Giving Birth During The Pandemic

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Giving Birth During The Pandemic

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My name is Niki, I'm 38 and live in Clovis CA. In March of 2020, I was about 8 and a half months pregnant with my son, Tate. I went to school part time, majoring in Early Childhood Development. I was also a stay at home Mom to my then 3 year old daughter, Quinn. She’s my driving force in school because she is on the autism spectrum. In March she was just beginning to talk and have real words,and her brother was coming, it was an exciting time. My husband Mike, is what they call an over the road trucker. Meaning he was gone all week and home for 30 hours over the weekend. The situation was not ideal for us, but it worked to give me the freedom to be with Quinn to take her to the therapies she needed. Then Covid came to the US. Everyone was forced inside. School shut down. The daycare closed. All therapies were put on hold. Everyone was told to wear a mask and sanitize everything. My baby shower was canceled too many people, myself included, were too scared to get together. Mike was not allowed to come home, in fear of being exposed or exposing us. He had to stay on the truck and keep delivering supplies. Then the hospital called and said I needed to prepare that the beds might fill up in the maternity wards with Covid cases and I might need to do a home birth. Could I find someone to assist me ? I had no one! We had only lived here for a year and I haven't made many friends. I had my Mom but she’s older, not able to deliver a baby and quarantined for her health. My sister lived kinda close but she was with her family and was quarantined like everyone else.I had my three-year-old who only had 4 real words !! Then the hospitals call and say “ Don’t worry you can give birth here, no one can be with you and we might take your baby from you right away and keep them from you for about two weeks to make sure they dont have Covid '' Um No ! Home birth sounds good right about now. I had the worst dreams up until my son’s birth. Thankfully, there were beds open in the maternity ward. Thankfully my husband's dispatch got him home just in time for Tate’s arrival. The hospitals allowed one support person in the room for the birth, so he was there. It was the scariest experience. I begged everyone to not take my baby. The hospital didn’t look like a hospital. Everything was covered in white plastic from ceiling to floors. Everyone had on masks and face coverings. It was a scene from a scifi movie.It was one of the scariest times of my life. Amidst all the chaos and stress my beautiful chunky completely healthy son made his entrance into this world on April 29th, 2020. We stayed in the hospital for two days and no one took him from me. I made sure of that. We went home and adjusted to life with a newborn and living with Covid like everyone else. Its been a year and a half and the hospitals have not changed the rules about only allowing one support person in the delivery room. I try to share as much information to expecting mothers as I can. There are no in and out privileges anymore.Once you are in the hospital, you have to stay there. You need to pack snacks! Or you can have food delivered to the hospital. Still can't have visitors. Have an extensive “go bag” ready for when it’s time to go. I hope with all the advances with the vaccine and lowering cases and people being more conscious of their health the hospitals will relax a little on the support team numbers for expecting moms soon. That’s my Covid19 share.

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This item was submitted on December 10, 2021 by Niki Landeros using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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