A Joyous Arrival in a Challenging Time
That’s how Nicole Loehr describes her experience at Decatur Memorial Hospital where she and her husband, Zachary, recently welcomed their first child.
“With COVID-19, I honestly was really scared,” said Nicole, a 25-year old nursing student who has worked at DMH for the past seven years. “I cried a lot; I was afraid my husband couldn’t be with me in the hospital. I even considered an at-home delivery at one point.
“As a nurse, I tried to be logical,” said Nicole, “but as a new mom-to-be, I was very emotional.”
Two weeks before her due date, Nicole was sent to DMH for a routine check-up. When she arrived for her appointment, staff discovered Nicole was in labor.
“Since I had worked at DMH for several years, I knew a lot of the staff,” Nicole said, “and I knew they were super-competent and were following all of the COVID-19 safety precautions.”
Under the current COVID-19 safety protocols, all staff members are required to wear a mask—either a medical-grade mask, a Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) or an N95 respirator mask, depending on their role. Even while in labor and delivery, Nicole was required to wear a mask.
“But even behind all the masks, I could see the smiles; their eyes told me they cared,” Nicole said.
On April 21, following 14 hours of labor, Daxton Charles came into the world weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
“My baby didn’t leave my hospital room during my entire stay, not for any reason,” Nicole said. “He was with me the entire time—whether to be circumcised or for any testing; he was with me constantly.
“This was by far one of the best experiences I have had,” said Nicole “They did everything in their power to make sure we were okay. They did an amazing job. I was so impressed. Everyone was amazing.”