Mother describes giving birth inside Southeast Health amid the coronavirus pandemic

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As hospitals continue treating COVID-19 patients, there is another group of people being impacted by the deadly virus: expectant mothers.

Veronica and Shawn Hughes welcomed their daughter, Olivia Grace, April 8—three weeks after Southeast Health confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

“The closer we got, was when I felt like I really needed someone in the doctor’s office with me because I started feeling nervous,” said new mother Veronica Hughes. “And then that was the time when no one could.”

At the beginning of her pregnancy, Veronica said she dreamed of welcoming their daughter while being surrounded by family and friends

“I was really looking forward to them all being able to see her after she was born,” Veronica said.

However, with the rise of the Coronavirus, reality instead found Veronica, her husband, and the medical staff there to welcome the new arrival.

No dads running to get ice chips, no professional photographers capturing the special moment, no loved ones waiting for the big news.

“Anything we would need, we had to bring up,” Veronica explained. “I went as far as bringing the car seat in. I knew if we needed the car seat in here, he couldn’t go back and get it. Or if he went to go get it, he couldn’t come back in with it. So we didn’t need it, but I was unsure.”

A moment usually experienced together, having to be shared through a screen.

“My family got to meet her through FaceTime, through pictures,” Veronica said. “That was the reality.”

According to Veronica, delivering her child without family nearby was difficult, but was worth it to ensure the safety of her daughter.

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