Motherhood

What It’s Like to Have a Baby During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Having a Baby During Coronavirus

The other day, we got a request from a reader: “Would Cup of Jo consider creating a post about what it’s like giving birth during this bizarre time? My second is due this month, and I’m starting to get anxious.” Answer: Yes! We spoke to four moms and a nurse to hear what it’s like to have a baby during the coronavirus pandemic…

What It's Like to Have a Baby During the Coronavirus Pandemic

What It's Like to Have a Baby During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Lizzy, New York City
Delivered by herself, had an emergency C-section

I was scheduled for an induction because I was late. Twenty-four hours beforehand, we found out that our hospital wasn’t letting partners in. My ob-gyn was stuck in Florida and she wasn’t going to be there. I had a breakdown.

But the worst part was the anticipation. That morning, I thought, there are people who are doing a lot worse right now, so let’s buckle down and do this. My husband, Josh, drove me up to the hospital and dropped me off. As soon as I saw the people working there, I was so grateful.

I was tested for COVID in a birthing room and I had to wear a mask until the results came back four hours later. That part definitely felt like an alternate universe, and no one could give me a straight answer as to what would happen post birth if I was positive. In any event, I was negative, and you could see the nurses breathe sighs of relief!

My husband, Josh, FaceTimed with me on and off for close to 24 hours. I also talked to more people than I would have in a normal birth — lots of friends, both my sisters, my kids — and I needed that extra love. People were really cheering us on.

Throughout the labor, the nurses were amazing. I felt like I had allies. They seemed hyperaware that I was alone and everyone mentioned it and apologized — although of course it’s not their fault.

I ended up needing an emergency C-section, so it was scary in the moment, but I’d already been through a C-section, so I knew what was going to happen. I was allowed to have my phone in the operating room, so Josh was talking to me throughout the C-section.

My son was born — and I was at the hospital for 36 hours total. It was very quick and very surreal. Josh and our two older kids picked us up in the car. It was so exciting. India and Major, who is only a year and a half, were both so excited. He lit up and just pointed at the baby the whole way home. It was really, really sweet.

Advice: Know that the anticipation is the worst part. When you’re in the hospital, you can feel the support all around you. Know that all of this is manageable and it will turn out the same way it would with or without a partner in the room. You’re strong enough, and you can do it.


Courtney, North Carolina
Adopted a baby, Courtney could attend the birth, but no one else

We were adopting a baby, and our birth mom, Catherine, had scheduled an induction for Saturday. Rules kept changing, and we were told different things by no less than 15 different medical staff over the 72 hours. We learned that my husband, Dan, couldn’t be in the room at all. That was obviously upsetting but we were trying to roll with the punches.

On Saturday morning, I went into the hospital with Catherine and her boyfriend, and they then told us that only one person could stay with her. We all looked at each other, and I immediately turned to them and said, ‘This is your choice, I want to make sure you’re comfortable, it’s your baby until you sign the baby off to us.’ And she looked at me and said I could come with her. They were both very kind.

I ended up spending all day and all night with her, so we got to know each other on a deeper level. We talked about our families and how she met her boyfriend and about her two-year-old and all those things you don’t talk about in the first awkward meeting.

We were joking that the theme of the day was ‘I don’t know.’ Every question we asked was met with ‘I’m not really sure.’ Thank god we’re both go-with-the-flow types. It needed to be as calm as possible for the birth mom’s sake and the baby’s sake. The nurses said, ‘We don’t even know what’s happening until the beginning of our shift each day, it’s changing so quickly.’ We had a wonderful nursing staff and everyone had a great sense of humor.

I got to watch my daughter be born and got to cut the cord. When I did skin on skin, I burst into tears — everything hit me at once — it was purely awesome. When my husband got to meet her the next day, he said, ‘It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t there for that moment, meeting her now is enough; and it’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to this lifetime.’ She is beautiful and worth every ounce of stress. She has strawberry blonde hair, it’s really sweet. My husband can’t put her down, he has been taking conference calls with her on his chest.

Advice: Just roll with it. There are no surprises because everything is a surprise. Have patience and understand that the medical staff is doing the best they can. Know that it’s okay to not know. There will be a baby at the end and it’s going to be awesome.


Shelly, Nova Scotia
A surrogate delivered the baby, Shelly could attend but not her husband

Because of recurrent miscarriages, my husband and I built our family through gestational surrogate. In Canada, surrogacy is completely altruistic. It’s illegal to pay anyone. You can reimburse your surrogate only for costs related to the pregnancy. We posted our story on Facebook groups for intended surrogates and quickly afterward a woman named Katie messaged me and it felt like we were sisters. We really clicked.

We got pregnant on the first try, and Katie’s pregnancy went really well. We excitedly made the plans for our birth. We wanted to have a doula, a birth photographer, my husband, etc. But with COVID, we learned that only one person could be in the room with her. It was up to Katie, of course, and was so grateful that she chose me.

Katie and I ended up having a powerful experience together, just the two of us. In some ways it was almost more beautiful because we depended on each other so much during that labor.

Initially, I was disappointed that we couldn’t have the birth photographer, but our photographer gave me a tutorial and told me what to look for; then she edited the photos I took. So, we’ll be able to show those photos to the baby when he gets older.

Shortly after the birth, Mark was able to come into the room and find out it was a boy. That was such an incredible moment. Then we spent the whole day — Katie, Mark, the baby and I — in a hospital room together. It was really special that we had the day together without any distractions. If we’re able to have more kids, I’d consider not having family come because we enjoyed that day so much. It was super intimate.

Advice: Focus on what you can control. That’s what got me through.


Stephanie, New York City
Delivered by herself, over Zoom with her husband

Before this pregnancy, I did three rounds of IVF and four transfers. I kept getting pregnant and having miscarriages. It was a lot. Finally, I got pregnant and was able to stay pregnant. But then the coronavirus came to New York three weeks before my due date.

We decided to induce at 39 weeks. A few days before, we got an email from our hospital saying no support person could come. My husband was really sad. I was sad for him, but I kept thinking, as long as the baby is okay, everything else is extra.

My husband dropped me off at the hospital. When I got there, the doctors asked me if I had any symptoms of the virus. (I didn’t.) The hospital felt different — you couldn’t take walks in the hallway or have any visitors. I had to wear a mask the whole time, and all the nurses and doctors were wearing masks. It was hard to breathe with the mask on, and by the time I delivered my mask was sopping wet from my sweat and saliva — it was disgusting! But you get used to it.

My husband Zoomed with me the whole time I was there. It was a long time, hours and hours, before I started being in active labor, so he was just sitting on video chat with me. Beforehand, I didn’t think it would be that comforting to have him on Zoom but it really was. You almost forget you’re talking on video after you’ve been doing it for hours; it was like he was really there with me.

During active labor, the doctors and the nurses were coaching me through, and I’d wave to my husband and he’d blow me kisses. During the pushing, I was trying to focus and breathe and push really hard. They bought my husband closer to me, and they said, it’s a boy!

The nurses were SO amazing. You could tell the hospital was crazy and they were overloaded, but they were so nice to me. Whenever I asked for water or ice chips, I would apologize, and they were like, ‘That’s what we’re here for!’ My postpartum nurse was the most generous, sweetest woman ever — it really made it better for me. She helped me go to the bathroom, and she helped put the ice packs in my underwear. She was really there for me.

Advice: We’re in this crazy time, but having my baby was still the best day of my life. Now we’re in quarantine, but we’re still making amazing memories with our baby. Don’t lose sight of the happiness that this will bring you. That’s really what’s helped me keep things in perspective. All I’ve wanted for years is a baby and now I have one.


Here’s the Zoom video of Stephanie’s birth! How sweet is her husband’s face when the baby arrives?

And, lastly, some words of advice from Beth, a labor and delivery nurse in Minneapolis: “Know that we’re all in this together. We don’t have the normal hustle and bustle of visitors, and I really think that parents and babies are bonding even better. That’s been special. I’m doing the same job, just in disguise. I wonder if my patients can see me smiling.”

Thank you so much to the healthcare workers, and a huge congratulations to anyone trying for, expecting or having a baby during this time! Lots of love xoxo

P.S. 15 things I’d like to tell a new mom, and Toby’s birth story.

  1. Christina says...

    Such a beautiful and touching post!
    I wonder though, is it common to have anyone else than your partner attend the birth, as in being present in the room at the actual delivery? I was so surprised, since I haven’t heard about that before, except in cases when there isn’t a partner, of course. I suppose this is an interesting cultural difference!

    • Cait says...

      Often people have doulas, or perhaps a best friend, mother, or birth photographer!

  2. Emma says...

    My friends call me the Ice Queen – I never show any kind emotion, EXCEPT for babies being born. Waterworks. Every. Damn. Time.

  3. Lacy says...

    Thank you so much for this. After five years of trying, four miscarriages, and one round of IVF- our one good embryo is hopefully ready to be joining us as a healthy baby when I’m induced tomorrow morning. It’s been entirely surreal to end up here, delivering in the midst of a global pandemic under circumstances we could have never seen coming when we started this journey. But I’m comforted to read the words of women who have gone through this, and to see the utter joy on the other side. Hoping to be able to share in that very soon.

    • Olivia says...

      God bless you and your growing family!

    • kate says...

      Best of luck to you!!! Cheering for you from Canada :) & congratulations!

    • Dawn says...

      I’m rooting for you, Lacy!

    • Ingrid says...

      Lacy, I hope it all went well for you and the babe. Thinking of you, and wishing you the best.

  4. Wow! What amazing stories! I’m so proud of these mama’s for staying strong. So inspiring!

  5. Kim says...

    beautifully told stories.

  6. Ema H says...

    Please look into the work of Dr. Aviva Romm, who is making the case that it is a violation of human rights for women to birth alone.

    • Eileen says...

      That sounds interesting. And isn’t it great how these stories highlight that the birthing mother didn’t really feel alone? With technology that allows spouses to be at least emotionally and mentally present? And RNs and hospital staff making a conscious effort to make the birth mom feel support? And some who had a truly vested supporter present? Mamas, who will be heading into the L&D units- you got this!

    • tina crisas says...

      Τhis was actually one of the reasons why I gave birth via a scheduled cecaerean (completely under) 3 years ago in Greece. No one is allowed in except for the nurses, midwife, ob gyn etc. during delivery. I think that is barbaric and I was terrified to go it alone.

    • M says...

      Where I’m from it’s normal for women to give birth alone (meaning, in a hospital but without a partner or family members in the room). Coming from a country with actual human rights violations, as noted by the UN ( https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/) giving birth alone does not constitute a human rights violation to me at all. I guess it just goes to show how different our world views are.

    • Sasha L says...

      An important facet to remember is that it’s not just a preference or a matter of comfort for a mother to have the support she needs for labor, it’s about safety as well. Mothers who feel safe ARE in fact more safe. They bleed less, are less likely to experience life threatening complications, are less likely to need interventions that may lead to more interventions, which up the dangers of birth as well as the costs. Women who have the support they need are less likely to experience trauma, are less likely to experience mood disorders in the post partum period, are less likely to experience PTSD. Women who have the support they need are more likely to breastfeed and less likely to experience problems with breastfeeding. Women who have the support they need are more likely to have quicker and less painful labors.

      Just because women *can* do this hard thing, doesn’t mean it’s ok, or safest, or the ideal. Just because some cultures still enforce draconian measures to keep control over women, and women are able to endure under those conditions, doesn’t mean it’s right.

      Support isn’t just *nice*, it is necessary for healthy mothers and babies, physically and emotionally.

    • Leonore says...

      I’m also from a culture where it’s not common to have a partner present at birth and I’m totally ok with it. I would feel much more confident knowing I’ve got capable doctors and nurses close by than my partner who has no background in medicine and would probably faint before I do. It’s all about what we’re used to ladies :)

  7. Rebecca says...

    My favorite post! Thank you. Love all the perspectives and that video. Oh my goodness.

  8. SMM says...

    It’s also difficult to have a miscarriage during these times. The confusion of the pandemic combined with the confusion of my doctor as to what was happening to me and the changes to the hospital (3 scheduled and cancelled D&C’s) and my own disbelief all mixed together into something very surreal. The loneliness of losing life is so hard without being able to hug your mom or cry over a glass of wine with your best friend. This life is hard, but beautiful and we will all get through this stronger!

    • Lena says...

      SMM, as someone who has had miscarriages (that also required D&C’s) before the pandemic, I just want to tell you that my heart goes out to you. There is never a good time for such a loss, but there are certainly worse times. I can’t imagine what it is like to have a miscarriage during this era of social/physical isolation.

      Although you may feel alone, please know this complete stranger is thinking of you and sending you thoughts of warmth and healing this evening.

    • Emma says...

      I’m so sorry, SMM. Sending you a hug.

    • Anita says...

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your experience sounds so terribly heartbreaking.

    • Emm says...

      I am so sorry that you are going through this at this time. It happened to me too, and my rainbow baby is now 4. Sending you much love. Truly, we will all be stronger for this experience!

    • L says...

      I am so sorry, SMM. I wish I could feel your pain for you. Sending love from the Southwest.

    • Katie says...

      You are so brave. Thinking of you in this difficult time.

    • eb says...

      Oh gosh my heart breaks for you. I know the pain of losing a baby and cannot imagine how incredibly hard it must be to go through this now. Sending you lots of love.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m so sorry. Miscarriage is heartbreaking and painful and confusing at any time, but with the added confusion and isolation is horrible. I hope you can grieve this fully, and that you have people who continue to check I in with you. Sending much love.

    • Birgit says...

      I‘m sending you a virtual hug! So sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you in the weeks to come. Take care!

  9. Ashley says...

    I love Cup of Jo and love that you did this story. I am so happy that the women featured are able to look back positively on giving birth in an unprecedented time. But, I felt compelled to comment and say, if you have, or are about to, give birth and it’s traumatic and awful, THAT IS OK TOO. Yes, a healthy baby is the end game. But, you can be thankful for having had a healthy baby and also very traumatized by giving birth in these circumstances. If you are grieving the birth you hoped to have, that doesn’t make you ungrateful. It’s ok to talk about it and get help! #teamboth as @eholmes would say!

    (From a mom of two, who had a very traumatic first delivery experience and felt like NO ONE TALKED ABOUT IT.)

    • Sasha L says...

      Oh Ashley, coming here to say almost exactly this. You can be brave and know that your baby is the most important thing AND feel devastated that you had to birth alone, that you didn’t have all of the choices you needed, that you experienced more pain and trauma than you were prepared for……….
      Humans are complex animals and we can experience many emotions, even conflicting ones. It’s ok to be happy and sad. It’s ok to talk about ALL of your feelings. Your sad/mad/bad feelings still matter, even now. Especially now. You absolutely do not have to *just feel grateful* and stuff your feelings. It’s really really important that you let yourself have them.

    • KT says...

      Ashley, YES! Thank you for sharing this perspective. It’s so important.

    • Jessica says...

      I think its true that we don’t really talk about how simultaneously beautiful and traumatic birth can be. I had a fairly routine labour and delivery, and it was one of the most powerful and incredible moments of my life, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t also, at points, a total horror show. One of my close friends gave birth recently. She had previously had one hospital birth and one home birth, no pain meds, and all healthy. This time she was very interested in an epidural, but the birth happened so fast that she ended up delivering at home. I asked her, given how fast it was, how she felt about this birth compared to her others. And she said, with no hint of irony, “well, with all my births, there is always a moment where I think to myself, I am going to die”. And this is coming from someone who really loved her pregnancy and delivery experiences, and would not have characterized them as traumatic! This is just the dichotomy of birth. It is an incredible experience but it is full of SO MUCH, from the pain, the emotions, the hormones, there is no way to really, fully prepare yourself, so yes, it is inevitable that some aspects of it are traumatic. And that’s ok! That is the beauty of how powerful women are in doing this incredible thing. But it certainly helps to talk about all the aspects of it, both good and bad.

  10. Ingrid says...

    My youngest daughter had her first baby the day before Easter. She was only allowed to have her husband with her. Thank goodness she had someone, but I felt so bad that her sisters and I couldn’t be with her, as we had been with the three grandchildren who came before. This is my quietest calmest daughter and everything went well. The hardest part for all of us has been when they went home. The baby, a little girl, was a week old Saturday and none of us have gotten to hold her. She’ll have no newborn pics of all of us holding her, as her cousins have. I am grateful that so far we’re all safe and healthy, and I’ll continue to be grateful, but I’ve cried more in the last two weeks than I ever have before. I miss holding my three young granddaughters and seeing my teenage grandson play his beloved baseball.

  11. M says...

    This is so sweet, interesting variety of perspectives but would’ve liked to hear from a dad too what it’s like not to be there and what that moment is like meeting them for the first time afterward.

  12. Diana K. says...

    WOW. This post was eye-opening. Thank you!

  13. Jen says...

    Thank you for these stories. You all are so brave and I am so lucky to have been able to read them tonight. Such strong women.

  14. Annie says...

    Why do I just want to sob?! Reading birth stories is always special — sacred even. And then to read these perspectives at this moment in time of solidarity and suffering….just puts me over the edge. They’re all beautiful stories of family and biology and power.

  15. Sarah says...

    Beyond the beauty of these families and their incredible stories, I’m struck by the effort you have made to include a range of pregnancy and birth experiences. Bravo for helping to norm that there is no one normal, and helping shine light toward family stories that are often overlooked and left out.

  16. Megan says...

    I was due March 6th but ended up having an extremely premature baby in November. We were able to bring her home from the NICU (after 4 months) on March 19th, days before the stay at home order in Massachusetts. We were extremely lucky to bring our baby home from the hospital before restrictions at hospitals went into affect. I can’t imagine having a NICU baby during this time, as many of the hospitals are beginning to only allow one parent at a time.

  17. Amanda says...

    Oh my goodness! All of these stories are incredible!
    Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your story and your video.
    You and your husband had to go through SO MUCH for your baby and then a global pandemic! I am still very much in the IVF trenches and have been feeling very down about my next cycle being postponed due to COVID. Your story and your video make me feel hopeful that despite all of the setbacks of IVF and then a global pandemic, a baby is really possible at the end of it all. I am crying happy tears for you. Congratulations! Sending so much love to you and your family!

  18. Andrea says...

    I’m not pregnant and don’t have kids yet but wow, this post was beautiful. Thank you CoJ for sharing these families’ stories and congratulations to all :)

  19. Erin says...

    I had our first during the first week of a five week lockdown in New Zealand – he was breech so we were scheduled in for a c-section before the lockdown was announced. We only found out a couple of days before that my husband would be allowed to be present for the birth, but could not accompany us to the maternity ward, so he had to leave the hospital after we were moved from recovery about an hour after the birth. The midwives, surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists were AMAZING. They saw how terrified I was and could not have been kinder, and they really reassured my husband throughout the whole thing. The nurses in maternity found themselves with less numbers and had to take on extra work helping mums who couldn’t get out of bed yet change their baby and transfer them to the cot etc – something birthing partners usually do. I have such gratitude for their support at a time when my lie was turned upside down and forever changed. To all those mums who are due soon, please know that it might not feel like it now, but you are stronger than you think – and boy our babies will all have the best birth stories in their baby books! xxx

  20. Niko says...

    I’m delivering on Friday- scheduled c- section. The doctors are telling me that I’m in the best position because I know when I’m going in and have a good idea how long
    I’m staying. They’re worried about having enough staff. Ive heard of some expecting moms being asked to induce so they know there’s staff on hand. Such a crazy time that we’re taking the power away from the mom and not able to let the natural process run it’s course. As of now, my husband can come, but he must stay the duration of my stay. We’re discouraged from walking the halls, which I remember being so important to my last c-section recovery. Hopefully the rooms are big enough to pace.
    The toughest part for me is not having family around when I get home. I don’t mind being limited at the hospital, but to not have my sister come and visit? When will my baby get to meet her auntie and cousins? Months, I’m assuming. My mom moved in a few weeks ago, so luckily she’s in our family unit that can hang out with baby. Such strange times.
    Are other new moms keeping to physical distancing and not allowing family to visit? I’d love to hear what others are doing to get support.

  21. mado says...

    I feel like this post is a public service, and I’m not even pregnant! Thank you COJ for bringing us the content we need.

  22. Jen says...

    As a 46 year old woman who chose not to have children – I’m crying! So beautiful. Congratulations to these women and ALL women doing this.
    “All I’ve wanted for years is a baby and now I have one.” OMG. Special congratulations to Stephanie.

  23. Anna says...

    Full on tears through this video. Thank you for sharing all these experiences and wisdom. My kids are now 3 and 8 and although their births feel like a while ago, reading these stories brought me right back to that heightened, vulnerable place. What amazing hospital staff, and what heroic moms and partners having children during this time. I’m so awed by the resilience and good attitudes.

  24. Beth says...

    As usual, women’s resilience and strength is amazing and inspirational. (Good jobs too to the dads.)

  25. Robyn says...

    Watching the video was incredibly moving and emotional. I’m 31 weeks right now with my first pregnancy and have been up and down with emotions with the news changing all the time from our hospital here in LA about the potential restrictions we might face when the time comes. These stories make me feel like we’re all in this together, and each of these moms and birth moms are so strong. Thank you for sharing your stories!

    • Emily says...

      Hi Robyn,
      31 weeks here, too! Congratulations! I realized today (and this was reassuring), how much has changed since things really got serious where I live in South Carolina about 5-6 weeks ago. I own a bakery and it felt like the true end of the world. We let people go, my business partner and I started working 7 days a week to fulfill orders that we’re still coming in, and anyone who called for an order the following week was told they could call the day they wanted to pick up – we did NOT think we’d be open or doing any business in 48 hours, much less 5 days or a few weeks! But since then,
      We’ve set up online ordering, closed two days a week to give ourselves a rest, and are still taking orders and making a little money to keep our business afloat. Any terrifying projections I made for weeks ahead have not come true. Nothing is normal, but none of the predictions I had have come true. This is what’s keeping me sane with a baby on the way in 8 weeks. There are so many things I can say to temper this positivity (“of course we could get sick”, or “something could happen to the baby“, or etc etc), but if pregnancy has taught me anything, it’s that being a chicken little is pretty much always futile. I wish you the best in the rest of your pregnancy, I hope that you and baby remain healthy and safe, and I hope we’re all surprised (in a good way) for what the next weeks and months look like.

  26. Maegan says...

    Thank you for posting a story about this. As a first-time mom who’s due in six weeks, these women’s stories really resonated. While I pray that the curve will have significantly flattened by the time I give birth so that I’ll be allowed at least one support partner with me in the delivery room, reading about how they delivered by themselves is encouraging. I’m deeply inspired by their bravery, strength and grace.

  27. Amanda says...

    My friend had twins right as everything was starting. Fortunately her husband got to be there, but right after they came home she went back to the hospital with symptoms of COVID-19 (never was able to get an official diagnosis). She came home a day later, but was quarantined from her family for a week and her husband had twin newborns and a four year old to care for! Needless to say they all did amazing (even though it was probably very tough!) Her husband rocked it, she took care of herself and healed and we (her friend community) did all we could to keep them fed and stocked on groceries. It might not sound like the ideal way to bring new babies into the world, but I’m honored to have been part of their community and to spread the love by helping out! And I’m anxiously awaiting the day I get to go hold those new babies!

  28. lomagirl says...

    Tearing up watching that sweet video. Dad needed someone there with him!
    Congratulations everyone!

  29. Claire says...

    Sweet and uplifting. It did my heart so much good. Thank you to each of these new mamas and dads for sharing their story. (that video is pure gold!)

  30. Catherine says...

    I read each story, made me cry! So beautiful!!! Thank you for that precious moment.

  31. Mary says...

    This video is so amazing!! I can’t stop watching it. Thanks Stephanie for being willing to share it with us all! Such a joyful moment.

  32. Josefine Garcia says...

    I can’t tell you how much this post meant to me. I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second and my husband and I recently decided after weighing a lot of different options that the best thing for our four year old who has asthma is for my husband to stay with our son when I go deliver and for me to go to the hospital alone. My last labor led to an emergency c-section and so it has been particularly scary for me to think of facing the unexpected alone. But it was actually really comforting to see that other families have been able to bring their phone or zoom with their partners and these stories gave me this overwhelming sense of not actually being alone when I go do this because so many other women are also being incredibly brave. I felt such solidarity with them. Thank you for featuring these stories. Wishing all other mamas and families out there the courage, hope, and resilience to face whatever comes your way during these challenging times.

  33. Daphne says...

    Never commented before but wanted to share my positive experience. I had my 3rd baby ten days ago in the UK. Was super anxious beforehand about the whole situation but actually it was the smoothest and calmest of all three births! Little baby girl, took just a few hours and born in the water. Of course all the midwives were wearing masks and protective gear but they were amazing and supportive and calm and engaged. The hospital and midwife unit felt calm. Best of all my husband was present for the birth (although could only come in for active labour and left a few hours afterwards). Births continue day in, day out irrespective of the situation! Since being home it’s actually been quite lovely just being the five (!) of us at home and although it’s sad and weird to not know when family will meet her it’s lovely to be cocooning all together as a new family. Conscious of how fortunate we are and just trying to count our blessings. Anyway, long and warbling comment but I just wanted to send some reassurance to any heavily pregnant women out there. Trust your body, you can do this! xXx

  34. Kristin says...

    I’m 10 weeks pregnant with my first pregnancy and feel anxious about the thought of giving birth….all that anxiety is doubled when I think about the possible impacts of Covid 19! It’s so tough to find peace in the midst of so many unknowns. It was strangely reassuring reading about people who faced what seems to me to be a worst case scenario and made it through anyways. These women are so strong!

  35. Liz says...

    Phewww what an emotional post. I’m expecting twins in a few months after a very long and heartbreaking process trying to conceive. I went through a period of mourning the pregnancy that will never be – I most certainly wont get to have a baby moon or baby shower. We’ve had to share the news of our pregnancy over zoom and most people will never see me pregnant in person or feel those baby kicks. I worry it will be a long time before they can meet their extended family and that we will be on our own with two little babies. But like these women and nurses I’m trying to focus on the positive – god willing, our double rainbow babies will be here soon and as long as they are healthy that is all that matters. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life watching them grow and loving them fiercely. This nightmare will one day fade and may we all emerge stronger and remember what is truly important on the other side <3

    • Jas says...

      Congrats on the twins!! Please, don’t worry, this WILL pass. I live in Europe and we are some two weeks ahead of you. We had a lockdown (5 pm to 5 am weekdays, and 24/7 weekends), but things ARE getting better and our lockdown is now being eased and some non-essential businesses are being opened this week and some more easing lockdown measures will follow. Things ARE getting better and this won’t last forever. All that matters is that your babies are coming and you will be happy!

    • Sarah says...

      I hear you. I’m 21w with a baby conceived after 6 years of infertility and a LOT of Ivf and loss. I’m an introvert but I still miss being able to finally tell people in person and share properly in their joy, go on our last holiday as a couple, wander round the baby shops that I’ve denied myself for years. I am enjoying the time at home just us, but can’t help feeling that after all we’d been through maybe thins part could have been easier.

  36. Laura says...

    I found out I was expecting my second child on day two of isolation. What has followed has been truly the most isolating time of my life. I don’t think enough about the first trimester is discussed in general and I was sick every single day for five weeks with a toddler at home. I am almost 12 weeks now and finally going in for my first appointment (without my husband) next week. I’ve felt so many mixed emotions while pregnant during this: what will this be like this winter? What world am I bringing a child into? And can I DO THIS? After reading these stories I’m reminded that I can.

    • Rachel says...

      Hi Laura. I wanted to comment because I’m in the same situation. I found out I’m expecting my second child the day before we started isolation. I’ve been so sick- much sicker than previous pregnancies. I also lost a pregnancy at 14 weeks in January. Going to my appointments alone is unthinkable. But, we will. Moms are strong.

  37. Jordanna says...

    As a new mother who gave birth four weeks ago, this post and these comments hit home.

    The pandemic looked a little different a month ago and it felt like no one was talking about the heartbreaking decisions that had to be made or life milestones that would be missed when it came to giving birth. At the time, I didn’t know any other family in a similar situation and couldn’t help but feel like I was the only person whose new baby wouldn’t be snuggled by grandparents, explore their city or meet the other new babies on the block.

    But soon stories like these started to come out of the woodwork, including right here on CoJ. I thumbed through hundreds of comments (literally!) while I nursed my newborn to see if anyone else had just given birth and was heartbroken their parents couldn’t travel to meet their new grandchild … who had to try out this whole parenting thing without a helping hand. I needed to know I was not alone.

    While I was robbed of certain experiences that were once part of our normal, I am just so grateful to have a healthy baby boy, kick ass husband and the most supportive family and friends who have made our life a little brighter with the help of technology. These past four weeks have proven just how strong and resilient our new family of three is. For the mamas to be — trust me, you’ve got this!

    I am so grateful for Jo and this incredible community of women — complete strangers nonetheless — who have given me reassurance, strength and comradery as I navigate motherhood right now. Your words and stories reaffirm that I am certainly not alone ❤️

    • j says...

      Congratulations :)

  38. Janie says...

    I would love to hear the perspectives from the partners who couldn’t attend the births. While the babies arrived healthy and happy, I can’t help but feel sad for these men that lost out on the experience. Please interview them!!!

  39. isavoyage says...

    Every single day, i have a special thought for all the pregnant women, women in labor, parents with an infant in these troubled times.
    Maybe you’re making the best out of it and enjoying the intimacy that comes with the situation? Maybe it’s really really hard because you feel alone, or because it’s just so different from every thing you imagined? Whatever you are feeling, you are allowed to feel it.
    Sending you love, all around the globe!

  40. rebecca says...

    Great post.

    Jo, are you in NYC now? Hope you and your family are hanging in there.

  41. Katie Covington says...

    I gave birth last week in NYC and was lucky to have my husband there and a quieter-than-usual labor and delivery floor so I got tons of time and attention from amazing nurses and lactation help.

    For any moms to be wondering how to prepare one thing to think about is having more postpartum supplies than friends might suggest because shipping times are long and stores near you might be set up differently at the moment. Think: wipes, pads, Tylenol/ibuprofen, Witch hazel pads, heating/cooling packs etc. It also may be nice to have a baby scale (or kitchen scale and a bowl!) for keeping track of their weight since lactation support groups and many doctor’s appointments will be virtual now. Good luck!!!!

    • Nat says...

      Yes to extra supplies! And think about what you will need to FEED your baby (and/or clean your pump) and how best to get it. When I had my now-2-year-old, I didn’t have enough breastmilk until about a month in so we had to make a decision about supplementing with formula and hubby had to run out to buy it a few times. Just don’t buy too much formula in case your baby is allergic or needs a special type. In case anyone needs it, I got invaluable advice on YouTube from BabyFormulaExpert (Bridget Young, PhD).
      All the best to all the mamas out there – you got this!

  42. Lorraine says...

    this morning, this post had me bawling at the beginning of my Monday before my first conference call. love this piece – we are in awe of all these strong mamas, families & maternity ward heroes!

  43. Elly says...

    That video made my day. Thank you for sharing Stephanie!

  44. Sarah says...

    Ooooooooooffff, all the emotions! Thank you for sharing. I’m 35 weeks pregnant now, and the not-knowing what the rules and regulations will be when it’s time for me to deliver is quite stressful. But, humans have had babies in all sorts of crazy conditions, so this was a much needed reminder of what is most important is a happy, healthy baby. Everything else is extra.

  45. Ellen says...

    COJ! Thank you for including An adoption story. While we wait for our second child through adoption I’ve wondered how all this will effect it. This was very comforting, and it was so nice to see an adoption story included. Thank you.

  46. Kate says...

    This was so very moving. These are such troubling times, but the hope of new life is left unchanged. Thank you to the doctors and nurses… where would we be without you. Send so much love to these parents and others in the same position.

  47. Allyson says...

    SOBBING

  48. karen says...

    COJ, you are the best at warming the heart.

  49. KK says...

    I was excited to read this as I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my second and have been wondering what birth will be like during all of this as most of my appointments have already been changed to virtual, etc.

    What I didn’t expect were the alligator tears as I read through these! Birth is just so miraculous and magical and beautiful no matter what the situation and I’m so thankful for each of these stories. That video..whew!

    It’s a rollercoaster for sure. My first pregnancy was pretty anxiety ridden due to infertility. I was excited to go into this one with some more confidence but alas, here we are. That said, I laugh at how I originally didn’t want a summer baby because, I wanted a full summer with my toddler to “play at the park and go to the pool”. And alas, here we are lol. Ultimately glad that I didn’t try to “plan” too much because I certainly didn’t factor in a global pandemic. Some days I want him to stay in as long as possible to avoid bringing a fragile immune system into all of this and in the event of me getting it, the further along he is the better. Then some days, I wish he was here already and that we were separate beings so the weighty responsibility of carrying him wasn’t added to my fears.

    That said, there are silver linings and I do think one of those is a no visitor policy in the hospital. I was so excited for visitors with my first and to share her with our family but in hindsight, it was a lot and took away from my ability to rest, recover, and learn how to breastfeed. I think it will be really lovely to just bond with him and introduce him to the world a little later and from home <3.

  50. Elizabeth Ryan says...

    My due date was April 6th but my baby came 6 weeks early due to preeclampsia. She was born right before the first COVID+ patients in the US were tested. We spent the entire next month in the NICU with her- in a strange world where everyone was talking about COVID 19 and when we got a spare moment to glance at our news apps we were shocked at the escalation of the spread. As the days went by the NICU regulations changed, first that only the same 4 people were locked in to visit (as opposed to two parents and the other two spots whoever you wanted), then that no children/siblings were allowed to visit, then that only two parents (or one parent and one person over 12) could visit. First we were questioned by security officers before being let into the hospital about travel and symptoms, then we had to sign something every day that attested to it. We just got more and more anxious because she was so vulnerable and no one (nurses, doctors, PAs) knew what was going on. In the end, our neonatologist discharged our baby girl early- she was supposed to stay for a bit longer to gain weight and establish that she could feed entirely by mouth as opposed to her tube, but he said that she could do all that at home. We think he just wanted her out of the hospital because she was a healthy baby. It ended up being just in time- a couple days later only one parent was allowed, everyone had to wear masks, and more and more cases popped up in our area. I will never forget the tents being erected in the parking lots to create more triage spaces, or holding my daughter in the NICU as we heard the announcement over the hospital PA system that the hospital was no longer accepting visitors of any kind (the NICU ended up being one of the only exceptions). My husband and I looked at each other and silently agreed that we just wouldn’t leave (her tiny room had a loveseat and an armchair we were allowed to sleep in). He went into the hall to ask the nurses if that rule was for the NICU as well and before he could open his mouth a crowd of nurses (all frantically calling a supervisor or checking their email) turned around and said in unison “we don’t know yet!” It was a funny moment in a very uncertain time.

    • Hi Elizabeth-
      I am working on a project documenting birth stories during this pandemic around the world. Would you be willing to talk to us and describe what you basically wrote above? We are trying to gather as many stories as we can so provide hope and strength for future mamas (exactly as Cup of Jo has done here). Would love to hear your experience! My email is pandemicbirthstoryproject@gmail.com. Thank you!

  51. Michaela says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over a year, and we’ve decided we have to put it on hold during the pandemic. We went back and forth for so long—we have a good healthcare system here, maybe we could do virtual appointments, maybe this will all be over by the time I delivered…but then again, what if the pregnancy didn’t progress smoothly and I needed emergency medical care? I’m so glad to see these beautiful stories, I just don’t know how I feel about deliberately becoming pregnant while this is going on.

    • Michaela says...

      Upon re-reading, I’m worried my last sentence may come off as judgmental. I meant that I’m still feeling torn about our decision and saddened that it means continuing our already long wait to be parents, and these stories really tug at those heartstrings and make me question if we made the right call.

    • Sonja says...

      Michaela – I can only imagine the weight of that internal struggle! It didn’t sound judgmental at all – what’s right for you may not be right for someone else and that’s totally ok. :) I’m 37+ weeks pregnant and completely understand the fear of being pregnant in such an uncertain time. I can see without a doubt why someone would want to wait but I can also see someone wanting to jump in. Sending you lots of love!

    • Kelsey says...

      Michaela it sounds like a tough decision that you made with a lot of care and thought for your family- sounds like something a good mom does <3. All my best to you and your husband and I’m sending my best for your future parenting!

    • Emma says...

      I feel this so much, Michaela. It’s hard because I’m 35 and it took me a while to realize I wanted to try. People have said that there’s “never a good time” and while that’s true, this is such an exceptional situation- I feel like I’m waiting for some kind of sign that anything will be just a little better.

    • BL says...

      Hi Michaela. I understand what you mean. We had planned to start trying for a second baby in May and because of anxiety, I’m wanting to wait for some of the restrictions to lift before we start trying. My husband is confident that in 10 months things will be more sorted out and that it shouldn’t deter our plans, but I had a loss last summer and even though it was super early and everything happened as it should, I had to go to the doctor for two blood draws to confirm that no interventions were needed. I’m terrified that I would receive inadequate care if I were to experience something like that again. I also just feel weird about trying given the circumstances even though I have friends that are trying for their first and I’m completely supportive. I wish I didn’t care, because it would be such a wonderful thing to wrap yourself up in.

  52. Liz S says...

    Wow. Ladies, we got this!

  53. Marcella says...

    Like so many others I am moved to tears. Thank you to the generous mamas who shared their experiences here. The human spirit is such a beautiful and extraordinary force. The power of connection really does transcends distance. Who ever could have imagined delivering while zooming? We are all strong, resilient creatures and I am so inspired by the courage of these women. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  54. Katie says...

    Read through some of these and didn’t see my sentiment although LOVED all the sentiments and the solace is brought to our pregnant people. Thank you so much for this post! The strength of these women and men and everyone in between and outside is very inspiring. I am especially thankful that you included a very diverse group of stories. As a future mom in the process of adopting from the foster care system, seeing this diverse group of stories is very important narrative showing theres not one way to give birth, have a family etc. This brought a lot of joy to me during this hard time!

  55. Lana says...

    Oh this made me cry! People are so incredible and I’m in awe of how these mamas (and dads! That big smile is what did me in!) are handling all of this. Great job, everyone.

  56. Katie says...

    Bawled my eyes out watching that sweet video. Sending love to all the pregnant mamas and new mamas out there!

  57. RJ says...

    These stories and people are incredible. Thank you so much for sharing.

  58. K says...

    Anyone else struggling with grandparents who don’t seem to think social-distancing guidelines apply to them?

    We have a three-week old at home, and while it breaks my heart that no one will likely hold our baby besides my husband, our son, and me, for several months, I couldn’t believe when my in-laws stopped over and tried to go into our house to put food in our fridge, and more importantly, attempted to get closer than six feet to see and touch the new baby.

    I know that normally those would be very kind actions, but things are not normal. It’s hard not to feel like a huge jerk when acting as a gatekeeper around family and friends, but also, I care about EVERYONE’S health, especially my fragile infant and my healthcare worker colleagues, and value the importance of protecting these small bubbles we’re trying to maintain.

    • julie says...

      Yes, K – I am with you! I am in NYC with a 4-year-old, and while my parents in CT don’t just pop by announced, they do add a huge emotional burden by constantly asking when they will be able to see our child again. Having to explain this over and over is absolutely draining and exhausting, and it is making everything that much harder.

      I totally sympathize, while you are *clearly* experiencing this on a much bigger level. Much, much luck to you. It must be a lot. xo

    • Katie says...

      Yes!!! It’s really hard. We’re actually living with my parents because we returned from being abroad, but we took an extra week of quarantine as a precaution and also have major concerns about my sister’s family coming over and everyone acts like we’re making things so difficult for them. It’s really difficult and frustrating when all we want to do is follow the shelter-in-place rules.

    • KT says...

      I can definitely relate! Although the circumstances were different, we also didn’t want people holding or touching our son when he was first born (almost 2 years ago now). Understandably, that was difficult for the grandparents. Even though I also felt like a bit of a jerk, I told myself that my number one job was to advocate for my son.

      I am still so proud of myself for speaking up & setting my own boundaries. You are the mama, you make the rules! Other people need to respect whatever you are comfortable with. There will be plenty of time for grandparents to make up for those missed cuddles in the future.

      Also, if it is an issue with your in-laws specifically, try to have your husband be the one to speak up so you don’t feel like the “bad guy.”

      Congratulations on your new baby!

    • Sadie says...

      Good job, mama <3

  59. C says...

    My heart aches for the anxiety and pain of these families who couldn’t have partners or family beside them as they welcomed their little ones. And at the same time I’m in awe, again, of the strength of women. To build people. To adapt. To always get the hardest jobs done. Bravo bravo bravo.

  60. Katie says...

    Wow. So hard and beautiful. Sending strength to everyone pregnant right now.

    Another great resource is Aviva Romm. She’s a medical doctor, midwife and herbalist. She’s doing lots of birth during COVID support online through Instagram, Facebook and Zoom.

  61. Alicia Cooke says...

    Thank you for posting this. It made me tear up while reading. Such unbelievable circumstances but just seeing the beauty of humankind is so inspiring. Looking at the positives is any situation is always the best approach and these moms did just that. Also thankful for the healthcare workers who are doing so much in these bizarre times.

  62. Jessica says...

    I needed this so much!! I’m on my due date after years of infertility and miscarriages and honestly, this time couldn’t be the worst. Although I live in Argentina and my husband is allow to enter to the delivery room, still feels really scary. This post gave me so much hope. Thank you so much!

  63. Bridgette says...

    Crying, and so happy for all these mothers and their families. I’ve had four miscarriages this year. After years of trying, and no answers regarding my recurrent miscarriage there was light at the end of the tunnel. A plan with our Dr. It’s been put on hold and feels like a different kind of mourning. The advice from the women in this piece so heartening. Thank you.

  64. Michelle says...

    Wow, in awe of the selflessness shown by the moms who let the adoptive moms be at the birth instead of their own partners! They sacrificed their own comfort and emotional support in such a frightening time, to give these women they hardly know the incredible gift of witnessing the baby’s birth. Their strength and generosity is truly inspiring!

  65. Julie says...

    I just cried so hard at the Zoom video. Congrats to all of the lucky new parents!

  66. Katie says...

    I totally cried at that video! How sweet!

  67. Meghan says...

    I’m scheduled for an induction on May 5 at 39 weeks. My OB informed me that there are 3 paths after I am tested for COVID at hospital check-in: 1) COVID-, proceed normally; 2) COVID+ no symptoms, proceed normally but in a more isolated setting, baby will be allowed with me in the special recovery room that sucks the air out rapidly but he will have to be 6 feet away and I will breastfeed in a mask and gloves; 3) COVID+ with symptoms, my husband can’t stay for labor and delivery, which might take place in the ICU, baby will be discharged to my husband while I stay in the hospital until symptoms subside. This third scenario sent me for a loop, picturing my husband at home, likely ill because if I have the virus he and my 5yo daughter likely have it, taking care of two kids, while I’m in the ICU attached to a breast pump to maintain my milk supply for after I am discharged. We have been isolating for almost 6 weeks but now we are in overdrive trying to protect against contracting this illness.

    While this is all anxiety inducing, I’m mostly grateful that I have a great doctor and labor and delivery nurses are awesome and I will deliver at GW hospital, which has a lot of resources. I realize I have the benefit of knowledge from my first pregnancy and I would convey to all the ladies who are preparing for their first births, it will be ok! There are a lot of ways to make the experience more pleasant but the medical staff is remarkably prepared to handle the clinical side of the process.

    • jane says...

      Gosh I wish we could hear how this turns out for you! Sending you all the love and support you and your family require!

  68. Lauren says...

    Thank you for this. I’m in New York, due with my second child in 10 days. To say it’s been a roller coaster is such an understatement, mostly with trying to find someone to take care of our son when we go to the hospital. I am preparing myself for the (slim-to-reasonable) chance that I may need to go to the hospital by myself, and it’s been so great to hear positive stories from people who have gone through it. Thank you thank you thank you.

  69. OMG! That birth video was everything I needed. Thank you for sharing such a personal and life changing moment with us. Tears welling up in my eyes <3

    Sending so much love.

  70. KT says...

    I shed many tears reading these amazing stories. Such brave women! Sending love to all the new mamas and mamas-to-be. You are being prayed for.

    • Isabelle says...

      Same here ❤

  71. Allie says...

    Let’s hear it for the nurses! I’m amazed how in each of these stories, the women talked so much about the important role the nurses played in supporting them and caring for them, even under extraordinary circumstances for healthcare professionals. Most. important. job.

  72. Hanna says...

    I am not a mom, yet found myself tearing up at this post. WOW. I think this may have been one of the most emotional CoJ posts I’ve ever read (and I’ve been reading for 10 years!!) Xo

  73. Nicole says...

    Thank you so much for this timely post, CoJ! My 3rd baby is due in June & I’ve been growing increasingly anxious about what the world will be like when I go into labor. I live in Oregon, where the number of cases and deaths is pretty mild compared to other states, fortunately. But still, I worry. I’m especially worried about the postpartum period, which can feel pretty isolating even without a pandemic! My parents & in-laws live across the country and won’t be able to see their new granddaughter for who knows how long and friends won’t be able to come over and meet or hold the baby. It’ll just be my husband & I, in the thick of it with two toddlers & a newborn, unable to go anywhere or see anyone. I know there are people out there with more devastating problems to cope with right now, but I appreciate CoJ for giving me a place to voice my worries and anxieties. I haven’t had anyone else to really talk to about this except my husband.

  74. Molly says...

    The Zoom video…..absolutely amazing. I couldn’t stop crying watching it. So happy for them, total strangers!

  75. Sasha L says...

    As a mom and a birth doula, I cried through this post. Although I don’t practice anymore, I think about pregnant and laboring moms and families and how hard this time is for them all day. And how hard it is for the kind folks caring for them too. So much to deal with!

    I would’ve loved to see a story about a mom choosing a homebirth at this time, in addition to these wonderful stories. There’s never been a better time to think about home birth, a safe choice for many moms and babies, and a choice that may feel safer and more comfortable than ever right now. I know in my community (where we already have a very high rate of out of hospital birth) there’s been a dramatic increase in the last month. At home, you can still have your partner, your kids, your doula with you. And of course your risk of exposure is much less than at a hospital.

    • Julie Sawaya says...

      I second this!

    • Jane says...

      +1 to this!

    • Alexa says...

      In the UK, most home births have been cancelled. The NHS feels overburdened, many departments are too short staffed to guarantee the availability of a midwife and it was felt that ambulance services across the country wouldn’t necessarily be able to ensure a quick transfer to hospital if something were to go wrong. It’s hugely disappointing for those who’d been planning on a home birth though. Even many smaller midwifery led units have temporarily closed so they can be repurposed for covid positive patients, which ultimately leaves a hospital birth as the only option for many women.

    • I am due in September with my third and am definitely hoping for a homebirth in light of all this stuff. In my area of Canada we are expecting to lift restrictions over the summer and then see another second wave of quarantine in the Fall, so we really aren’t sure what we’ll be dealing with when my due date rolls around. I’ve always wanted to try out a homebirth and studies here show that in Canada a homebirth is just as safe as a hospital birth. I’m so excited to learn more and hopefully it goes smoothly :) Also hopefully we can have a doula at the birth in September.

    • Natalie G. says...

      I am due August 10th and scheduled for a home birth with a certified nurse midwife and doula. I’m so grateful to have this option. We tried for ten years to get pregnant. 7 rounds of IVF and double donor IVF. I’m 36 but had premature ovarian failure. After so much medical intervention I just wanted a peaceful natural birth. I’m hoping there are no complications and this has all eased up by August. Either way, I feel so much safer at home.

  76. I’m so glad to see this article posted! I am a therapist who works in the field of perinatal mental health. Anxiety in our society is at an all time high right now, Brene Brown said we are hitting the “collective weary,” but this is especially true for pregnant women and my clients. I think (obviously) that self care and mental health are so important right now! Many therapists are practicing online and there are SOME FANTASTIC groups running online right now, including for pregnant women and those who have recently delivered.
    https://psidirectory.com is a directory of clinicians trained in PMH that you can search based on your location. If you are struggling, please know that there are many therapists standing by for your call. <3

  77. Rusty says...

    Beautiful. Such special stories. Even in the depths of all the terrifying and bad news … this! Thank you!
    In Australia, our govt took over the private hospitals in preparation for Covid-19 overload, but our Federal and State governments have all taken flattening the curve seriously. I’m beyond thankful for this.

    Today, several of our 7 states had zero new cases! ZERO!
    That is not being taken for granted. Any easing of restrictions will be very slow. We do not want to end up like Singapore where they were doing so well, relaxed the restrictions and are now paying the price, with the virus numbers shooting up each day.

    There’s an all-state meeting tomorrow considering opening up elective surgery which was all cancelled when the private hospitals were taken over … and one of the key procedures is IVF.
    I’ve never really ‘got’ the IVF thing before reading the stories here on CoJ, it moved me so much.

    The second I heard the news about IVF being possible again, my heart warmed for all those people whose dreams were dashed or put on indefinite hold when elective surgey was cancelled.
    My view changed, because of this wonderful blog and the community it builds. Thank you again for opening my views and my heart a little bit more. ?

  78. Lucy says...

    This made me cry, for so many different reasons. Sad for the moms that didn’t have their partners there and for the partners who couldn’t be there. Joy for the beauty of birth and the families that were expanded despite this awful virus. Hopefulness for how kind people can be to one another and how we are all growing and learning throughout this unprecedented time. Bravo to all the moms in these stories, the supportive partners, and of course, our healthcare workers. Thank you for this beautiful piece.

  79. Kiley says...

    Oh my goodness, I watched that Zoom video and started tearing up! I’m not pregnant but I have friends and family who are, and it’s really comforting to hear these stories.

  80. Eva says...

    I’m 33 weeks pregnant, due with our rainbow baby June 10th. My husband and I are currently working on our first home and hope to move in 3 weeks. I cry several times a week because of the stress of it all. Thankfully I’m still able to work full time from home, but my husband is an ICU nurse. Not having a set moving date, not being able to nest and set up a nursery, missing out on my baby showers, wondering how long this pandemic will last and the devastation of it all, and not seeing my family and friends is really taking it’s toll. Part of me is ready to meet our baby girl and part of me is wishing she stays put for a while where I know she’s safe.

    • Sasha L says...

      Best of luck Eva, this is all A LOT. Deep breaths. Your beautiful baby girl will be here right on time, safe and healthy. ♥️ You keep taking good care of yourself.

    • Alexandra says...

      I feel you – I’m due in August with our rainbow baby. We were in the middle of house hunting when this hit. Now I’m trying to come to terms with bringing her home to our cramped apartment. I’ve heard they don’t need much at the beginning! I’m a planner and not getting to set up a nursery is throwing me for a loop. But it will all work out…it always does! You’ll be so happy when she arrives. I’m hoping none of this will matter anymore.

  81. Alexa says...

    Thank you for this. I am in week 16 with my second baby ~ and live in Manhattan ~ and this go-round is so shockingly different than my first. My husband hasn’t been able to attend any appointments but the very first and, as my hospital is one of the main sites for COVID19 patients, some of my scans have been canceled altogether to reduce my exposure. I haven’t thought much about what delivery might be like when it is my turn, because that still feels far away and the winds seem to shift by the week (if not day), but I think every single day of the mothers, fathers, babies, and their healthcare providers sailing these seas right now. Wishing peaceful hearts and safe journeys for all!

    • Alexa says...

      I also want to add: this is a rainbow baby for me. It’s been sitting heavy on my heart that I said “with my second baby,” when it is so much more complicated than that. I don’t want to make it seem like babies come easy to me; I know that fertility stories can be difficult to read for those in wait and want. Anyway. Thinking of everyone, in any stage of the baby journey, but most especially during these times.

  82. Alden Fletcher says...

    Thank you for this! I am 33 weeks pregnant with my first. Nothing about this pregnancy, or getting to this point, has been “normal”. We went through many IUI’s, IVF. etc. This journey helped me give up control on the things I can’t control. The reality we are facing now feels like another challenge to be faced with this in mind. I definitely have anxiety about the unknown; but knowing I am not the only one in this boat feels empowering. Sending love to all the expectant families!

  83. Alex says...

    I gave birth to our first via an unplanned c-section on 4/1. I live in the Bay Area, so Covid has been a presence here since early March and I was terrified that the peak of cases would hit right at my due date. My first day of maternity leave corresponded to the region’s shelter-in-place order, so my husband and I have been sequestered in our one-bedroom for more than six weeks now (ha!)

    The weekly check ups leading to my due date acted like timestamps of public health policy shifts–one week, the medical staff was telling us not to worry beyond the general advice of washing hands, a week later, all staff is wearing face masks and there are signs about handwashing and symptoms, the following week they barred partners from attending the appointments and had cancelled all appointments except those who absolutely required an in-person visit. My last visit was only pregnant ladies in the waiting room, all wearing masks. We all eyed each other uncomfortably and stood in opposite corners of the waiting room while a single medical assistant checked us in from behind a glass window.

    That said–I was lucky to deliver in a hospital that wasn’t overrun with cases. They had adequate supplies and even provided us with hand sanitizer and masks when we left the hospital. My husband was allowed to attend the birth, though nobody else (which was fine since family had cancelled their travel weeks before.) All staff were wearing masks and almost compulsively washed their hands, but otherwise I could have completely forgotten about what was happening outside the walls of our hospital room.

    The stories highlighted here remind me of how lucky we were, and how thankful I am that our neighbors have taken shelter-in-place so seriously. It meant that we got the kind of care we expected before all of this and that the incredible medical staff that helped us have been able to continue to practice safely.

  84. Tyler says...

    WEEPING. These women are so strong and so graceful. I’m in such awe. Thanks COJ for highlighting.

  85. Alex says...

    Holy cow I’m now sobbing. The video of dad’s reaction pushed me over the edge. Those mamas are absolutely incredible. Congratulations to all on these beautiful births!!

  86. shannon says...

    Bryn at The Birth Hour is recording podcast episodes with parents having babies during the pandemic if you’d like to hear longer-form birth stories: https://thebirthhour.com/birth-stories/

    Things are changing by the day/hour depending on your hospital or birth center’s policies. I’m nearing the end of my first trimester and hoping, hoping, hoping that when this baby gets here in the fall some of this will be worked out. There are already so many unknowns with parenthood, labor, and delivery that adding a pandemic on top of it all is A LOT.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for this rec! Best of luck to you.

  87. Tara says...

    Unbearably beautiful! Congratulations to these families!

  88. L says...

    7 months pregnant here & wondering if you might consider doing a follow-up w. these new parents in 6-8 weeks. I can wrap my mind around birth under COVID, but the newborn phase under isolation, esp. as a first time parent, is really difficult to imagine.

    • Alex says...

      We’re two and a half weeks into learning to be parents and it’s going okay! We were really nervous to have to take this on without help from our families and friends, but we’ve found it is actually okay! (It is an absolutely crazy time and we’re exhausted and it’s not what we would have chosen, but still, it’s okay!)

      We Facetime with our parents and siblings almost daily, and I have a network of friends who are new parents who have really stepped up and in to make sure we don’t feel alone. Friends stop by with homemade food and have done all our grocery runs. Our (elderly) neighbors check in and make sure that we’re doing okay by tapping on our window and waving from the walkway. It’s all a little strange, but I guess this is to say, you can do it!

      I would also love to hear what strategies other families are deploying!

    • Viet says...

      I gave birth to my first early March in Los Angeles right before the stay at home order so went into newborn lockdown at the same time. The first 2 weeks were fine without family/friends, and I even preferred it, because the bonding for my husband and I was pretty incredible. We are nearly 7 weeks in and feel we know our baby pretty well. Also the stress related to having in laws and entertaining friends, etc, was not there. But around 4 weeks, it began to get monotonous and we just wanted a break. Even setting up FaceTime calls so our parents could be involved was exhausting because it wasn’t helping us get sleep or take a shower. Only one of us can attend well baby check ups. He is about to get his first shots, and I’ve been dreading this. Our last appointment, my husband was on FaceTime with us. We are about to return to work because we are healthcare providers and worried about bringing in a nanny but have no choice. I will look back at this time as a mixture of emotions. I oscillate between wondering whether the bonding will outweigh the fact that my baby isn’t getting connection to other family during this time or not. Am I being selfish in reveling in the fact that this baby is completely mine for now? Am I putting my baby at risk by going to work and risking exposure in lieu of shipping him off to my mother’s until there is a vaccine or at least until I know for sure I won’t transmit covid to him? Do I hire a nanny since my elderly parents are vulnerable? The questions are loud and plentiful. It’s difficult to maintain calm on most days. Ultimately, I know that my baby is somehow alive and growing. That’s for certain and I stay present to this to keep moving forward in a time of uncertainty.

    • Tess says...

      Check out the Instagram account from Our Mama Village. It’s from a lovely woman who’s a therapist and offers courses in gentle parenting and also just gave birth to her second child a few weeks ago. She regularly posts about what it’s been like, being home with a newborn in this very strange time (and of course lots of wonderful encouraging advice for parents of babies and young children).

    • C says...

      It depends somewhat on your personality, but I think that isolation is kinda what the newborn stage is all about! Just sleeping, lying around, watching movies, nursing, sleeping again, etc. No need to get dressed, go anywhere, or see anyone. A number of cultures (Sephardic Jews, Chinese) have holing up as a sort of built-in postpartum phase, where the mom and baby never go out. I guess it’s different if you’re very close to your family and you want them to visit or you are an extrovert or you’re facing any sort of medical issue with your baby (that would be so, so hard) but honestly, I hate to be THAT person, but being stuck inside with a newborn is WAAAAAAAAY easier than being stuck inside with older children! It’s can be a delicious, lazy, sleepy time, if you let it.

    • Lindsey says...

      I had my first baby at the end of February in Tel Aviv, just one and a half weeks before COVID was a *thing* in Israel and the whole country shut down. While a lot of my friends have said that my husband and I are lucky to have this uninterrupted time home alone with our newborn, I’ve actually found this whole experience to be pretty tough. We’re expats, so both of our families are back home in Canada. Both sets of our parents had planned to fly to Israel for a month-long visit, but ended up having to cancel because the border closed the day before they were supposed to fly out. Shortly after, it was announced that no one could travel more than 100m from their homes. This not only meant that all of our paediatrician appointments were cancelled, but also that none of our friends could come over to drop off food. I found it really hard to watch our entire social support system evaporate before our eyes. Of course we use Facetime to communicate with friends and family, but these conversations often take a lot of emotional labor. Our parents are devastated since it’s unclear when borders will open and they’ll be able to meet their first grandchild. However, doing this all alone in a foreign country hasn’t been all bad. It’s created a really strong bond between my partner and I. Also, after 7 long weeks of quarantine, we’re finally starting to see the country open up again. We can now go 500m from our homes. We still can’t see friends, and who knows when we’ll be able to see our families again, but we’re trying to take pleasure in going for short strolls outside of our apartment and finally getting to introduce our babe to the outside world. This hasn’t been an easy past 2 months, but I just want to let anyone in a similar situation know that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

  89. Lucy says...

    I can’t help it – reading these accounts makes me so sad. What senseless cruelty, to have to give birth alone, having to miss your own child’s first breath. It makes my stomach hurt and my heart ache. I’m so glad these amazing women and families made the best of an awful situation ♥ sending love and congratulations to them!

    • Jane says...

      completely agree with this, i think these were meant to be uplifting, but honestly even with the mamas’ positive attitudes, the stories about having to give birth alone completely broke my heart.

  90. Emily says...

    These women are so brave. This also reminds me of my biggest takeaway from having two kids in non-Covid circumstances: nurses are truly AMAZING. They’re far more than medical staff. They’re cheerleaders, coaches, therapists (in my case) and overall hero angels.

    • Alex says...

      So true! My delivery and postpartum nurses were seriously angels from heaven. I sobbed when we left the hospital after both my kids’ births because I didn’t want to leave my nurses!

    • Betsy says...

      I echo this. My third baby was born quickly and delivered by nurses – my husband and doctor missed the birth. It was a great experience.

    • E says...

      Could not agree more! I saw one of my delivery nurses at a workout class a few months ago and borderline attacked her (she didn’t remember me initially but it clicked once I reminded her of my birth story). They really are angels and I felt like it was a celebrity sighting, ha!

  91. Tori says...

    The zoom video had me bawling crying. Such a powerful thing to capture!

  92. Taylor says...

    Aghh thank you for this!

    I’m 26 weeks and trying to stay sane. On one hand, I’m pretty grateful for all the one-on-one time my husband and I get in our last few months of it being just us, but on the other hand, I’m anxious about what the world will look like by the end of July. It’s also an annoying time to have a hacky cough in the morning, dry nose from pregnancy, and sometimes feel out of breath from the baby stomping on my lungs–I wish I could know which symptoms are normal and which are not–nothing feels normal so when I get a sore throat my mind immediately jumps to worst case scenarios.

    Hope all the other moms and moms-to be are staying sane!

    • Colleen S says...

      My mom coughed the entire nine months of her third pregnancy. Just trust your instincts. You could also take your temperature. Being out of breath is normal in pregnancy (especially at the end–I remember this from my mom’s last two pregnancies, which were in the 90s). It’s when you cannot catch your breath that you should be watching out for. But really, just trust your instincts, and reach out to your OB if you need reassurance.

  93. Toni says...

    Thank you so much for this!!!! I’m giving birth in a few weeks in NYC and I’ve been extremely nervous about the whole experience. What keeps me going is remembering that it’s just one small moment in time, a moment my rainbow baby girl will never remember. I repeat the mantra “I trust my body, I trust my baby” and I think about all I have to look forward to instead of focusing on the birth experience. The hospital workers on the maternity unit have the most optimistic jobs – bringing new life into the world. And I’m hoping to have a good team by my side through it all.

    Joanna – I just have to say, I’d reached out in the comments about a month ago about my anxieties around birth and the women in this community were the hugest source of strength. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I was for shared stories, advice, and kind words and thoughts. Sending so much love to all of the mamas-to-be out there.

  94. Kathryn says...

    This was really emotional to read. I am going through a miscarriage right now and my husband isn’t even allowed in the clinic (which of course I understand–it just is really hard to go through completely alone). I wish all these mamas the very best!

    • E says...

      So sorry Kathryn!

    • A says...

      I am SO sorry Kathryn. I had a miscarriage 9 months ago and it was so so hard. That must be so hard going to appointments alone. Sending prayers and love your way.

    • Emily Harden says...

      Oh Kathryn, I am SO sorry you’re having to go through this. We’re all “here” with you and thinking of you. You will get through this!

    • JET says...

      Sending you a hug <3 You are so brave and strong!

    • Sarah says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss. <3 sending love from Virginia.

    • Lauren says...

      I’m so so sorry – that has to be incredibly hard. Sending love and healing to you and your family <3

    • caitlin says...

      I am in the exact same boat, Kathryn. Went through same thing last week. Sending lots of love and virtual hugs.

    • Lauren says...

      Kathryn, my heart aches for you. Wondering why we need to understand & accept the cruelty of forcing you to go through this alone. I admire your positive outlook but also want to say you’ve got every right to be angry.

  95. Chrissie says...

    Wow, what a calm and peaceful birth experience it seemed to be at the end there for Stephanie!! And her husband’s sweet smile!!

    Congratulations to all the new parents!!!

  96. Zoe says...

    This is lovely. I delivered by c-section on Monday. I was very lucky that my husband was able to be there but due to the no additional visitors rule he wasn’t able to spend much time at the hospital after the birth as he had to look after our son. Lockdown in London we didn’t have childcare. The days I spent with our new daughter alone in hospital turned out to be very special. A beautiful, peaceful start to our lifelong relationship.

  97. Laura says...

    I’m due with my 4th in 2 weeks. As of right now I’m allowed 1 support person so my husband will be there, although he’s not allowed to leave and come back so we need extended care for our kids. Luckily my parents live nearby (they’re young/not high risk) and can help with that. So while there have been some changes to the birth plan (my sis was so excited to come!), I’m not feeling too anxious about it.

    What I do feel overwhelming anxiety about is afterwards. I had postpartum depression with my first and I feel like I can already see it coming. My kids are having a hard enough time with the current situation, and I feel like I’m about to throw them under the bus. How am I going to continue to give them the extra love they’re looking for when I’m sleep deprived and nursing around the clock? And I am avoiding even thinking about the home schooling part. My husband works for a nurse staffing startup that has been slammed with work (really a good thing) so I am skeptical that he’ll even really get to take any time off. I’m doing my best to approach this all with faith and give everyone grace, but I am also feeling so alone and inadequate.

    • Elise says...

      I’m so, so sorry. If it helps to have an internet stranger remind you that it’s OK to let the schooling slide in these unprecedented times, here goes. I’m praying that during this time, your kids learn from you how to be brave (not perfect, not unafraid) when faced with great stress and more responsibility than anyone can expect you to handle smoothly.

    • Lauren says...

      I’m so sorry Laura – I struggled with postpartum anxiety after my first and have similar concerns about our second coming soon. The only thing I can offer is just remember to be kind to yourself – we are all being asked to do the impossible — your kids will be OK. Your baby will be OK. You are enough. Sending love.

    • Judith says...

      Hi Laura!
      This really sounds like an impossible “job”. So sorry that you feel alon, wish you all the best and some good friends that leave you nice messages, even if you have no time to reply (sorry, my English ist not the best).

  98. AE says...

    My sister gave birth at NYP a day before they stopped allowing partners (they allowed my BIL but no other visitors). She and baby did well- having that support there really matters. I think it’s been super hard being in isolation with a newborn and toddler. My family is super close and we are all just blocks away from each other and our childhood/ parent’s home. None of us have been able to see my niece in person. We’re all missing those squishy, cuddly, smells good, weird noise newborn moments. My mom was diagnosed with COVID and symptomatic and my BIL is a physician and had to go back to work because of what’s happening. In addition to worrying about him and my mom, I’m concerned for my sister, alone, with a newborn and 3yo, while her husband is working in a high risk environment. All around, it’s been a weird time for new moms.

  99. A says...

    Thanks for this post! I’m less than 5 weeks from giving birth to my first and wondering how things will be. So far my hospital still allows one support person but no visitors. I really hope my husband can be there but it’s good to hear stories of moms who did it alone and it was ok.

    The end of my pregnancy has been so different than expected- we moved 3 weeks ago for work, I met my new OB with masks on (hard to meet someone without seeing their face), no baby shower, no birth classes, no hospital tour, trying to figure out how to manage visitors once we get home- she will be my in-laws first grandchild and they want to see her right away… It’s hard to balance protecting ourselves and others and trying to keep things normal and celebrate this special time.

    • MJ says...

      Hi A – I’m 35 weeks pregnant with my first also and everything is so scary and weird. My hospital is also only allowing one, so the (current) plan is to have my husband there and then the doula and my mom via Zoom. It will all look a lot different than I thought. Even though these stories are heartwarming, I think it’s different for a first time mom when you have no idea what to expect anyway – the thought of giving birth alone is so anxiety-producing for me :(

      Anyway, right there with you girl – just trying to focus on the most important thing which is a healthy baby. XOXO

  100. Katie says...

    Wow, congratulations to all these strong beautiful women! Really amazing!

    One categories of families that have been heavily affected by covid19 is at risk and Foster families. I’m a foster parent. At the end of March when bio parents could no longer have in person visits with their children, our 5.5 month old baby who we’ve cared for since we brought her home from the hospital at 6 days old, abruptly reunified with Mom. I had 6 hours to say goodbye and pack her stuff. Ultimately it was the right decision, but it hurt like hell. I’ve worked hard to build a loving relationship with bio mom and I’m so grateful I have. I love receiving photos and updates via text and we even got to see our sweet baby and her mom on Friday. We plan to get together for a playdate or a meal when all this is over.

    We currently have a 5 year old girl in our care which has been heaven for my 3 year old daughter. I just spent 40 minutes sitting on the porch in my pajamas watching them on their bikes. Our 5 year old can’t have in person visits with her mom. She has scheduled, supervised zoom calls 3x a week. She calls her mom every night at bedtime to say goodnight. It’s heartbreaking for families to be separated and covid19 has really complicated everything!

    • Caitlin says...

      Katie, you sound like a beautiful person.

    • Chrissie says...

      Thank you for this comment Katie!! I’m a social worker working with teens in foster care in a group care setting and in many instances this crisis has been helpful with reunification or placement with my clients when the state has been sort of dragging their heels. That being said that is for TEENAGERS not little babies who are bonded to their foster mama. I completely understand why that is not the transition that you were hoping for. What a gift you’ve given to that baby by being a safe mama for them while also supporting their birth mother. As you know, lots of foster parents struggle with relationships with birth family and it sounds like, despite whatever difficulties I’m sure there were, you’ve made a connection. How incredible!!

      Foster parents are like angels on earth and we appreciate you so so much!!!

    • Margaret Forsey says...

      Thank you for sharing your story, and bringing attention to foster families. It sounds so challenging for you as a foster mom- and so challenging for the children and their biological parents as well. It is wonderful that you have a good relationship with the baby’s bio mom and can get updates, even though it must be so hard to not see the baby in person. And thank goodness that the 5 year old girl can have regular zoom calls with her mom. Sending you best wishes from Canada. ❤️

  101. Caitlin says...

    Oh my goodness, this was so emotional for me! I am not a parent, or expecting, but this was beyond moving. This made me feel hope. Thank you Cup of Jo team and thank you to these beautiful, strong, amazing mothers (and healthcare workers!). You’re filling my world with hope right now!

  102. Margaret says...

    Thank you so much for this! I loved the breadth of stories – especially the beautiful adoption birth! I became a mama (twice!) through adoption and sharing my son’s birth experience with his birth mama was one of the most sacred moments in my life.

  103. JJY says...

    Thank you for this beautiful post, it brought tears to my eyes. My first baby is expected to deliver in 2-3 weeks and have felt similar emotions of highs and lows during the pandemic. This brought a lot of renewed peace and excitement of the baby coming amidst an uncertain and scary time. Thank you!!

  104. Jess says...

    Omg that video is SO sweet and powerful. Huge congrats to all the new parents!! You are so strong xx

  105. AD says...

    Sobbing–thank you to CoJ and these parents for sharing. I’m not due until August after having gone through a loss the first time, and these stories remind me how brave, strong, and kind people are. Thank you to all of the medical professionals helping pregnant people stay safe and comfortable during this time <3

  106. alex says...

    I am crying. Thanks for sharing.

  107. Sara says...

    Thank you for this. I’m due with my second in about a month and it’s comforting to read these stories. And that video was too sweet. Is someone cutting onions in here?!

  108. Caitlin says...

    Thank you for having these women share their stories. I cried watching the Zoom—so many emotions. Congrats to all the new parents!

  109. kai says...

    did not expect how much that would make me cry! i think mostly because these women are so matter of fact and tough and that’s just birth in a nutshell–you’re joining this sisterhood of unbelievably powerful women but you don’t know that until it’s over. their stories reflect that calm embrace of their strength and it is a little overwhelming to hear of people rising to the challenge of this moment with so much grace.

    that zoom! holy moly. unbelievable. thank you!

  110. Molly says...

    Thank you for this. I’m 37 weeks with my second, and struggling to come to terms with how different this experience will be from last time. Three years ago, we headed to the hospital full of joy. Some nerves, of course, but mostly excitement. After our son was born, we had a steady stream of family and friends visit us in the hospital with food and treats and support. My nieces and nephews piled on the bed with me to meet their newest cousin. We brought our baby home and enjoyed such a peaceful time, punctuated with visits from family and close friends. We were so lucky.

    Now, I dread going to the hospital. It feels like one giant risk. I’ve had to tell my parents that they won’t be watching our older son as planned, because it’s just too much of a risk to them. They’re devastated. I don’t know when my mom and dad will holds their newest grandbaby. The thought of weeks of isolation without seeing family is like a dark cloud following me around all day and night.

    In so many ways, we are lucky. We have our health, our loved ones are safe, we still have jobs. But reconciling this level of anxiety during a time that should be joyous sucks.

    • Alex says...

      This. I feel this! Expecting our second the first week of July and will deliver in nyc. So much scary surrounding so much joy. But like it says in the post it’s a drop in a bucket compared to a lifetime. I’m going to try to keep that in mind. Sending you love and luck!!

    • Lena says...

      Molly and Alex, I’m interested to hear what kind of plans you’re making for your older child, as much as you are willing to share. It seems like a big puzzle.

  111. Ann says...

    Wow, this may be one of my favorite posts. What an intimate and beautiful collection of stories and families.

  112. Colleen says...

    These stories are so important to highlight. I continue to struggle with infertility and had a failed IVF the first week of quarantine. I don’t know when I’ll be able to begin treatment again. I’ve seen a lot of jokes about a baby boom during this time and I find it extremely insensitive towards women in general but especially for those who are navigating loss or birthing on their own.

    • Diana says...

      As a fellow infertility struggler, I hear you and I am sorry. This is really tough. *Hugs!*

  113. Kerry Scott says...

    Thank you for sharing these stories! They are each so beautiful and joyful. I’m inspired by the strength and grace of the women involved, their partners and their healthcare teams.

    If you are pregnant or are supporting someone who is pregnant, consider checking out the World Health Organization’s information on COVID-19 and pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care. I’ve pasted the links below. Key messages are that pregnant people continue to have the right to a birth companion of their choice and that skin-to-skin contact and early breastfeeding (when possible) are recommended even if the parent has COVID-19 or is waiting for their test result.

    Special circumstances may make it impossible for these ideals to be realized. The pandemic is evolving so best practices will keep changing. But every effort should be made to uphold maternal health rights during this difficult time. It helps to know our rights, question policies that do not uphold them, and work together with healthcare providers to find safe solutions.

    https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/emergencies/COVID-19-pregnancy-ipc-breastfeeding-infographics/en/

    https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding

    • Sasha L says...

      Thank you for this Kerry. It’s heartbreaking to me that suffering is happening that probably doesn’t need to happen.

    • Lauren says...

      Thank you for sharing. While reading the stories about mothers delivering without their partners I was in awe of their strength, but also wondering if solo delivery is the only way to proceed. I realize that the situation is changing quickly and these decisions are not easy but I just got so angry reading what these mothers were going through (or potentially worse, the story of a mother experiencing a miscarraige all alone).

      Amen to this — “Every effort should be made to uphold maternal health rights during this difficult time.”

  114. PJ says...

    Thank you for this uplifting post! I’m an OBGYN resident in a NYC health system and there has been a whirlwind of changes in the department. It’s hard for us to keep up, too. Even though we’ve stopped doing the majority of our GYN surgeries, labor and delivery doesn’t stop. We are doing our best to keep women/babies/their families/ourselves safe—this can mean separating partners and babies in some situations and sending mothers and babies home sooner if healthy. We have made difficult decisions and we treat many COVID-19 positive mothers. Both of the hospitals I work at are almost completely full of patients being treated for this illness. Some of the healthy patients and families coming in lack perspective on the scope of this pandemic and continue to demand special treatment or complain about the policies we have in place which is disheartening. Our hearts break for the loss and pain happening around us but we are still here for the both the happiest and worst days. Women will continue experiencing pregnancy, miscarriage, false labor, preterm labor, and complications of pregnancy and we will continue caring for them.

  115. Lindsey says...

    I would be so curious to hear the birth mothers POV for the adopted and surrogate story. Such a scary time to be doing something so selfless.

  116. Shani says...

    What a fantastic post, so timely and powerful for all the mamas due to give birth amidst all the craziness and chaos ( and that video! It made me cry, it was so sweet!) I’m in the UK, due to give my birth to my second in just under 3 months, and I won’t lie, it’s been such an anxious time. My first birth experience was filled with drama and very scary and I depended on my husband for almost everything that first week as I was in hospital. I can’t imagine not having him around this time around, and I’ve been trying to come to terms with this being an actuality. This post has been so very reassuring and lots of love to these brave mamas as well as everyone else going through this xxx

  117. Tara says...

    I’m single mom of choice. Pregnant via IUI. Was told the baby is 2 weeks behind. Very slow heartbeat on Friday. Now I’m just waiting a week to see if I will miscarry. Day 3/7. A new form of hell in corona. I’m starting to feel like my womb is a graveyard. I once wrote about mowing my grass high. I miss that woman. I wish there was more about a maybe pregnancy loss or all the loss in reproductive health to our bodies. Pregnancy. Abortion. Birth Control. IVF. all of this. Letting go, losing control, and mostly crying in corners while laughing of THIS FUCKING LIFE RN.

    Anther very side note, as a doula, I’ve supported 3 women virtually this month. I’m in awe of these mamas.

    • Abigail says...

      You’ve told your story beautifully. My heart goes out to you. Sending you comfort and strength.

    • caitlin says...

      Thinking of you, Tara. xoxo

    • Lauren says...

      Yes. Would love to hear stories across the spectrum of reproduction – pregnancy but also abortions, miscarriages, birth control, IVF.

  118. C says...

    A heartfelt thank you for this post from a neonatologist. So much uncertainty and fear for expectant parents these days, and hopefully these stories will ease some of that anticipation and fear of the unknown. We’re here to support you, moms and dads- even during this “new normal” time.

  119. Candace says...

    Currently gently sobbing over my laptop at these stories. You’ve got this Mamas! xo

  120. Meagan says...

    This was beautiful. I’m crying. ❤️

  121. Chelsey says...

    Great post- expecting my first and these are uncertain times, the advice is so deeply valued. Congrats everyone this post got a few tears and Shelly- great to see a fellow Bluenoser featured .

  122. Lucy says...

    Thank you Joanna and to the women who shared! I’m 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. There’s been so much uncertainty around Covid-19 and pregnancy, and in early March when it hit NYC so little in the news about pregnant women. So I’ve been coming to your blog and doing “command + F + pregnant” in your comments sections and reading what other pregnant women have to say. It’s been a huge comfort just to read other people’s anxieties and hopes and know that I’m not the only one taking this situation day by day!

  123. Jackie says...

    Thank you, Jo, from the bottom of my heart for posting stories of becoming a mother that include adoption and surrogacy. We are hoping to adopt in the next few months after infertility and it is so hard to not feel included in stories about being a mother. It makes me scroll right past and feel very alone and like my story is less than. Highlighting the many ways you can have a family warms my heart and makes me feel included in the tribe of moms and moms-to-be. Thank you so much. It encouraged me more than I can say.

  124. Melisa says...

    Thank you for this! I’m due with baby no. 2 in July and when the lockdown first started I was worried, but figured things were moving so fast there was no way we’d still be in lockdown by the time I was due. Now it’s clear that covid-19 will have long-term effects that we can’t quite predict now, and it’s quite possible that, like the mums you featured here, all of my plans will have to change. So it’s really reassuring to know that even during this hectic and stressful time we can find ways of making it work and still be powerful and beautiful rather than just scary and stressful. I’m working on being ok with the idea that my mum might not be able to come from Europe to stay with us then. It seems like such a small, unimportant thing in the grand scheme of things, but it feels heartbreaking right now. Anyway, thank you for your thoughtfulness, as usual!

    • Anu says...

      I completely hear you! I’m due with my second in July too and the plan all along had been for my parents to come from India to stay with us for several months and help with the newborn care, like they did with my first and entertain my toddler. I know it’s small in the grand scheme of things, but sometimes losing that feels really crushing. I’m still holding out a little hope, but I’m trying to remember that I have a wonderful, supportive husband and that we’ll get through this somehow.

  125. Agnès says...

    Oh that was amazing to read, it made me cry, but of hope, for once! Thank you so much, what a great topic…
    You’re the best! (really)

  126. KatherineO says...

    Thank you for this post! We are due with our second in the next few weeks. Both my husband and I work in healthcare and the uncertainty has been a huge challenge (will one of us get sick? will our son get sick? should I be isolating? will anyone be able to help us with our toddler when the new baby comes?) On top of a previous experience with post partum depression the added COVID layer is so overwhelming that I’m just trying to be very kind to myself and forgive the fact that I’m crying at odd hours, am eating cookies like the world may run out and overall indulging in a lot of comfort measures that in my old days would feel ‘unproductive’. For better or for worse this has really forced a slowing down which is something the world is learning to adapt to. I am so grateful for any and all of the positive pregnancy stories right now.

    • Maddy says...

      Sometimes being kind to yourself is very difficult in itself. I think you should feel proud that you’re treating yourself well! Taking care of your own mental health is part of taking taking of your family :).

  127. Katie Larissa says...

    I feel for all mothers delivering in this time, but especially for the ones who want to labor without interventions. As I’ve personally done both, I know you need a partner, whether it’s a doula or spouse or friend, so much more during a labor with no pain medications.
    So to all of you hoping for that, but unable to have someone in the room to constantly physically support and help you, give yourself much extra grace for whatever happens. You are a great mother, no matter how your baby arrives.

  128. Andrea says...

    Thank you for posting this. Seven (YES seven!!) of my close friends are all due with babies this Spring and Summer and I’ve been so sad that their experiences will not be what they dreamed of. This is an excellent reminder that in the end they will get their perfect baby and be able to go home and start their family, no matter what the birth experience is like. That video is precious and I’m so glad both parents were filmed–what a special moment.

    I do hope that going forward, hospitals can find a way to ensure birth partners can be in the room!

  129. Sarah B. says...

    Thank you very much for this post.
    I’m expecting my first baby (it’s a boy!) in August, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty with how everything will go… but I’m still so excited and posts like this have helped ease my anxiety about it all.

  130. Diana says...

    I gave birth 2 weeks ago in Houston and was so lucky to have my husband in the room with me. Reading stories of these incredible fellow mothers brought tears to my eyes! I’m constantly amazed at the strength of women. Congratulations to all these new moms, and I’m so grateful for the health of their new families.
    Thanks for featuring this post, it’s very timely!

    • Agnès says...

      Oh congratulations for your baby and being a parent! It is such an intense moment of life…

  131. Maddy says...

    Thank you to these women for sharing their stories! I had my first baby (Eli, born at 36 weeks) two months ago, and we’ve been practicing social distancing for most of Eli’s life now. Thankfully he was born right before new hospital measures were put in place here in Canada. I’ve been quite negative about going through parenting a newborn without the family and social support I thought I would have, and it’s been an exhausting and anxiety provoking experience– constantly asking myself “is this normal??” Reading these stories reminded me that there are some positives to social distancing with a newborn and to be grateful for what we have… time to bond as a family! My partner is working from home, which has allowed him to spend way more time with Eli than he would have otherwise. What I’m trying to say is thank you for pointing out the silver lining in these dark times. Stay strong ladies! :)

    • Courtney says...

      Maddy, I hear you! I gave birth a month ago to a healthy baby girl. My husband was able to be in the room, but I’ve mourned having no help and visitors. But reading this made me realize how lucky we’ve been. We are all healthy and she is a joy! Hoping I can continue to remember this at 3 am when I’m sleep deprived!! Good luck to all the new moms and moms to be!

  132. Adrienne says...

    Wow… Such powerful, hopeful stories! Thanks so much for sharing. I watched the video twice with tears streaming down my face.
    Stephanie’s husband’s reaction is magical.

  133. Charlie says...

    Love this! I’m 11 weeks pregnant and actually found out that I was pregnant on the first day that I started working from home.. it’s been an anxious time, definitely. Even though I’m still early days, the news stories I read about a potential second wave later in the year scare me.

    One thing that has helped is reading positive stories like those in this article. @thepositivebirthcompany has been running an Instagram series with lots of them.

    Less anxiety enducing and more a weird side effect of a pandemic pregnancy is the prospect of coming back out into the real world in a few months time and seeing friends, family and colleagues and suddenly having an enormous bump…! That’s going to lead to some funny conversations!

  134. MT says...

    This made me really emotional. I’m not a parent or expecting to be a parent, but I’m sending so many virtual hugs to families everywhere who are expecting a child during this outbreak. <3

    • Kari says...

      I’m with you – not a parent, not expecting, but this definitely made me cry! What a scary time we’re in but it’s so sweet to see these women being supported by nurses, loved ones on Zoom, etc. Shows how special a birth is regardless of what the circumstances are. Sending you all love, mamas and mamas-to-be!

  135. Stephanie says...

    Just wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
    As a pregnant woman in the UK, I worry every day what the situation will be like when it’s my turn. Will my husband be allowed to attend? If not, how will I cope without my birth partner and number one cheerleader? Will I be able to have the birth I envision? How long will it be until grandparents, family and friends can meet the baby? (To say nothing of the situation even before birth: unable to buy things like a pushchair in shops, attend antenatal classes, meet new parents, have a baby shower…)
    This is my first pregnancy and there is so much that’s already unpredictable and important to think about. Now Covid-19 on top? Some days it’s too much.
    I know eventually we’ll look back at this and laugh – “When I was pregnant with you… When I gave birth to you…!” but in the meantime, I’m clinging to the positive birth stories of other first-time moms.

  136. Sarah says...

    That video! Tears. Wow. All these women are so brave. The birthmom. The surrogate. The adoptive mom. The moms laboring alone. The nurses! Wow! What a wonderful Monday reminder of how strong women are and how good this world can be even in hard times.

  137. Sarah says...

    You profile Shelly, who’s from Nova Scotia. It’s been a tragic weekend here and we are waking today to news of a mass shooting, Canada’s worst ever.

  138. Cara says...

    I’m a FTM due in 2 weeks and having a scheduled c section next week. I’m far less terrified than I have been the last few weeks and honestly, I’m grateful that this is resulting in a scheduled c section. We are not in a “hot spot” but we have a high number of cases for how small our state is. The last several weeks have been insane and I couldn’t have imagined this was how the final weeks of pregnancy would end, but here we are. My baby shower was the very last event to happen, right before things got really bad, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. I have friends who have cancelled weddings and baby showers and it is all so hard. My parents, who live across the country won’t be able to come visit to see their first grand baby, and my mom is absolutely devastated, but that is life right now. One day things will go back to normal-ish and we will hopefully be better because of it and more prepared for the next one.

  139. Sydney says...

    I gave birth to my daughter 3 weeks ago. Luckily, my husband was able to be there (44 hours in labor ending in a c-section, I am so glad he was there!!) but we have had no visitors since. It’s very hard and isolating not being able to see our loved ones or have any help with our little girl, but so worth it to keep her safe and healthy! What a bizarre time to become a mother, but I know I’ll be stronger for it!

  140. Cait says...

    What an awesome post. Thanks, CoJ staff, for continuing to work to put out this content, and thank you to the ladies featured and the incredible medical staff helping them!

  141. Congrats Mamas! Incredible stories. I am working on a website to document just these types of stories- the Pandemic Birth Story Project. The idea is solely to inspire mamas who are giving birth during this time and in the future with other women’s amazing stories. If anyone else would like to contribute their story, please contact me. Annecastello@gmail.com
    Thank you! Be well!

  142. Amber J says...

    Ahhhh, I am that reader who requested this! Thank you!!!! I’m reading this article at the hospital while I wait for my 39-week OB appointment. The anxiety about the unknown is real but I am going to take these women’s advice to heart and carry it with me through The rest of this whole process.

    I can’t thank you enough for taking my request to heart! I am so grateful. All the love to CoJ ?

    • Kristen Solecki says...

      Thinking of you and all the new moms to be Amber!

    • Maddy says...

      Good luck Amber! I’m not sure if you saw the post about getting a bit more supplies than you think, but I second that– maybe stick a few more sets of wipes and diapers etc than you think :). That’s how our family has been helping out with our newborn: bringing some essential items to us so we don’t have to face the stores or wait on long shipping. Also do consider a weigh scale if you don’t already have one so you can track baby without going out! (I just used my kitchen scale)

  143. M says...

    This is beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations to all these new parents. <3

  144. Pam says...

    So proud of all these women, healthcare workers, and family at home.

  145. Ellen says...

    Thank you for this! I’ve thought about how stressful it must be to be pregnant during this scary time. I hope these stories help ease the anxiety for many women!

    • Sondra says...

      I love this advice. I gave birth to baby #4 six weeks ago, right at the beginning of March when all of this was beginning. Our hospital had announced its first cases (the first in the state!) the day before I went into labor. Regardless of the sometimes hourly changing information, I felt like the nurses and staff were amazing in making me feel like we were all in it together. I felt like I was being treated like their family instead of just a patient. The hardest part for me was not being able to see my other children for a week! My newborn was in the NICU and I ended up staying in the hospital for five days with him. Having alternate means of communication with the kids was important- FaceTime to sing them a good night song, just being on the phone when they ate meals so we could eat “together”, and having them send me texts or photos of each other or pictures they had drawn. My advice would be to “get creative about communication”.

  146. Mandy says...

    I had a baby a month ago, And felt so lucky my husband was able to be there. He’s an anesthesia resident so spends a lot of time in the hospital already, but this time felt different. The delivery was wonderful and the nurses and doctors so amazing. The hardest thing to arrange was childcare for my other two children because my mom couldn’t come and because of the quarantine restrictions most friends weren’t able to help. I had to spend my first night alone so my husband could go home to our girls and it was very difficult and lonely. But we were released exactly 24 hours after his birth and I’ve loved hunkering down together. In many ways you self isolate with a newborn anyway and it’s been nice to not feel like I’m missing out on anything! Thank you for sharing your stories! I’m so grateful for them.

  147. Phoebe says...

    Wow these stories are incredible and so so powerful. Thank you for sharing!!

  148. Giulia says...

    I am at the hospital for a 29 week scan, alone too, in London. I feel fine and I know how lucky I am, but seeing this post on Instagram and then coming over to read it made me tear up, it felt like a warm hug from afar, in a time when we all miss the hugs and contact of those we love. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! Giulia xx

  149. Pam S says...

    Such a lovely post.

  150. Meghan says...

    Hooo boy. #CoJDeskCry alert.
    There are no words for how beautiful this is!