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May 11, 2020 A Look Into Having a Baby During COVID-19

Jacey Wanner, Parent Educator

Dates to Remember:

May 12- Rejuvenating Pastures and Adding Value to Perennial Grass Mixes Webinar 11AM

May 12- In depth perspective of MCOOL, Imports and Exports Webinar 7pm

May 14- Private General Pesticide Recertification Training 10 am

May 15- Ag Economics Response to COVID-19 12:20PM CST

Week of May 18 – June 5: 1-2-3 Magic Courses Online please contact jacey.p.wanner@ndsu.edu to register

 

A Look Into Having A Baby During COVID-19

Although COVID-19 has canceled or postponed life events for many, having a child is something that cannot be rescheduled. I was able to host a Zoom interview to hear about becoming parents during a global pandemic.

Jon and Kelly Streckert welcomed their first child, daughter Levi, on March 20, 2020.

Jacey: What was your birth experience like?

Jon: North Dakota had just started implementing regulations when we went into the hospital. The hospital had started the no-visitor policy and the hospital was screening everyone at the door.

Kelly: We were induced, so we arrived at the hospital at night. Levi was born the following afternoon and stayed in our room with us until the evening, when they discovered she had a low blood sugar. The nurses then took her to the NICU for further testing and found that she would get tired while eating. She was in the NICU for a week. The day before we were supposed to leave, her oxygen levels dropped and then they said she would have to be monitored for 48 hours after that point, but due to COVID-19 we wanted to have her home after 24 hours of surveillance. The staff was doing a great job of being sanitary, but we felt she would be safest at home. We were discharged a week after she was born on a Friday and the doctor stated we could leave if we followed up with a pediatrician on Monday. We followed up on Monday and the pediatrician said Levi was healthy and Levi had been eating regularly without getting tired.

Jacey: What has been the hardest thing about having a new baby during the pandemic?

Kelly: It has definitely been trying to figure out our “visitor policy.” Jon’s family is from Minnesota and hasn’t met her yet. They were planning to come visit prior to COVID-19 but haven’t come due to social distancing. Now we are at the point where we don’t know when they will get to visit her. Even when you ask doctors, they can’t give you a specific guideline. It is based on your own comfort level.

Jon: We are trying to be smart about keeping her safe and healthy during this time but also know that this is a special time where she changes and grows so fast.

Kelly: We are trying to balance safety with COVID-19 versus this life experience that we are never going to get back. It has been really hard to say “no” you can’t visit your grandchild and “no” you can’t hold her. My parents live in town and have visited from a distance or through the window. My mom has held her once with a face mask on and a sheet covering her clothes. My mom has been socially isolated so she got to hold her, but my dad hasn’t held her yet. Aunts and uncles have seen her through the window, and now that it is warmer, we maintain the 6-feet social distancing on our deck.

Jacey: Are you going into the clinic for well-baby check-ups?

Kelly: Yes, doctors are recommending staying up to date with all immunizations, so we will take her to her two-month appointment next week.

Jacey: What has been a positive thing during this time?

Kelly: There has been no pressure to take Levi anywhere. We have really just been able to focus on bonding with her.

Jon: I’ve been fortunate to work from home, so I can help Kelly during the day and spend more time with Levi.

Jacey: What’s the best way you’ve been supported during this time?

Kelly: Initially, my family was bringing meals over for us, which was super helpful. We started doing grocery delivery and food subscription services. We are super thankful for delivery personnel right now because we wouldn’t have been able to stay home and safe as much without them. We were also supported by having people text or call and let us know that they had been praying for us and asking us how we are doing. During this time of social distancing, people were still making an effort to connect.

Jacey: What advice do you have for people having new babies during this time?

Kelly: There are so many emotions having a new baby and then the added stress of wanting to keep your baby safe and healthy. I would encourage parents to reach out to people they are close to, even if it is via Zoom and to share those feelings and have that emotional support during this time. I also want to write this whole experience down because it hopefully is something that will not be repeated.

Jacey: Yes! Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and continue to stay safe!

I would encourage all readers to write down and capture what life is like for your family right now, the struggles and successes. We all have a different story of how COVID-19 has impacted us, and some day, parents will get to share the story with child about being born in the middle of a pandemic.

 

 

 

 

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