Any new parent will tell you that babies wait for nothing — not even for a pandemic to end. And frankly, we couldn’t be more thrilled to meet four brand-new Nashville babies who made their grand debut despite the coronavirus. These sweet loves bring beauty and brightness when we all could likely use an extra dose.
We talked to these four new moms (one being StyleBlueprint Business Coordinator Lauren Cummings!), and they shared their experiences, advice and photos of their adorable newborns with us. Meet new mothers Lauren Cummings, Elizabeth Stanton, Laura Judd and Brandi Dixon.
When did you have your baby?
Lauren: Grayton Cummings was born on April 3, 2020, at 11:41 a.m.
Elizabeth: Jack Stanton arrived on March 30, 2020, at 1:15 a.m.
Laura: Ronan Judd was born on March 24, 2020, at 11:15 a.m.
Brandi: Baby Katie was born on March 26, 2020, at 10:18 a.m.
Were any additional precautions taken in light of COVID-19?
Lauren: There were tables set up at each open hospital entrance with staff pre-screening everyone who came through the doors. They were taking temperatures, asking about symptoms and giving passes to those without any symptoms. The waiting room was entirely closed. All staff members were wearing masks and gloves. A few of the teams at the hospital who circle through different departments mentioned that they have to visit the maternity ward first and any pregnant mommas with symptoms were completely separated from moms without symptoms.
Elizabeth: I gave birth at a birthing center, where they normally discharge healthy moms and babies four to six hours postpartum. Due to coronavirus, they extended that monitoring period to 12 hours. They also implemented a screening process in the parking garage and wore masks and gloves in all interactions with us.
Laura: There were no visitors except for my husband, baby’s pediatrician was not allowed to come to the hospital, the ER was the only door open so that’s where we had to enter and be screened, elective surgeries were discontinued that day so the baby could not be circumcised, our midwives were on a modified schedule so a different doctor was present at our birth, and we were advised to quarantine for 14 days after returning home from the hospital.
Brandi: Before being admitted inside, I was asked to wait in our vehicle for a staff person to come screen for COVID-19 (a series of questions and a temperature check). Limited staff was on hand and only certain rooms were being utilized to be able to sanitize them after. For birth, mothers were limited to one support person and a doula (if they had one). Also, the use of nitrous in labor was temporarily banned due to the possible risk of spreading the virus in the air.
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 or birthing center?
Lauren: The fear of the unknown is much worse! The hospital at least knows there are coronavirus cases within its walls, and they’re doing everything they can to keep it contained to specific areas, as opposed to your local grocery store, where you really have no idea who could be sick. In my experience, they made the patients in the maternity ward their top priority. Also, just a heads up that some areas of the hospital may look a little apocalyptic, but just keep in mind that they’re shutting down specific, germ-infested areas of the hospital where groups gather in an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Elizabeth: My best advice is to communicate your fears to trusted loved ones and your medical team, and then do your best to release those fears. Focus on your ideal outcome and getting to meet your new baby. Trust your body to do what it was designed to do.
Laura: The advice I would give other mothers is to prepare to be flexible. Rules seem to change day by day and even hour by hour, so try to embrace the idea of change as much as you can, and remember that all the precautions are to keep people safe. At the end of the day, going home healthy with your healthy baby is the only important thing. I would also tell [other expecting moms] to prepare to be amazed by the people who continue to provide care during the pandemic — the nurses, doctors and all the hospital staff. We were there for 36 hours, but the people who work at the hospital continue to come back and deliver babies and care for mothers day after day at their own personal risk.
Brandi: Pregnancy is already such a vulnerable time for mothers, particularly during the last few weeks as labor/delivery approaches, so I was conscientious about staying minimally informed of things and focusing on the upcoming birth experience. One thing in particular that was helpful to me during labor was to play a music setlist chosen beforehand of calming and reassuring music I could focus on. Beyond a basic level of understanding, preparedness, and precaution, I feel it’s very important to focus almost exclusively on the birth if at all possible.
What has been the best part about welcoming your new baby into the world?
Lauren: The best part about welcoming Grayton into the world during all of this is that we get to spend a lot of time at home as a family of three. Before all of this, my husband may have been home a couple of days with me, and then he’d likely have to head back to work. Instead, we’re getting to figure out our new normal. In just three days, we’ve already gotten into a pretty good groove with all the new responsibilities we have together, and I doubt that would have been the case had he been stressed about work or if we were preparing for family and friends to come meet our little jellybean. Of course, we still want all the visitors at some point, but we know for now that just doing our thing and staying healthy is what is best for our little family.
Elizabeth: The most magical parts were meeting this sweet baby boy who has been kicking me from the inside for months, seeing my husband hold our son we made together and watching our daughter blossom into “big sister.”
Laura: The best part about welcoming our baby into the world has been getting to spend time together as a family. One of the silver linings of our quarantine is that it’s given our family lots of time together at home. Even during the sleepless nights, we try to remind ourselves that one day we will miss this special time when Ronan was so little, so we are trying to soak every moment up as much as possible.
Brandi: Well, the best part is finally having her in my arms to hold after all of this time of waiting and anticipation. Having a precious newborn during this shelter-at-home time has been a unique blessing as well, as not everyone gets to have a newborn with them during this mandatory time at home. This deliberate slow-down of life has afforded far more bonding time with baby Katie and her siblings, who are mesmerized by her. Any other time, we would be on our regular schedule of getting to school, practices, games, lessons, meetings, etc., but this unhasty time (even in the midst of the older children doing e-learning for much of the day), has been a welcome change of pace during the newborn days.
Thank you for sharing your stories with us, Lauren, Elizabeth, Laura and Brandi — and congratulations!
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