Everyone remembers when COVID hit the USA. In early 2020, it hit the East Coast and fairly rapidly made its way west. Before we knew what was happening, airports closed around the world. Imagine that hundreds of babies were due to be born and there was no way for their parents to get here!
The first week or two, it seemed bleak as there were no answers to our many questions and concerns. But then, something amazing happened. The industry came together to support each other. Attorneys made strides with the federal government to have them recognize the necessity of uniting these new parents with their children. What initially took 3 months was streamlined to only a few weeks before the family could be together. Infant care providers volunteered to help care for these babies while their parents were working diligently to get here. It was beautiful to see so much goodwill between agencies and practices.
Of course, a big change was being able to share in the daily appointments and deliveries. The hardest hit were those who delivered in late March through May. The hospitals adhered to severe lockdown procedures that many times the surrogate mom had to labor and deliver all alone. And in many cases during that time, the new parents and the surrogate mothers didn’t see each other in the hospital due to social distancing. I have never been more thankful for technology than I have been this year. Between Zoom, Whatsapp, Facetime and a myriad of other apps, no one was truly alone. Something that we never experienced before was being present for the birth via phone. We got to hear the baby’s first cry and all the shouts of joy!
Working and living in a pandemic teaches you many things. Having to constantly reset your plans is a lesson in resilience. Waiting for the quarantine to lift or just holding out until you can eat in your favorite restaurant again, patience is the lesson here. Technology is now embraced by all ages so we can maintain a connection with our friends and family. Although it is preferred by everyone in the world that the COVID-19 pandemic did not exist, many valuable lessons were learned as a result.