Birth in A Pandemic

In March, things were starting to get even more real for us, and our baby was going to be here within two months. We had our shower planned for the first week in March, and little did we know this would be the last time we would be around everyone we love for a while. While we had plans to be surrounded by family for weeks after the baby would be born, Coronavirus had a different idea for us. We were in complete lockdown by the end of March, Josh was off work, and I was down to part-time, we could only leave the house for work if we were deemed “essential” or to the store for groceries. This virus had utterly flipped the world we once knew upside down. The biggest problem was there was so much unknown about the virus itself. We were told it didn’t affect young people or most people that were healthy. They could have it without showing symptoms and not touch anything without disinfecting all surfaces before and after. My mom is a nurse aide at a local hospital, and her floor had been turned into the COVID unit. It was terrifying, my mother, the person who had helped me my entire life, the woman who was supposed to be there when I gave birth. She was supposed to hold my daughter within minutes of her coming into the world. She was now working with a virus that could kill her and easily harm my father if she wasn’t careful. My father was in the group of people who become extremely ill from COVID. The thought of losing both of my parents from this was something that weighed heavily on the heart. We talked about how everything had changed, how my husband would be the only one allowed in the room with me, and at the hospital. We talked about how no one would be allowed over to see her in the first while after she was born. It was all so upsetting and hard to grasp, especially because I was so close to my family. On April 18th, I started to go into labor that morning. Being a first-time mom and being at the doctor the day before and telling me I still had two weeks, I had no idea I was in labor. I figured it was Braxton Hicks, and they would go away, but they didn’t, and they hurt! They started around 9 AM, but I continued about my day thinking it wasn’t a big deal. By 5 PM, I laid down to get a break in hoping that would help. By 6 I was talking to my mom, she asked if I had been timing them, which I hadn’t because I didn’t want to face the facts that I was going to have my baby that day. By 7 PM, I knew I needed to go in. I went and told Josh that I thought we needed to go in. He asked if I was sure I wasn’t. I had no idea, and I was scared as could be. I was sobbing about not having my mom there, I love my husband, but nothing beats having your mom there for something so scary. By 9 PM we were at the hospital, we went in through ER with mask and all. They sent us directly to labor and delivery, so we weren’t exposed to anyone that might have COVID. After we went up there, Josh had to sit in a waiting room, and I had to be monitored and checked to see if I dilated anymore and to make sure the baby was good on the monitor. The doctor asked how far dilated I thought I was, I was praying I was more than the 1.5 centimeters I was the day before. I was at five, and our baby was coming, and she was coming soon. We went into the delivery room, where Josh was finally allowed to join me. This room was terrifying, there was a huge table with all sorts of medical tools, and that image reminded me something could easily go wrong. By 10:30 PM, I received my epidural, and then by 11:30 PM, they broke my water. My doctor showed up around 11:45 and checked on me, and he said we would wait a few more minutes. By 12:15 AM, the doctor came in, and it was time, I started pushing, and Ainsley Marie Borrow was born at 12:32 AM.. She was crying the moment she came out, she was healthy, and I was okay. We went down for recovery around 2 AM, as the day went on they ran all the test that was needed. No one was allowed to visit us, and we weren’t allowed to leave our room to walk anywhere. Face masks had to be worn while a nurse was in our room, our baby had to be covered in the anytime she was in the hallway. We talked to family on the phone, took pictures when we could to try and make everyone feel involved. We were told we would be able to leave right after 24 hours, so we left the hospital at 2 AM the following day. Things were different; we had our first baby, and no one would be able to hold her or even touch her for a long time. My parents came up to meet her the next day, but they were 6 feet from me and couldn’t touch her. It broke my heart more than anyone could imagine. I was so sad, and not the typical postpartum depression. I just wanted to be with family and have people meet my baby. I didn’t want to be stuck in the house anymore, and it was a lot to adjust. I did know one thing, though, and I loved my daughter more than words could explain. Things would be hard, we would have to adjust, but there was nothing normal about giving birth in a pandemic.

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