Giving Birth and Raising A Newborn During COVID-19
We had it all so easy compared to these mommas! Labor and stitches were nothing and not even close to what they went through. Giving birth and raising a newborn during COVID-19, it’s not without difficulty.
Jem, Mhai and Iya of course didn’t know that this pandemic was coming and along the joy and excitement of motherhood, for sure, they felt fear too. If you find time to read this interview, you would definitely agree with me, they’re wondermoms!
What’s the most difficult part that you experienced when you gave birth during pandemic?
MHAI. (April 23 – ECQ) All medical staff were busy attending or should I say battling with COVID-19. Although I was scheduled for cesarean section, patients can only go one at a time. Thanks to the hospital’s policy, pregnant women had separate lane due to risk of exposure. When patient was showing COVID-19 symptoms, medical staffs had to disinfect the hospital thus they cannot accept new patients. So really, there was extra waiting time.
To emphasize the extra waiting time, I arrived at the hospital with a senior citizen complaining dizziness and high blood pressure. We had to wait outside while the medical staff was checking if there’s available nurse who can attend to the patient for vital signs at least. It got to the point that she had seizure or stroke when the nurse came for vital signs and still no doctor was available. The patient peed her pants and can’t stand up. It was a terrible sight.
I was extremely lucky that mine was a scheduled cesarean section but I saw another pregnant woman waiting too. She was already on labor and I already got out of operation room, still no OB Gyne was available to attend to her. Not to mention that she’s outside the hospital while on labor.
Back to my story, I can only stay at the hospital for 24 hours and strictly one person was allowed to assist, my husband was there. Even if I still felt groggy from anesthesia, I had to get up. The hospital also had limited medical supplies. Nurses had to sew the gauzes because the only available size was small. Good thing, I brought alcohol because they ran out of stocks. Even the medicine given to me was just a close alternative.
So for me, I think it was difficult from beginning until the end. I felt numb even when I just got out of operation. Both my newborn son’s pediatrician and my OB Gyne wanted us out of hospital as early as possible due to risk of exposure. Even so, we had to pay twice the normal price.
IYA. (May 14 – GCQ) First thing was the cost. Mine was twice if not thrice of the usual, either normal or cesarean delivery expense, so you really have to be prepared. Second, the slot reservation, so it’s unfortunate if it’s an emergency delivery. As advised by the hospital, only emergencies were accepted. It means you must be in the active stage of labor already with 6cm and up cervix dilation. It was my first time giving birth, how will I know that?
I had to call my OB Gyne before I went to the hospital so that I will be attended to immediately. Before you can go to delivery room, rapid test result must be submitted. It was part of patient’s assessment because the rooms were separate for PUI and those without symptoms. One of my struggles too was blood transfusion. I needed to bring a donor because they will not release or sell because of shortage of stocks unless you can replenish it.
I was expecting a normal delivery and my cervix dilation went up to 8cm by 8am but by 11am my OB Gyne performed cesarean section. My baby was too far still and she had history of cord coil. They didn’t know if that was still the case because they couldn’t perform ultrasound beforehand as they worked on skeletal workforce.
What about the struggles after giving birth and raising a newborn during COVID-19?
IYA. As a first time mom, my greatest struggle together with my husband was during the quarantine period. Of course, we couldn’t go to our parents’ house. Imagine taking care of our baby on our own without guidance from our parents for two weeks. Another difficulty was the check up. Thankfully, we strictly observed social distancing when visiting my baby’s pedia and my OB Gyne. Visit was strictly by appointment and limited people were allowed to enter the clinics. We survived it all, thanks God!
MHAI. Since this is my second time, my biggest struggle was to not see my eldest for 14 days. We had to stay away from him for two weeks, it was emotionally draining. After giving birth, the next problem was the follow-up check up. Almost all vaccines of my baby were delayed.
JEM. (March 8 – before ECQ) Thank God, I gave birth before ECQ. So for my case, follow up check ups and vaccination were my problems. Even if I could take my baby to the barangay center to save money, I didn’t. Because during the time, our place had the highest COVID-19 case. So I took her to pediatrician since it’s safer. She had separate clinic and not in the hospital. They reduced the number of people coming in thus the risk of exposure was lower.
Even if our place was in total lockdown, I did all I can to get vaccines for my baby as scheduled. I talked to our barangay officials in order for us to pass through check points because the clinic of my daughter’s pediatrician was located in different barangay. I realized how strong my baby was! She had three vaccines (two injection and one oral) in one visit or trip to her pediatrician. Because it’s difficult to process papers including approval so we had to do it that way.
What is the silver lining of giving birth and raising a newborn during COVID-19?
IYA. I could not think of any but I am truly grateful that we did not catch any virus and we are all safe and healthy until now.
JEM. We spent so much time with our baby during quarantine period. My company allowed me to work from home and for a breastfeeding mom like me, it’s a gift. My family stayed at home too so we took turns in taking care of my baby. Her grandparents, tito and my fiancé, we’re all home so it’s our joy to play with my newborn.
Cheers to these wondermoms and amazing babies! They are truly inspirational! I look forward to feature them again when they’re 7 or 18 years old. Please follow MyKmagazine Facebook page and K Inspiration for more!