It was April 2020 and the height of the global pandemic. Cases of COVID-19 were soaring across the state.
Fraught with stress, knowing that information about the virus was changing constantly, Sophie Cohen, who was due with her third child, knew that this time would be different. She talks about the birth of her third daughter, the added anxiety that came from making decisions when no one knew much about the virus and how different it is raising a newborn during a global health crisis.
You were pregnant when the lockdown came?
Yes. I was due in April. In March, when the pandemic hit, we heard that the New York hospitals were not allowing spouses in for the delivery. I started to worry I might be alone in the hospital. We began researching home births to see if that was a better option. And, we asked ourselves — if we both go to the hospital, who will watch our older daughters? Is it safe to have anyone in the house?
So what happened?
I was two weeks early and when I went into labor, my husband happened to be at his office – he’s self-employed – picking up a few things. I ended up driving myself to the hospital. It felt like a ghost town. Everyone was quarantining. My husband eventually met me there. Ultimately everything felt normal at the hospital, aside from the full PPE that the healthcare workers were wearing.
I remember I asked my mother to come over to watch our daughters and that only increased my anxiety. At that time, we didn’t have much information about the coronavirus, and I was scared about exposing her.