As a follow-up to our recent article, What It’s Like to Have a Baby During a Pandemic, we wanted to share additional stories of Birmingham babies and moms as COVID-19 precautions continue to change in local hospitals. Three Birmingham moms — Brianna Robbins, Taylor Johnson and Nîmes Dill — share their experiences, advice and adorable baby pictures with us today.
First things first, tell us all about your sweet baby!
Brianna: Our little girl’s name is Ivy Jane Bottomlee. She was born on March 20, 2020. Weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, and measuring 21 inches long, she is absolutely perfect.
Taylor: My son’s name is Oliver Ray Johnson. He came into this world on April 4 at 2:12 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and measured 21-and-a-quarter of an inch long.
Nîmes: Penelope Geneva Dill was born March 29 (the day before my 26th birthday) at 3 p.m. at 8 pounds, 10 ounces after laboring for 25 hours.
What advice would you offer other pregnant mothers who are soon to deliver in regards to coronavirus and any fear they may have about heading to the hospital?
Brianna: My advice would be not to worry too much. The hospitals are very strict about who enters the facility. They are checking temperatures on anyone who walks through the door, and if you are running anything over 99 degrees F, you can’t enter the hospital. Labor and Delivery won’t let you through the door unless you have been checked and have a colored sticker on. Even in the middle of this crisis, with a no-visitors rule set in place, I want to say it will be okay. The nurses are 100 percent there for you, make you feel very comfortable and take really good care of you and your family during your stay. We would have loved to have friends and family there with us, but once your little one arrives, you will appreciate the small and big things the hospital is doing to protect your family from catching this nasty virus. It’s all worth it in the end, and all you will be worried about is protecting your little one. Keep your head up and look at the bright side of the situation. Once it’s over, you will get to share your bundle of joy with friends and family. Our nurses and doctor were phenomenal, and we had the best experience!
Taylor: Becoming a mother to my firstborn during the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely not the way I imagined starting my family, but there are blessings in disguise. My husband and I have had an amazing bonding experience that I don’t believe we would have had prior to the regulations being changed on visitation. We have only each other, nurses, the doctors and God to depend on!
Nîmes: It was really nerve-racking going into a situation knowing we couldn’t have friends and family there to celebrate with us afterward. But God is so good and gave us the perfect birthing experience with incredible nurses and doctors who were so sensitive to the state the world is in right now and how emotional it has been. We decided to bring in a basket of goodies and snacks for the nurses on shift, and I’m so glad we did because the gift shop where they normally get their treats was closed down. Our friends also gave us the idea to bring in a diffuser and our Amazon Echo to help us stay relaxed and comfortable, and we feel like those few things made the biggest difference in our labor and stay after. Although the lack of company made us sad, we really enjoyed the quiet time we got to have to just soak up our newborn before we got back home to our 4-and-a-half-year-old. It was so calm and peaceful and gave us time to learn from the nurses and lactation consultants who came through to help us get adjusted. A huge shoutout to Dr. Aldred and Dr. Batson at Brookwood who were some of the sweetest doctors who helped us and educated us through every decision that came up.
What has been the best part about welcoming your new baby into the world?
Brianna: The best part of welcoming our baby girl would be becoming first-time parents and finally getting to hold our baby and giving her all of our love we’ve been dying to give for nine months. Having a baby that’s half of me and half of her dad is the most rewarding thing that has ever happened for me. She is my saving grace, and we are now quarantined at home safe and sound and will be extremely excited when the coronavirus is under control so we can share our little girl with our loved ones.
Taylor: I have grown so much in my faith. Prayer and just taking every precaution you can is the only advice I can give. I’m taking in every little moment!
Nîmes: The best part of having sweet Penelope here is probably just not being pregnant anymore! I was past my due date by almost a week. Also, she is my second little girl, so I remember how fast the time goes, and I feel more present and able to soak everything up since I’m not having a huge identity shift like most of us go through when we become a mom for the first time.
A huge thank you to Brianna, Taylor and Nîmes for sharing your stories, advice, and, of course, sweet baby pictures with us. Congratulations!
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