As our due date of April 3, 2020 was approaching we, like many other expecting parents, were extremely excited. However, as we rounded down to the last 4 weeks, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) that was merely a virus overseas had become a real issue here in the U.S.
Dealing with Pregnancy and Covid-19
We live in Brooklyn, NY, so I stopped taking the subway to work in Manhattan to avoid the germs and crowds of people. My husband, Jon, was not feeling well when I was 38 weeks so he started sleeping in another room to keep me safe. I also had heard from my office HR department that someone I may have had contact with tested positive, so I went ahead with a test which came back negative. When I hit 39+2, it was a Sunday night and for some reason I could not sleep until 5am…the whole next day my body hurt a ton and I was feeling very weak. I laid in bed and figured it was the pregnancy. I also felt like the baby was not as active as normal, even after having a glass or two of ice water.
Heading to the Hospital
By 5pm, Jon suggested I call the doctor. The doctor asked me to come by the hospital just to check on the baby and I did just in case. When I arrived my temperature was at 99.7, not technically a fever, but they tested me for coronavirus anyway. The baby looked fine from the monitors and I actually had a contraction that I barely noticed. At that point, the nurse and resident both said I could be discharged to go home. As they were preparing my discharge papers, my doctor came in and said that maybe an induction would be best since I was not feeling as much activity with the baby and I wasn’t feeling well. She had said given the severity of the virus in the city a lot of mothers were actually electing to be induced and since I was full term it was safe. At 10pm, I was fully admitted to the labor and delivery room. After a successful foley bulb dilated me to 4cm, they moved forward with the Pitocin. I then received an epidural that allowed me to rest a bit overnight. By 10am the next day, my water broke naturally, and I was at 6cm.
Delivery with a Positive Test
Unfortunately, right at this time my doctor, resident and nurse came in to give us the news that I actually tested positive for the virus, so everyone that came into the room had to be even more careful. By 4pm, I was at 7cm and not progressing as fast. At one point the doctors had broken the last bit of water my body was holding onto, however they then also had to add water back in. The baby’s heart rate kept dropping every time the Pitocin caused a contraction. They had turned off the Pitocin a few times throughout but I was stuck at 7cm.
The C-Section and Postpartum Experience
At this point, the doctor said a c section was the best step forward. We waited for the Covid-only operating room for about an hour. Once the baby was delivered, I was not allowed to hold the baby. She (which we didn’t know the sex until delivery!) was taken to be isolated from the other babies in the nursery because she had to be tested. I was transferred to my room and my husband was asked to leave. The next three days were the longest days ever, not being with my baby or husband. I was also not very mobile from the c section so was stuck in bed, pumping every 2-3 hours to try to get milk in since I was not allowed to see the baby to breastfeed. It was quite upsetting to have a baby a few days old and never have gotten to see or hold her or experience her at all. Those happy first moments when she was brand new to the world I did not get to experience. My first nurse even told me that she would not be coming by much because of my positive test (this was disheartening, as she was also not very responsive to my calls). Both tests for the baby came back negative.
A Happy Ending
My fever pretty much went away as soon as the baby was born and after 48 hours of being symptom free, the baby and I were finally cleared to go home. Obviously, this was not how I expected my delivery or postpartum experience to go. This virus came out of nowhere and I wish proper social distancing and quarantine guidelines were in place sooner. Although this story was complicated and unfortunate, the most important thing is that our baby girl is healthy and we are home now together. This is going to be a crazy story to tell her one day. I do hope, when and if, our next baby will be welcomed under different circumstances. To say this was unique is an understatement. Baby Isla has been a strong girl since day one.