I gave birth to my second child, a sweet baby girl, in early April. My husband and I feel incredibly blessed to have her in our lives. When we planned and hoped to get pregnant in July of 2019, we could have never anticipated that our baby girl would arrive into the world during one of the most significant health crises our modern world has ever experienced. The current Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has impacted us all in many different ways. My heart goes out to each and every person dealing with the struggles this pandemic has caused.
I want to share my hospital experience for any soon-to-be moms and parents that are wondering what to possibly expect with their hospital stays. However, please note that the rules and protocol changed by the minute during our experience. Just like state issued guidelines vary, individual hospitals also have their own set of rules and protocol that may differ from what I experienced during my hospital visit.
- My one and only visitor: My husband
I was given strict guidelines that I was allowed only one permanent visitor. I kept getting different guidelines from the hospital staff. Yes, he could leave the room to go down to the car. No, he needed to stay in the room. It was a bit confusing. We also weren’t allowed to walk in the hallways of the hospital. This confinement was difficult on my husband as he felt very trapped in our tiny room.
This was also difficult for me because I had so many visitors with my first child. The fact that my close family members were not able to celebrate my baby girl’s birth with us was challenging. We made up for it through video-conferencing and sending pictures.
- Arrival Procedures
Upon arriving at the hospital, our temperature had to be taken in addition to answering a few questions about travel, symptoms related to coronavirus, and being around anyone with known COVID-19. These procedures were also true of my doctor’s office visits before giving birth.
- Staff in Masks
The hospital staff were given guidelines to begin wearing masks shortly after we arrived. I appreciated the hospital staff taking these precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- My hospital bag: Overloaded
We packed everything since we were given guidelines not to leave. I was so afraid I was going to leave something valuable behind at the house. We definitely had too much stuff but it was better to have more than less since my husband couldn’t go home for any essentials.
The hospital staff told me that my husband should bring in breakfast and snacks because he wouldn’t be allowed to leave the building after we arrived. He packed a big bag of snacks and resorted to ordering the hospital food for meals. We did find out later that we could have ordered delivery to the main entrance of the hospital. However, the hospital workers would have had to get the food for us as we weren’t allowed to leave the room.
Overall, the hospital stay went very smoothly. The doctors, nurses, and hospital staff were so supportive with monitoring our baby’s development within her first few days of life. We were so ready to get home to our now family of four and settle into a new routine.
After arriving home, the challenge has been the social distancing aspect. My husband and I have quarantined ourselves and our little ones from close family for two weeks to protect them from potential COVID-19 from our hospital stay. Family members have come over to visit and meet the baby through the window and from an appropriate distance in the front yard.
We will start to gradually invite some close family members to help out soon as long it aligns with state and local official guidelines. I can’t wait for our family to be able to physically hold our baby girl and share in the celebration of her life all in the same room.
My heart goes out to all of you pregnant mamas and your families. We will get through this! Many blessings and I wish you the best with the labor and delivery of your precious little ones.