US Dad Forced to Watch Birth of Son Via Zoom Due to COVID-19by Laura Driver
With work meetings being moved to online via Zoom and a lot of us having virtual get-togethers with friends and family during lockdown how would you feel about giving birth via video call?
One mum was forced to do just with her partner watching on Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Stephanie Gandelman, 34, from Jersey City, New Jersey, delivered their son Jake two weeks ago while husband Marty, 34, watched on from their sofa.
The couple had endured fertility issues. They had gone through four rounds of IVF and three miscarriages before the arrival of their son so the birth of Jake was a long-awaited moment.
When the couple learned of coronavirus, Stephanie admitted it only made her more nervous. She began quarantine two weeks before her due date and with social distancing restrictions in place, was forced to attend her final doctor's appointments and ultrasounds alone.
Stephanie explained: “I was honestly just waiting for another miscarriage to happen, I was just terrified that this pregnancy wasn’t going to end with me having a baby.”
But it wasn’t until Stephanie decided to be induced at 39 weeks the reality of how alone she would really be sunk in. Four days before her induction, Stephanie and Marty received an email from their doctor explaining that spouses were not permitted to attend labour, delivery or postpartum.
Although the news left Marty “really sad” Stephanie admitted that they were just focused on bringing a healthy baby into the world. She continued: “In all honesty as long as my baby was safe that was all I kept thinking about, of course it saddened me that he wasn’t going to be there but it wasn’t the end of the world.”
Stephanie left Marty with a to-do list and he dropped her off at the hospital, kissing her goodbye before driving back home again. Once she was settled in the labour ward Stephanie, who had to wear a mask throughout her stay, then set Marty up on a Zoom call, dubbing him her “robot husband.” Stephanie was induced on March 27, and Marty watched on a laptop screen as his son came into the world. His birth was not an easy one with doctors forced to use forceps to deliver the boy, but Stephanie was delighted as doctors told her “he’s perfect.”
Marty came to collect his wife and son from the Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhatten, New York where he instantly went into “dad mode.” Marty said: “When I finally met Jake it was such a great feeling. ‘I gave him and kiss and a cuddle and then drove home to isolate away from everything. It’s just the three of us at home and we haven’t had any visitors yet because of coronavirus.”
The couple has been unable to introduce their son to their parents and friends which has been “hard” but they admit they are loving family life.
Stephanie said: “It wasn’t the perfect labour but we made it work. It feels perfect now to be home as a little family.”