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Mothers of newborns share trials of having babies during a global pandemic

Three photos of mothers holding newborn babies.
New mothers, pictured left to right, Kierra Lopis, Anudari Enkhbat and Lupe Resture, say they are taking extra precautions to protect the health of their newborns during the pandemic.

While much of the world has experienced a temporary pause in work and regular routines, life has continued to move forward for mothers having children during this time. BYU-Hawaii student-mothers described their journey of what life looked like leading up to the hospital, their experience inside and life afterward with a newborn amid the restrictions. 

“I was alone in the hospital during my labor,” said Kierra Lopis, a junior from Taiwan majoring in TESOL. Her baby boy was born on March 28, 2020. Lopis continued, “It was not very fun to [have] labor and a baby during the coronavirus.” 

Lopis said the night before her scheduled induction appointment, her husband got sick with a fever from working in the rain. They went to the hospital the next day, but they were not permitted to enter until they were tested for COVID-19. Her husband’s fever went away while they waited to get tested, but because he no longer displayed symptoms, he couldn’t get tested. However, they were given a doctor’s note for her husband to be able to go to the hospital. 

The next day, Lopis said she was having contractions and was ready to go into labor. Her husband called the hospital to ensure he would be permitted, but he was told he would not be able to enter without having a negative result of a COVID-19 test. 

Reflecting on the advantages of having a baby amid the global pandemic, Lopis said, “It was a very special time to be alone in the hospital and was a big blessing for me. Before we had our baby, we would worry if he would be safe in the hospital. It was a blessing, everyone treated me like a COVID-19 patient because of my husband’s fever.” 

Lupe Resture, a senior from Fiji majoring in IT and entrepreneurship, said she had her baby girl on March 12, 2020. She said it was scary to have her baby during this time because she was constantly thinking about keeping her baby safe from the virus. 

Resture commented on the blessings she has experienced while having a baby amid the pandemic. She said, “It is special because I can stay with her at home for more than six weeks, and we could have our sacrament meeting with her for the first time at home, along with her baby blessing soon.” 

Resture talked about the precautions she is taking during this time with her baby. 

“A lot of friends and family want to visit us, and I am always worried about them touching the baby because we will never know what could happen. Even though some people don’t show symptoms, they could be carriers of the virus.” 

Anudari Enkhbat, a sophomore from Mongolia majoring in accounting, said she had her baby boy on March 20, 2020. She commented on the experience she had while having her baby during this time. She said, “I urgently had to have a C-section, and that was difficult for me because I couldn’t recover in four to five days. My baby and I were still in the hospital after six days. And when I came home, COVID-19 was getting worse day by day.” 

Enkhbat said the day her son was born, the BYU–Hawaii announced classes would be moved online. “It affected me mentally and physically because I couldn’t go anywhere with my baby. We couldn’t go outside because we were afraid of the coronavirus. I was really nervous about that. I know he needs more oxygen and vitamin D.” 

However, Enkhbat said school being moved online turned out to be a blessing for her. She said, “If we didn’t have COVID-19, I would need to go to school. If that was the case, I would have some struggles with it because a C-section requires a lot of energy, even if it is [just] walking.”