This was written by Emily (Barry) Kelley. She and her husband just recently had their first baby, a girl. Aubree . She gave me permission to share this. It's so well written and really captures all the feels of giving birth during these COVID-19 times.
Then they said absolutely no visitors
No hospital introductions
Meeting through a window
Memories put on pause
No baby showers
No social gatherings
No in person celebrating
No hug from my mom when I’m feeling overwhelmed and scared at 39 weeks pregnant
Virtual maternity care
In person OB appointments alone
Did I ask the right questions?
Did I miss anything the doctor said?
It sure would be nice to have another set of ears here...I need my support person
Hearing baby’s heartbeat, a sacred sound shared between the OB and the momma to be
What will my labor be like?
Wear a mask?
No support person allowed?
Separated from the baby?
Feeling alone and anxious about all the unknowns
Don’t go out, pregnant women are high risk...
...actually you are okay, just don’t go out close to your due date because they will separate you from your baby if you test positive after labor and delivery
Trying to prepare for baby’s arrival
Baby essentials are backordered
Nothing will arrive for months
Will the crib come in time?
Will I have a car seat ready for my baby?
The store is out of wipes
Diapers are running low too
Formula is limited to 3 per customer
The time is drawing near
Only your significant other is allowed in
You must take a COVID test
Wear a mask
Don’t leave your room
Wear your badge that says “screened”
“Hi I’m your nurse, Becca” muffled behind the barrier of a mask
5 masked faces helping me deliver
I sure wish my mom was here, she is waiting in the parking lot...that’s as close as she can get...she was suppose to be here
I guess COVID didn’t read my birth plan 😒
“Good news, you tested negative for COVID!”
...Oh good, I can hold my baby
I did it!! He is here!
My world is complete
Newborn snuggles in the safe bubble of the hospital
“Here Comes the Sun” plays in the background as COVID patients are released
Wow I love my husband
He is my only support
This must be hard on him, I can tell he needs a break from it all...but he stays by my side because he’s all I have right now
“Good news! It’s time to go home!”
Woohoo! It’s time to go home! But...
Oh no...it’s time to go home...
Do I let them hold the baby?
Do I let them in the house?
Should we introduce the baby to grandparents through the barrier of a window?!
Please wash your hands!!
On the outside I say “yes come visit”...on the inside I am riddled with fear and anxiety
Appointments with the peditrician alone
Making decisions about our child...alone
My husband and I are a team, can he come too?
“No, we only allow one parent due to COVID”
Updating the proud father after well-baby visits
“Yes dear, the doctors appointment went well. No, I forgot to ask that...I forgot to ask that too...I guess I was distracted by holding the baby and juggling it all by myself.”
The baby might be getting sick...
Do I take him to the doctor? Do I risk exposure? Has he been exposed? He just coughed...could it be COVID?!
Am I too anxious?
Do I have PPD or PPA?
Is this amount of anxiety normal when you have a baby during a global pandemic?
No mommy support groups
Limited visits from family and friends
No outings with the baby
Just stay at home...it’s safer there
This isn’t what I had in mind when I saw those little blue lines...but many women don’t ever get to see those lines...God has blessed me so much
Feeling guilty for wishing this was different...but it’s okay to recognize that this is hard, right?
Oh my little COVID baby
I will rock you
I will hold you in this bubble until the storm passes
And it will pass
And then we will emerge from our safety net called home and face the world together
We will be stronger, because we only had each other for the start of your life
We will cherish these memories, the months where we were forced to slow down and stay home
Someday you won’t want to stay home with me
Someday we will get so busy that we are barely at home
I am blessed to have you in my life
I would do it all again a million times if it meant I got to hold you in my arms at the end of it all
So tonight, I’ll hold you tight, rock you a little longer, and keep you safe...my little COVID baby