The reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak has meant many working or learning from home, canceled sporting events and some consternation from those who are having to re-plan events, vacations and other parts of everyday life.
But for some, the pandemic is upending some of life's biggest moments, which is the case for Heidi and David Marsh, who are expecting their second child on April 6.
“They were telling me today, 'You're definitely not going to get the doctor you want' because they have split into teams,” Heidi recently told the Forsyth County News. “So, Team A, they have closed all of their offices except those tied to the hospital. Team A is working now, then if they get infected, Team B will start working and so on. It's definitely an unusual experience. Usually, you have a lot of say in what goes on.”
With just a few weeks left to the due date, and with circumstances seemingly changing every day, the couple said Northside Hospital Forsyth, where they are planning to give birth, and Heidi's personal doctor have been on high alert to not spread the disease, including not allowing visitors to come to appointments with her.
“They have labor and delivery basically quarantined,” Heidi said. “Not even hospital staff is allowed to come and go from the other side of the hospital to labor and delivery.”
David, who is chief of the Cumming Police Department, said it even came down to a coin flip between him and Heidi's mom over who would be the one with her in the delivery, one of several adjustments the family has had to make with the coronavirus fallout.
“She had some complications during her first delivery,” David said. “This will be our second child together, and there's a lot of anxiety about the fact that only one person could come in with her. We had planned on having our 3-year-old with us. That would have been better for her. Now we have to find somebody to watch her.”
Even after the birth, health care professionals have told the family to continue practicing social distancing, which can be tough in a situation usually filled with friends and loved ones.
“So, that's tough, and I am a little disappointed by that, I'm not going to lie about that because even now, my doctor has told me to stay home as much as possible, use delivery services, try your best to keep yourself from being exposed,” Heidi said. “I have a lot of family that are still working and doing those things, and that's tough because they made it clear, even when the baby comes, not to chance anything, and that's going to be hard.
"I'm just going to pray that this whole thing is over before the baby is too much older because, of course, when you have a baby you are excited and want to share that with the world.”
Despite all the external factors surrounding the birth, David said they are trying to stay focused on the positives.
“Having a baby is a big deal, and her not being able to have her own doctor or have people there with her, that's certainly something that's going to cause a little anxiety, and it's not ideal, for sure,” he said. “But, at the end of the day, there are plenty of people who have it harder, so we're trying not to complain too loudly."