Gillian McIntosh gave birth to her second child on Tuesday, but she doesn’t know it yet.
The 37-year-old remains in the intensive care unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, sedated and on a ventilator due to an aggressive case of COVID-19.
Her son was delivered by emergency caesarian section, two weeks premature, and remains in the neonatal intensive care unit — though mercifully COVID-negative.
“We got a healthy baby boy, but his mom doesn’t even know she’s delivered him yet, or that she’s had a boy,” McIntosh’s husband Dave told Global News, Friday.
Dave wasn’t even able to hold the infant himself until Thursday, because he and the couple’s two-year-old daughter Gemma had to isolate until they returned a negative COVID test.
The family still isn’t sure how Gillian contracted the virus.
“We really don’t know. Because she was so pregnant, she really didn’t go anywhere except to the hospital or to the daycare to pick up our daughter,” Dave said.
Gillian went to the hospital complaining of breathing problems, and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Nov. 6.
The hospital was keeping her for observation for a few days, when things took a turn for the worse.
“All of a sudden I get a phone call that they need to do an emergency C-section right away because her health was really starting to deteriorate,” Dave said.
“It’s been really tough. There’s nothing anyone can do.”
Dave said he’s been told that Gillian’s lungs have “taken a beating,” and that she’s only opened her eyes once since being sedated.
“It’s just nothing anyone ever could have seen coming,” he said. “There’s no book on how to deal with anything like this.”
A GoFundMe has been established for the family, and Dave said the wave of support from friends and strangers alike has been overwhelming.
In the meantime, he’s relying on his family and little Gemma, to help him get through the fear and anxiety of the situation.
“When I start feeling a little down or thinking about things too much I just look at her or watch what she’s doing and it will just take seconds before I smile or laugh,” he said.
“She misses her mum a lot too, but we’ve definitely helped each other through this.”
— With files from Jordan Armstrong