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

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Needless to say, we are living in a very unique time.  When in public, people are asked to stay six feet apart, wear face coverings, and practice social distancing to the fullest extent. And even with those orders in place, life still goes on. One aspect of normal life that continues to happen, despite social distancing, is being pregnant. Regardless of what the world circumstance are, that baby is still on its way into the world.

Of course, the ways we traditionally interact with others while being pregnant and giving birth have changed. In this new series focused on being pregnant during a pandemic, we’re chatting with new moms and moms to be about how they’ve adapted and handled being an expecting parent during COVID-19. Today, we’re highlighting Stephanie Gandelman’s story — this local mom + Jersey City resident {and the owner of 6th Borough Boutique} is sharing all about how she gave birth to her son…while her husband watched on Zoom. Here is her very unique story:

stephanie zoom birth jersey city

About Steph

stephanie gandelman

{Photo credit: @schtoofa}

Stephanie is the owner of an online retail shop, 6th Borough Boutique. This new mom is a JC resident, who lives with her husband Marty and the newest member of her family, her son Jake.

Now, the road the motherhood for Stephanie and her husband was a bit of a bumpy one. Stephanie began trying to get pregnant years ago.

“My journey to motherhood began three years ago when my husband I decided we were ready to start trying to have a baby,” she shared with Hoboken Girl.  “After trying on our own for one year we realized we needed some help. Four rounds of IVF and miscarriages later, we finally got our healthy pregnancy.”

Of course, this is little {and literal} bundle of joy was some seriously exciting news for the couple. But just when things started to look up, a pandemic happened.

Read More: A Local Doctor Weighs Answers FAQs on Pregnancy + COVID-19

“With such an eventful journey to pregnancy, I never thought that my labor experience would be equally as dramatic.  Enter the coronavirus pandemic,” Stephanie said.

With concerns regarding COVID-19 on the rise and statewide orders to stay at home + social distance in place, naturally, this would be a challenging time to be pregnant. Even more so, spouses in some hospitals were not allowed to join their loved ones while they gave birth. This was the case of Stephanie and Marty.

“Spouses weren’t allowed to come to the hospital,” Stephanie shared in this As/Is video. “They weren’t allowed to be there for labor, delivery, or postpartum. I was going to have to do this alone.”

Giving Birth On Zoom

“On the date of my delivery, no support person was allowed in the room for labor, or for visiting afterward, due to social distancing rules set in place by the hospital to limit exposure. As sad as I was that my husband couldn’t be there with me, I definitely understood and respected the hard decision that the medical team had to make for the safety of its patients and staff alike. After everything we’ve gone through to get here, my mindset was basically: as long as our baby is okay, nothing else really matters,” Stephanie told HG. “As such, my plan B became my reality, and I gave birth while my husband watched via Zoom conference.”

Quick pause here — when we hear “Zoom,” we think company meetings, virtual happy hours, or even farm tours. But giving birth…on Zoom, not something we could have imagined. At least not until Stephanie shared her story.

Needless to say, this was a unique experience for everyone involved. But one thing that didn’t change was the act of labor — at the end of the day, giving birth is well, giving birth, with all of its potential unforeseen complications and all.

“Labor really was just that — labor. After pushing for two hours, my doctor informed me that I needed some help getting the baby out, and recommended we use clamps,” Stephanie explained. “I guess that was a big deal because all of a sudden the room was flooded with eight more doctors and nurses. It was petrifying, considering everything.”

Luckily, everything worked out for the best, as when it was all said and done, baby Jake was brought into the world.

“Thankfully everything was OK and the baby was perfect. I cried. A lot. And my husband cried too, one of the only times I’ve ever seen him cry in an over 10-year relationship.  The nurse brought the computer over to me as I held our baby for the first time, and in that moment, where it mattered most, he was right there with me,” Stephanie shared.

See More: New Moms + Moms-To-Be: All The Resources You Need Right Now

The Aftermath

For the remainder of the time she was in the hospital, Stephane was virtually supported by her husband.

“For the 48 hours my baby and I were in the hospital, we were FaceTiming. I found his ‘virtual’ support to be much more comforting than I initially thought it could be,”  she shared. “It obviously wasn’t the same as having him next to me, but I felt him in spirit. During labor, he was blowing me kisses every time I looked at him and waved. Literally, one day after I gave birth, Governor Cuomo put out an executive order that allowed a partner in the delivery room. I honestly laughed when I saw this. I’m just so happy that my little guy is OK, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. My husband agrees.”

Adjusting to the New Normal

stephanie gandelman zoom birth

{Photo credit: @schtoofa}

Of course, now that the couple was finally able to meet their new little one, the challenges of COVID-19 didn’t subside. In fact, the virus, unfortunately, changed a second set of postpartum plans the couple had.

“My original plan was always to go straight to my parents’ after delivery to spend the first couple of weeks at their place. We always felt as though this baby was as much theirs as it is ours, and we were so looking forward to spending this special time together,” Stephanie explained.

Unfortunately, to keep everyone as safe as possible, that couldn’t be the case.

zoom birth covid 19

{Photo credit: @schtoofa}

“Once it started sinking in that this would not be an option for us because of coronavirus, it definitely left me feeling more anxious about life post-delivery,” Stephanie shared. “I was nervous that we got infected in the hospital and I wouldn’t want to bring that back to my parents. So we decided we’d just be our little family of three in Jersey City,” she said the aforementioned video.

All in all, however, things worked out for the best. Today, Stephanie and Marty are enjoying the time they have to spend with Jake at home.

“Despite all the challenges, we’re so thrilled to finally be parents to the most delicious little guy,” she said. “We feel so extremely blessed.”

Congratulations on the baby, Stephanie and Marty!

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

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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.


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