Sarah Nealy

"Giving birth to your first child is an exciting and nerve-racking experience. Now throw in a pandemic."
Sarah, Trevor And Norah Nealy

Sarah and Trevor Nealy with their daughter, Norah Grace

Giving birth to your first child is a unique, exciting and nerve-racking experience. Now throw in a pandemic. That’s where I found myself on May 1, when my daughter, Norah Grace, was born at Virginia Hospital Center.

In the weeks before she arrived, my husband, Trevor, wasn’t allowed to come to any OB visits or ultrasounds due to Covid-19 safety precautions. I had to go alone. Masks were required at all times.

Being pregnant, we were advised to stay quarantined up until the delivery. It meant time to rest and relax before the baby came, but I also felt cooped up and frustrated as we struggled to prepare for our new addition with everything closed and shut down.

All pregnant women are required to take a Covid-19 test before leaving triage and going to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. That, admittedly, was rough. The test was painful, and even though I tested negative, it was a tense few minutes waiting for the results.

I had originally planned to have several family members with me during labor and delivery, but Covid-19 precautions limited me to one support person. That was Trevor.

In retrospect, the limitation may have been a blessing in disguise. Sharing the experience with only my husband was intimate and special. I think having more people there would have made it stressful.

Instead, what I remember are the supportive hospital staff; a loving, attentive husband and father; the nurse who held my leg while I pushed; the doctor’s motivational words that kept me going; the other nurse who cleaned me up afterward with kindness and without judgment.

And most of all, the beautiful baby girl who, after a three-day stay in the NICU, is now home with us. We couldn’t be more in love.


Readers: We want to hear your stories. Send your 300-word COVID-19 story and a photo to editorial@arlingtonmagazine.com.  You can read more Covid Chronicles essays here

Categories: Covid Chronicles
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