Pre-COVID, Alexandria native, Reotta Pierce, had regular check-up appointments. Once the virus continued to spread, those appointments were guided through virtual access.
“All of my appointments were every two weeks and they were virtual. I had to have a scale at home, a blood pressure cuff, and I had to download this app that would help monitor the heartbeat of the baby.”
Mothers go through a lot, but giving birth during a pandemic is never planned.
“I guess it makes you feel a little more resilient but it was sad to have to go through my first pregnancy during a pandemic. It was a lot that I missed out on that I didn’t want to but I didn’t really have a choice.”
But as a first-time mother, Reotta Pierce did what she had to do.
During her second trimester and before Stay-at-Home orders had begun, Reotta had been under very strict orders to stay quarantined since March 17th. She was only between her home and doctor visits. Even once Louisiana transitioned into Phase One of re-open, being at-risk, she was still unable to get out.
“They told us that if you were 30 weeks and up, I believe I was at 37 weeks or entering 38 weeks, that we couldn’t do any of that. I had to stay at home, no grocery store, no contact with anyone outside of the immediate household.”
Leading up to the birth, Reotta had to do almost everything solo such as sonogram, or virtual like her lamaze classes.
But once her contractions came…
“We had to wear masks there, no family and friends. It was just me and my husband. No extra visitors. Anytime any of the nurses or doctors came up to the room they had on masks and we had to have on masks.”
She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Rapides Regional Labor and Delivery Nurse Manager, Heather Chauvin, says that how the department has been during this time, is reminding family that they’re not alone.
“(We’re) really embracing the fact that we’re really doing this together. We know it’s difficult for our families and so we try to be very encouraging and letting them know that they can still have all the special moments that they did before. We just have to do it in a new way.”
Baby Reese, now a few days shy of a month, will eventually learn of the experience that her parents went through to bring her into the world… safely.
“I haven’t thought about what I’m going to say but I did save all of my wristbands. The “you’re cleared” wristbands from the hospital so I can show her. I have a few things that I’m saving and that I want to show her from where I worked at and what I did and what we both had to go through to get her here.”