NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a scary time for expecting parents who will head to hospitals to give birth during this pandemic.
It was the nightmare Brooklyn mother LaToya Jordan had been fearing when she had to go to Winthrop Hospital in Nassau County last Sunday for nausea at 38 weeks pregnant.
“That’s when I found out that my husband couldn’t come with me to the room,” Jordan told CBS2’s Ali Bauman. “[I thought] it’s happened, I’m gonna be here birthing my child by myself.”
Even though this was after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order requiring hospitals allow pregnant mothers to have a partner in the delivery room amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unless there’s a nurse that’s coming to do something with me, I’m in the room by myself completely,” Jordan said.
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Nurses tested Jordan for the coronavirus out of precaution per protocol, but her results wouldn’t come back for 24 hours.
In the meantime, Jordan says they found out she had a very rare form of preeclampsia and she needed to deliver the baby right away.
“That’s really when I finally cried,” she said.
She was Facetiming her husband, who was in the waiting room.
“With the mask on, with your eyewear, and contractions are coming really fast and really intensely, and no one’s there to hold your hand,” Jordan said.
Just like that, her baby girl was born — then immediately taken away.
“No one told me that because I was being tested, that I wouldn’t get to interact with my child,” Jordan said. “Cognitively, I understand that. Emotionally? I was done.”
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The next day, Jordan’s COVID-19 test came back positive, but her daughter tested negative.
Both were going to be discharged, but nurses instructed Jordan to wear a mask around her baby at home.
“If at home I just need to wear a mask and wash my hands, why haven’t I touched my baby yet?” Jordan said.
Three days after going into labor, she finally met her newborn.
“It was beautiful,” Jordan said.
A hospital spokesperson says OBGYN staff follows the state-mandated rules and allows a partner in the delivery room unless they’re displaying symptoms. Jordan had a mild cough.
“Now, I just think everyone was scared. When you think about our front line health care professionals, people don’t want to bring that home to their family, and I get that,” she said.
Her advice to expectant parents in this pandemic?
“There were moments when I was overly compliant,” Jordan said. “I would say to arm yourself with information, be fierce enough to push back and ask questions.”
For the health of patients and staff in every wing of the hospital.