While pregnancy is a joyous time, it can also be challenging. Whether you are expecting your first child or fourth, pregnancy can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll. And when you bring a global health crisis into the mix, it can create anxiety and worry. My message to other expectant mothers is: don’t let it.
Who would have thought a global health crisis would occur in the midst of my pregnancy?
Having worked at West Chester Hospital since it opened in 2009, I am familiar with the hospital setting and clinical processes. I am proud of the care we provide for our patients and how we all work together like a big family. And, when a pandemic occurs, you really need your family.
I became pregnant with my third child in June 2019 and we were looking forward to welcoming our little girl, Aubrie, into the world! Little did we know, COVID-19 would welcome itself first.
When I initially learned about COVID-19 expanding to the United States, I was not concerned, thinking its impact would be similar to the flu. As things progressed and I learned more, I became concerned. At West Chester Hospital, we immediately started preparing for COVID-19 patients and soon we had confirmed cases in Butler County, with my hospital receiving the first COVID-19 positive patients. I started to feel very anxious about the impact this virus could potentially have on my baby, both in the womb and once she was born. There was, and is still, so much unknown regarding the impact of this virus. I was able to work from home the final two weeks of my pregnancy as COVID-19 started to impact the community. My family and friends were really concerned about me working in the hospital environment.
When it came to the birth of my baby, I did not have any hesitation about delivering at West Chester Hospital. Having a baby at the hospital where I work was an absolute blessing as I knew I would receive exceptional care. The staff included me in all parts of the birth plan and explained the personal protective equipment (PPE) that they would wear during and after delivery.
My OB/GYN, Dr. David Kappa, explained that the hospital and the staff were being exceptionally cautious due to COVID-19, which included the limit of one supportive person during my hospital stay, my husband, Dustin. Due to some medical issues, he also determined that the safest way to deliver the baby was by C-section under general anesthesia.
Dr. Kappa provided his perspective about the likelihood of COVID-19 impacting my delivery, sharing that he did not expect any impact on me or the baby during my stay. His kind and calming words put my mind more at ease. I was reassured of all the steps the staff were taking to keep both Aubrie and myself safe.
The greatest thing the nurses did for me was keeping me constantly informed. They were empathetic regarding my thoughts and feelings and never made me feel like I was overreacting or being dramatic when I expressed concerns. They made my delivery as special and calm as possible.
On March 30, Aubrie was born at 8am, weighing 6lbs 9oz and length of 21 inches. She is healthy, happy, and growing every day.
While I understand that not everyone is not accustomed to being within a hospital setting, I want to emphasize that I know from my healthcare background and my personal delivery experience that hospitals keep their patients’ health and safety top of mind, practicing strict safety precautions – not only during a pandemic, but 24/7/365.
Amie Williams, of West Chester Township, Ohio, has been happily married to her best friend, Dustin, for more than eight years. The couple is blessed with three children: Luke, 5, Colton, 4, and Aubrie, 8 weeks.
Amie serves as rehabilitation services manager for UC Health’s West Chester Hospital, overseeing inpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy services. She has been employed at West Chester Hospital it first opened in May, 2009. She holds a bachelor of science degree in applied health sciences from Bowling Green State University, and a master of science degree in occupational therapy from Xavier University.
Amie enjoys camping and attending community activities with her family.