in the room because I was used to having visitors with my other two kids right away. I felt like I constantly just wanted to sleep like it was way to quiet.. like there wasn't anything to do but feed & change the baby & sleep. After the first day into the second it actually felt great just us 3 especially it being our last kid! The quiet, we weren't constantly interrupted by visitors, my partner & I could actually talk & enjoy our son being born with no distractions etc. The second day the kitchen staff had a very nice lunch set up & brought to us it felt like a little date! The third day as we waiting for discharge papers I was ready to go but yet wanted to stay a little longer it just felt different I felt safe in our room with our son not going out into the world. I knew we had to though.. since we live with family we made sure nobody was sick and made everyone wash their hands as well as use hand sanitizer before holding him!
He is now almost 3 weeks old & Honestly I couldn't be happier with how it's been! As long as you & anyone around you are taking precautions & being safe i wouldn't worry so much or be scared & enjoy every moment that comes to having a baby in a pandemic because things could be worse than what they are but they aren't & also when your child is older you just have another story to tell.”
Baby Lainee born April 17, 2020
“I was a scheduled induction and arriving at the hospital they take temperatures. I was allowed 1 support person & we were required to wear masks our entire stay, even during delivery! They were very informative on the procedures & only really came to “bug” is when absolutely necessary. Which was bittersweet, on one hand it was “did they forget about me” on the other hand it was “this is so peaceful”. Part of the requirements was support person was not allowed to leave. If he did, he wasn’t allowed back and he couldn’t be replaced with another person. Due to that, they actually provided free guest meal trays to accommodate his stay because he wasn’t allowed to leave. I did not have to get tested, and after delivery they came in very little, again which was peaceful! I actually got more rest/sleep this time around! They offered 24 hour discharge as long as baby and myself were cleared!”
Anna: Buffalo, New York
Baby Jacob born April 25, 2020
“So basically I had a scheduled c section. We were asked to come wearing a mask, if we didnt have one on, one would be provided at the door. We were asked the occasional screening questions that is now being asked everywhere you go for every appointment. They took our temperature. I was only allowed one support person for labor/ delivery aka the c section. That person was the only person I could have stay with me. That person was allowed to come and go whenever they wanted. But would get tested when they arrived each time. Neither of us me, baby and the support person were tested for the Coronavirus or offered it. The nurses and everyone were still amazing and so loving and caring as if the Coronavirus didnt exist. Everyone wore a mask. I had to wear a mask the entire time until I was in my room then me, baby and support person were the only ones allowed to leave them off. No one else ever had them off. This is my second baby and first c section, but I felt I was treated the same as i did the first time. I still felt safe. Oh also the food that was served was no longer brought into my room on a tray by the kitchen people. But the nurses brought it in, in to go containers wrapped up in tinfoil on a throw away tray instead of a reusable one. Id say the hardest part for me having a baby during this pandemic is that i couldn't have visitors and more then one support person. It was pretty lonely, but not that bad either. Obviously still no visitors now that we are home too.”
Destiney: Greenwood, South Carolina
Baby Elena Rose born April 27, 2020
“I was around 35 weeks when the OB started to not allow anyone to go into office with me. Which really sucked. I was just started to get checked weekly and I couldn’t have anyone with me. I have SUPER bad anxiety. So that first day I freaked out and had a panic attack. To make this all worse, my mom had tested positive for the covid-19. So when I told my OB, she freaked out and made it known in the whole office. I had not been around my mother in two weeks prior, not been tested or showing symptoms, but my OB at the time did not listen. They made me leave from the back of the building when they found that out. I was able to go back the next week because I still had no symptoms, but the whole office knew of me then.
I finally had to be induced on the 27th. They told me that only my baby’s father could be in the room with me, and that if he left, no one could take his place and he could not come back. It was super scary because I had originally planned for my sister, and my mother to also be in the room with me. My mother is my rock, and I was utterly terrified that I would not be able to deliver my baby without her. But as we got to the hospital, we entered the childbirth center. The doors were locked, and we had to speak through a system to ask the nurses to open the door. No one was on the first floor. When we got to the second floor, all the nurses had masks on. Once we finally got into the room, we realized that we were the only people on the L&D. They said that they didn’t want people to come in unless they knew they were in labor it had an induction. (Like me). I was the only patient until about 3 am that morning. I had amazing nurses who listened to my every needs and wants, and done everything they could to make sure me and my fiancé were comfortable as we could be. I was also able to FaceTime my sister and mom whenever and keep them updated, and the OB on call even spoke to them through the phone to let them know what was going on the whole time.
My water broke around 7am that morning, and the contractions hit hard and fast. My nurse was literally an angel sent from heaven, she stayed with me and helped me breath through contractions until I was able to get the epidural. Which, and I am not exaggerating, I am DEATHLY afraid of needles. They are my only phobia. But with that nurse, and I was able to have my mom and sister on the phone with me watching everything, I was able to sit and take it, even through contractions. By that point I was 4cm, and I finally went numb. I was able to sleep through nearly all of my labor up until about 1pm, and that’s when I was 9 1/2 cm. I called my mom and sister back and they were able to stay on FaceTime with me as I pushed and labored, and my OB even held my daughter up to show her to them. Of course, they couldn’t physically be there. But to be able to hear them and we them on my phone brought me comfort. But I was so thankful for the nurses and my OB who were there. Originally, I had scheduled my induction with my primary OB. but sadly, he had contacted the virus, so another OB on call had to deliver my daughter. But I am so glad she did, she was amazing.”
Dana: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Baby Allison born May 3, 2020
“I am happy to share my experience because I was certainly fearful. I have been home since March 14. However, my husband is an essential worker and was still working. Every day when he got home he would strip, shower, and then come upstairs. Eventually when the due date was getting close I had him sleep in another room. We distanced ourselves as much as we could. My shower was scheduled for March 28th and had to be cancelled. Family and friends came from all over and dropped gifts off on our front porch. Some stayed while we opened, and some didn’t. We got everything we needed, plus more! I had to attend my last 4 doctor visits by myself. My husband came and sat in the car for the last 2. At one of them, my blood pressure was a bit high and I had to go in for some testing. I had to navigate the hospital at 39 weeks, alone, and wearing a mask. I was terrified, I ended up in tears. All testing ended up fine and I was sent home. I packed my hospital bag early and had it in the car. I overpacked because I knew no one would be allowed to leave once we got to the hospital. I went into labor at home and my husband was here. When it was time, we called the doctor and headed to the hospital. We had to enter through the emergency room. We were both wearing masks as they took us up to the birthing floor. When we got into triage they took our temps. My husband was allowed 1 trip out to move the car out of the ER and get everything we needed for our stay, including the car seat. Once he was back in the family birth center, he did not have to wear a mask. He was told that his temp would be taken every 12 hours and if it was over 100.2 he would be asked to leave and could not return. We were admitted and put into a room. Once we were in that room neither of us was allowed to leave. All meals were served to him as well. Every hospital staff member wore a mask at all times. When it was time to deliver, the delivery staff suited up with shields and N95 masks. When I questioned why they wore them then, they told me because I was going to be breathing heavily and we were all in shared space. I was not required, or asked to wear a mask. There were no visitors allowed at all. This was devastating to family and friends. However, it was extremely relaxing for us. My husband and I were able to spend every second with our girl. There were no interruptions outside of hospital staff. We truly enjoyed this time with each other. We were able to rest when she rested. I was able to be comfortable and not worry about my appearance. Overall, it was terrifying. It was an all new experience for me and it’s a shame this is the time it happened. I tried to share some of the good and bad for you to hopefully ease some fear in others!”
We are so proud of these brave mommas and how strong they remained! Thank you for sharing your stories. We sincerely hope and pray these stories eased some minds of expecting parents.
As always- like, share, and comment!
Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN