Love in a time of COVID-19

This really wasn’t the birth story post I’d planned to write, but alas, this is our reality right now. I wanted to publish this ASAP, because we’re still in the middle of self-quarantine and social distancing, but some people continue to seem to not take this seriously.

Today (April 8), at 12:50am, I gave birth to our son, Miles Joseph St. Louis. He weighs a healthy 8lbs 14oz, and is 21 inches long. A most beautiful giant potato of a baby.

Kane and I are smitten, and I suddenly understand the “it’ll all be worth it” sentiment that people have shared with me throughout my pregnancy.

Nothing went as we’d hoped, but he’s here—healthy, gigantic, and chill. During a routine taking of our temperature shortly after I gave birth, it was determined that I had a mild fever. Under any other circumstances, this would have been NBD, but because of COVID-19, doctors and nurses were suddenly scrambling to put on more protective gear and speak to their infectious disease department (or something like that) to see what needed to be done.

The final answer was that I would have to be tested for COVID-19—an experience I would not care to repeat ever again. At this point, I hadn’t even held, or so much as touched our baby, and before I could even think of planting a smooch on my son, I was given a mask and ordered to keep it on at all times. I was then told I would only be permitted to hold him during feedings, and for a moment of skin-to-skin contact.

Worst of all, Kane was told he had to go home, and that he wouldn’t be able to return until my results came back (which can take about 36 hours), or once we were discharged. I was, and am, absolutely gutted.

Up until this point, even though I’d experienced every curve ball I could possibly imagine, I was able to get though it because I had Kane here. He was amazing: supportive, attentive, and instantly took to being a dad when I was unable to even speak, much less hold our kid.

I hadn’t put together a birth plan because I wanted to feel flexible and avoid stress during a process I had no experience or control over. However, I WAS CERTAINLY NOT EXPECTING THIS.

It’s currently 5am and I’m in the hospital alone, and laying at least 6 feet apart from my baby. I have to call a nurse to come to my room and bring him to me if I need to feed him. I have been wearing a mask for over four hours, and I will likely continue to do so until I receive the results of my test. Doctors and nurses have been so wonderful and helpful, but I am upset that Kane is home, missing out on this experience, because of an otherwise routine side effect of labour and birth that has been tied to this virus. This is a fucked up situation. Period.

Sharing this story for people who still think this virus is no big deal. It IS a big deal. I shared those same thoughts before social distancing was ordered, but at this point, I would hope that people see what effect this virus has on people’s lives, outside of being infected by “basically a cold.”

This really fucking sucks right now, and this is the healthiest way I know to express my feelings. If you’ve read this far, thank you. Now please, if you can, STAY THE FUCK HOME.

UPDATE: I received a the results from my COVID-19 test the next afternoon, and Kane was able to return to the hospital to be with Miles and I. We were discharged today, and are now home and reunited with Pablo, watching The Office on the couch. I want to extend the most gratitude to all of the doctors and nurses who helped us through this process, and who were so kind to me and put me at ease during my first night with Miles alone.

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