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'A Little Stressful': Springfield Mom Adjusts Birth Plan For Pandemic

Amanda Meg Photography

With pregnancy comes a multitude of changes—both physical and emotional. As a delivery date draws near, women often experience a sense of calm. But what happens when baby is due during a global pandemic? KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert speaks with a very expectant Springfield mom -- who is preparing to give birth in the age of coronavirus.

Cecilia Woods is pregnant with her third child. She’s delivering with nurse midwives at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center in Springfield and feeling the squeeze of tighter hospital controls due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a disappointment that her family can’t be together for the birth.

“They’ve restricted it to no visitors,” says Woods. “And only one support person in the delivery room with me. My hope is that they won’t restrict that any further. Because I don’t know what I would do without my husband there.”

Woods says the things she worries about today weren’t even considerations 3 weeks ago.

“I have heard that if a mom has tested positive for COVID-19 that they would isolate the mother from the baby,” she says. “Hopefully that isn’t something I have to worry about. But it is a big source of anxiety for me.”

Credit Amanda Meg Photography
The Woods family, (left) dad, Nathan, 5 year old Francesca, 2 year old Vivienne and expectant mom, Cecilia. They are waiting until the delivery day to find out if they will have a son or another daughter!

Woods acknowledges McKenzie Willamette is taking a lot of precautions. She’s seen how everyone is screened for fever before entering. And she noticed the mobile triage unit outside the ER. That provides some solace.

“I know that laboring mothers will go to a separate entrance entirely,” she says, “so that gives me some peace of mind as well.”

But Woods realizes when it is time to deliver her baby, she will be in the same building with a lot of very sick people.

“I think just knowing there could potentially be virus in that area is a little stressful.”

I asked Woods if she’s afraid.

“I am afraid-- not because of the virus itself necessarily-- but just of the potential of not having my husband there. The potential of giving birth alone. The potential of not being able to be with my baby,” says Woods.

Yet beyond her fears, this mama has hope.

“Right now, I know this seems selfish. But I hope that I will be able to give birth before anything gets too out of control,” she says. “And ultimately I just hope for the health of my family and for our community to be able to start living our lives and be able to connect once again.”

Cecilia Woods is due to give birth on April 8th, 2020.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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