The pandemic has changed so much for us. From altering the normalcy of our routines to creating shifts in our relationships and day-to-day interactions—we are different people since the start of the virus. But for this group of Stony Brook University Hospital nurses, who all happened to have pandemic pregnancies (at the same time!!), life (and new motherhood!) is drastically different.
Yes, there have been challenging moments for each of us. But this group of nurses has found positivity, love, and hope amid COVID-19.
Here are their original stories, and here’s where they are now:
Motherhood has been the most rewarding, and at times, the most difficult journey of my life.
My birth experience was not what I was expecting because of COVID, but it was perfect for us. I felt so loved and supported by my husband and my Stony Brook University Hospital coworkers. When I gave birth to my daughter, it was the strongest I have ever felt in my life, and it brought me the most joy I could ever imagine.
Having our first baby during a pandemic has been challenging for us in ways we didn’t expect. Our daughter has some minor health issues to attend to, and my husband is unable to join some appointments with me due to COVID restrictions. It is hard not to have a support person, especially as a new mom.
Now that I have been through it, I know how important it is to reach out to moms (especially new moms) during the “4th trimester.”
I was very lucky to have lots of help and support, but I know this is not the case for many. I hope I can incorporate some of this teaching from my experiences and support into my practice as a nurse.
Being a mom to my beautiful, happy, sweet daughter has been amazing. I love seeing her smile up at me and love watching her learn new things every day. When I look at her, I know that she can be anyone and do anything, and that makes me feel better about the future of our world.
After going through the labor and delivery experience, I have a new sense of understanding of what my patients go through.
I have been a part of many, many births but it still didn’t prepare me for how amazing and beautiful the moment is when you bring your own child into this world.
Motherhood has been a whirlwind so far between running on no sleep, crying fits, and endless diaper changes. But one smile from my son and a small snuggle on my chest makes me forget about all the stressors of life in an instant. It’s very scary having a newborn in the COVID times we currently live in, but I just try my best to keep my son safe and healthy. Each day he changes so much and the months keep flying by. I cherish each moment and look forward to watching him grow. I can’t wait to continue this journey and add to our family in the future.
Bringing a newborn home with two toddlers has been a little stressful. Pre-COVID, we would go to the park, farm class, walk through the stores, and so on. We love going out and doing activities. However, we do not want to risk exposing COVID to our newborn. We have a lot of activities to do in our backyard. We recently started to do more outdoor activities like going to the park and apple picking. Feeling isolated at home has been the greatest struggle.
We have only had immediate family and our closest friends meet the baby. Most want to snuggle him, yet they don’t because they don’t want to risk exposure.
Luckily, I have my friends that are checking in on us.
I feel that there needs to be more focus on the mother’s mental health during the postpartum period.
Many things that we would normally do, we feel scared to do because we want to protect our families. When I return to work, I want to educate my patients more on the postpartum period and give them the resources to join support groups and more. We have to be there for each other and check in on one another.
This pregnancy has been different in so many ways, aside from taking place during a pandemic. Baby was frank breech so I had an external cephalic version at 37 weeks, which was successful. My water broke and I delivered our surprise baby girl at 38 weeks. We decided to wait until we were home for our son to meet her to share the gender with the family. That was the only thing different for us; we were planning to reveal to everyone at the hospital.
It was nice for our Stony Brook University Hospital stay to just be us. It goes quickly and during that time you can focus on the baby and healing. I don’t think many visitors realize mom is going through postpartum and it can be overwhelming and uncomfortable to have all of these guests.
Being pregnant and a first time mom is scary enough, now add a pandemic and things can get a little more stressful. For 40 weeks, I spent my time wondering who this sweet little boy would be. Dreaming about holding his little body and admiring his precious face. COVID-19 might have changed what I imagined my delivery to be like, but after months of working through the pandemic, I was prepared to face the realities of what my labor and delivery experience would be like.
On September 9, 2020, our lives changed forever. We arrived at the hospital around 4:30 in the morning, passed through the COVID screening desk, and were greeted by my night shift crew. I was so lucky to be able to deliver at Stony Brook University Hospital where I work and was able to build such strong relationships with the nurses. Although being on the other side of things was very strange, my coworkers did a wonderful job helping me through the process. Though my husband and I couldn’t have family by our sides, my Labor & Delivery family stepped up to fill the gap. I will always be grateful for the experience they gave me.
After several challenges in my life, I can say that being a mom is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding jobs I have ever had.
Now, being two months postpartum, I can say that this has been an emotional rollercoaster.
From the sleepless nights, to baby cries and swinging hormones, this job will leave you exhausted, but I would not change it for the world.
Looking back on my experience, I know I will be able to better relate to my patients and truly understand what they are going through when they come into the hospital to deliver their baby.
Thank you, Stony Brook University nurses for sharing your stories!
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Featured Image Credit: Stony Brook University Hospital