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Faces of COVID: Delivering baby during the pandemic

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – We continue to celebrate frontline healthcare workers and tell their stories of how they’ve connected with patients and created a unique experience in the pandemic. ‘Faces of Covid Caregivers’ include nurses at Intermountain Bear River Valley Hospital in Tremonton, Utah. They found a creative way to allow loved ones to see their newborn grandbaby.

Despite the challenges COVID-19 has placed on hospitals and staff there is a healthy amount of silver linings ‘born’ out of the pandemic. Had it not been the restrictions and the pandemic we might not have seen the outpouring when first time mom, Keshley Rhodes, went into labor. Keshley said, ‘it was the end of June and it was really hot.’

When Keshley Rhodes went into labor at Intermountain Bear River Valley Hospital she imagined a few more people in the delivery room with her. Keshley said, ‘originally I wanted my boyfriend, both sets of mothers and my sister.’

But with the pandemic, she could only pick two people, her boyfriend, and her mother. COVID-19 forced changes at the hospital. In Labor and Delivery, the staff had to reduce the number of loved ones allowed in the room from 5 to 2 and the two people you picked could not be switched during mom’s stay.

Keshley said, ‘it was really heartbreaking because when I found out I was pregnant, I thought I’m going to have all of these people in and I imagined it would be so great to see all of the faces seeing him for the first time.’

Stacie Colby, RN, said, ‘providing care has been different and difficult, especially in childbirth it’s a moment they’re going to remember for the rest of their life.’ The restriction said nothing about limiting people outside of the building. It just so happened Keshley was put in a corner room on the first floor with windows. Colby said, ‘all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye out the window comes a couple of people come walking up with camp chairs.’

More trickled in on this scorching summer day all willing to camp out from 10 in the morning until 10 at night waiting for little Boone’s arrival.

Colby said, ‘people kept coming, it was adorable. I’m like what’s up with this? It was the sweetest and they were camped out the whole time. It was a crew, it was like a soccer team and everyone was under the tent.’ Keshley said, ‘I don’t know if it was divine intervention or what that she was my nurse that day.’

Stacie Colby is a Registered Nurse and the Shared Leader in Labor and Delivery at Intermountain Bear River Valley Hospital. She understands the meaning of the human connection for mom’s ‘birth day’ Stacie said, ‘with Keshley it was cute. She was a first-time mom and nervous. It’s important to give support and sometimes it comes from extra family.’

The staff chipped in to make the day even more special. The maintenance worker brought a canopy, then the cafeteria folks brought water, the night staff provided lighting so Keshley’s entourage could see their grandbaby through the window. Stacie said, ‘it was such a moving experience we’ve all been affected by negative things because of COVID, and to see something sweet, and it warmed our hearts.’

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