Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center.
My COVID-19 Delivery: Why Visitor Restrictions Were to Our Benefit
My first son was born over Memorial Day in 2019. We welcomed him with a whirlwind birth story that included an emergency c-section and five extra days in the hospital. We welcomed a myriad of guests through our recovery room doors while I struggled to physically cope with having a c-section. Of course, as with all first time moms, I was also learning how to breastfeed a newborn while enduring sleep deprivation like never before. Each visitor had the best intentions of celebrating the birth of our first child with us in the most positive ways, but honestly? I cried a little when I heard each new knock at the door. Every friend and family brought a gift, coffee, or offered to hold the baby, but what I really needed was a nap and time for ME to hold my baby … alone.
It’s not that I didn’t want the visitors or the support, but I just couldn’t handle it all happening at the same time. I could barely walk, I was bleeding from everywhere, and I hadn’t showered in well over the socially accepted time frame (even for a hospital stay). On top of all that, breastfeeding felt like the most uncoordinated event I had ever attempted. As the due date of my second baby approached, I thought back on those memories of welcoming my first and secretly prayed for the silver lining of COVID-19 visitor restrictions to work in my favor.
During COVID-19 my OBGYN’s office and Oschner Lafayette General Medical Center implemented visitor restrictions that created hard boundaries for all of our well meaning friends and families. These boundaries and rules left me without any emotional guilt or hardship. Just like curbside delivery and in-app shopping is here to stay, I think Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center should keep the restricted visitor policy for delivering mothers indefinitely.
Dr. Nicole Harper and her staff at Southern OBGYN gave me all of the information and support I needed to work with the COVID-19 visitor policy restrictions. On the day of my scheduled c-section for baby number two the visitor policy had just changed from allowing the same one visitor to allowing just one visitor, though any one visitor, during the duration of your recovery. This was the magical answer that worked for our family. One visitor could be there to help us as needed and shower the baby with love and cuddles while still allowing each of the grandparents to pay a visit.
Graham Bradley Broussard was born October 20, 2021. A slew of friends and family were happily alerted via text, phone call, and FaceTime as we were willing and able. We welcomed him peacefully to the recovery room where we got to become new parents all over again, but this time in the most calm and uninterrupted way. The COVID-19 restricted policy Ochsner Lafayette General had in place gave me the full support to keep everyone else at bay while I met my new body and baby post delivery.
While I despise COVID-19 and all the cruel loss it has brought to our lives, both collectively and individually, I do appreciate the restricted visitor policy for deliveries that Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center had in place during my delivery. I needed the decision to be made for me because the thought of planning out my personal preference on a visitor policy was near the very bottom of my to-do list as we approached my due date. I was so thankful that I could just recite the restricted visitor policy for anyone wanting to unexpectedly visit my recovery room. Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center making that decision for me took the weight and responsibility of caring about friends and family’s feelings off of my plate. Hopefully the restricted visitor policy sticks around for my next delivery.