Born in a Pandemic
Salvatore entered the world at 12:50 on a Friday morning, in a hospital room, in the middle of a global pandemic. He’s one of the first Coronials™, a generation that will grow up learning from parents of the unique, sad, and chaotic time in which they arrived.
For two trimesters we had planned for a home birth, but the world banned plans a bit ago. Emily’s water broke two weeks early. Contractions started, but didn’t progress fast enough. After waiting 72 hours for them to pick up, we made the difficult decision to head into the hospital to induce before sepsis could dig in.
Being in a hospital with a pregnant partner right now is like being in an episode of Walking Dead, only actually terrifying. People in hazmat stopped us out front and recorded our temperatures with what looked like a tricorder. Guards stopped us at the next checkpoint. People asked questions like “have you travelled to the following locations in the last week?”. Entire wings, hallways, and rooms were taped off. Getting into the labor and delivery ward felt like we had achieved secret clearance. Sick people walking the hallways looked genuinely scared.
Emily was in labor for 27 hours and recovery for 15. She’s was beyond amazing going through this experience with poise and strength, especially when the experience was the opposite of her plan. The entire time we didn’t leave the room, but many people came and went. Doctors, nurses, food delivery, cleaning crews, and more. Not a single person wore a mask, or any PPE. Not ONE. When I asked why they simply responded that there was none. No protective gear for the people tasked with healing the most infectious people in the most infectious building in the middle of a pandemic. Got it.
I was so thankful to not live in NY or other cities that have banned partners from attending births, but all I could think of while being in there was how can I get us the fuck out and get my firstborn home safe without any of us contracting the virus. With each new person entering our room I grew ever more impatient. We pressured them into letting us leave the same day Emily had Sal. Walking out under supervision through the entire hospital to get to the only exit they’ve left open was surreal.
We’re home, safe, and asymptomatic for now. I’ve been enraged about the coming wave of deaths, and our government’s slow reactive response to the pandemic for a while. The math has been on the chalkboard for some time, and I was an early preacher. I won’t rehash that here, you can read the tweets.
I’m beyond mad at this point, and can’t believe we’re not all overthrowing these ineffectual bums. This mix of anger and new dad wonderment is an odd cocktail.
Immense thank you to all the healthcare workers that are busting their asses everyday in a woefully understaffed, ill equipped, overworked, contaminated environment. So much respect.
I’m so happy to have a healthy incredible son making me feel a love I’ve never felt before. I hope the best for everyone, and hope we can change course before the numbers keep following the growth curve.