Giving Birth During a Pandemic: A Hoboken Mom Shares Her Story

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Being pregnant in and of itself is a unique experience. Every woman’s body is different, lending itself to many different pregnancy experiences. Of course, take that variety of experiences and layer a global pandemic on top of it and you’ve got yourself one stress-provoking situation. That’s why, in our new mini-series, we’re highlighting the brave mamas who are taking every precaution necessary to bring their babies into the world, and sharing their stories.

This time around, we’re sharing Sally MacGregor’s story — she gave birth to her beautiful daughter in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is her story:

sally macgregor hoboken mom

About Sally

Sally is a local Hoboken resident  + new mom who recently gave birth to her very own bundle of joy, Kathryn {“Kate”} Willa MacGregor.

Pre-pandemic, Sally’s pregnancy was a breeze. So much so, it was even “boring.”

“My pregnancy pre-COVID was exactly what every expecting mom hopes it will be – completely boring,” she shared with Hoboken Girl. “I kept to most of my normal activities with minor alterations and followed my OB’s instructions.”

Of course, because pandemics wait for no one, in the middle of Sally’s pregnancy, COVID-19 became a major concern, particularly right here in our neck of the woods on the East Coast. And, although she wasn’t immediately in a panic, personal pregnancy concerns did arise.

“I was not pregnant very long during the pandemic, but the two to three weeks when concerns were mounting were certainly anxiety-producing. I started working from home the second week of March, as I was already 38 weeks pregnant at that point, she shared. “Luckily that meant I was not commuting, but on the flip side I had the news on in the background. Watching the pandemic escalate as my due date drew nearer was terrifying. What would the hospital situation be like? When {or even should} our families visit after the birth? Should we induce early so we could get in and out of the hospital before things got worse? What type of world would I be bringing my baby into?”

See More: ‘I Gave Birth to My Son While My Husband Watched on Zoom:’ A Local Mom Shares Her Birth Story

Going Into Labor

Fast forward to March 22nd and labor begins. That Sunday, Sally was admitted to the hospital where she would be delivering her daughter — New York-Presbyterian, which, as you’ll remember, was {like many other hospitals in the area} getting hit hard by COVID-19.

“It felt surreal driving into Manhattan to get to the hospital. Streets were empty, and we joked about how at least my fear of getting stuck in traffic and delivering in the Lincoln Tunnel wouldn’t come true. Entering the hospital also felt somewhat eerie with so few people about,” Sally said.

But, like any parent-to-be, Sally was torn —  she wanted to meet her baby and know she was healthy and well, but she also was scared to bring her into a world going through so much uncertainty.

“For about two weeks I had gone back and forth on wanting my baby out where I could see her and know she was okay, and wanting her to stay inside where I felt she was safest,” she said. “[But] I ended up being induced a few days before my due date because of slightly elevated blood pressure.”

And just like that, baby Kathryn was on her way.

Giving Birth During COVID 

sally macgregor giving birth covid

As luck would have it, being induced into labor a bit earlier actually worked out for the best for Sally and her baby girl.

“When I was admitted at Cornell, I was told this was the ‘best outcome of a bad situation’ — being induced early meant that I could be induced while things were still quiet at the hospital.”

And, to ease her stress even more, Sally went into labor literally in the nick of time — she went into labor just before partners were banned from delivery rooms. Since she was admitted prior to that rule being put in place, her husband was able to be “grandfathered in” — AKA he could stay with her throughout her delivery.

“Being induced [when I was] meant that my husband could be with me in the delivery room. If we had been admitted a few hours later, he would have been subjected to the new rule banning partners from entry.” Sally shared. “We were immensely relieved.’

Of course, this doesn’t mean that COVID-related precautions weren’t taken.

“We were given masks to wear when hospital staff entered our room and we spoke a bit about the situation with the nurses who came in and out,” she said. “All were calm and assured us that every precaution was being taken to ensure the safety of moms and babies. While in recovery, the postpartum staff did the very best they could to fill the void of support person while providing top-of-the-line care. One of our nurses told us that when her shift ended, she’d be going home to spend her day off making masks for family and friends.”

Read More: Giving Birth During a Pandemic: A Local Mom Shares Her Unique Story

Ultimately, what could have been a rocky road to labor turned out to be a relatively smooth process — Sally, was, in a sense, one of the lucky ones.

“Our time in the hospital felt like we were in a bubble. While the masks were a constant reminder of the extra precautions the hospital was taking, we felt isolated from the outside world,” Sally shared. “We chose to tune out the news and focus on our family. We felt safe.”

Congratulations on your baby girl, Sally!

Have a unique, pandemic-related pregnancy or labor experience you want to share? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com!

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Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

 

 

 


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Arielle is a born-and-bred Jersey girl and like a true NJ native, half her diet consists of bagels and the other half pizza. As a graduate of both American University and City, University of London, she’s been a passionate writer ever since she wrote her first “book” in the first grade. When she’s not furiously typing away at her keyboard, she spends her time ticking places off of her “to travel to” list, trying any and all new foods, and trying to stop herself from spending too much money at Zara.