Birthing plans are always left to chance but this was an extraordinary departure from what Calgarian Tina Wesley envisioned for baby Oscar’s welcome into the world.
“That’s clearly not how anyone plans to have a baby,” Wesley said.
The 35-year-old mom delivered her newborn son several weeks early by an emergency C-section on April 26. She had just been admitted to hospital the day before after testing positive for COVID-19. She was intubated and in a coma for over a week and a half after Oscar’s birth.
“I woke up nine days later, and I didn’t remember anything. I didn’t remember I was pregnant or even how I got to the hospital,” Wesley said. “I didn’t witness any of his birth. I wasn’t a part of it.
“I feel robbed. I lost those little moments.”
She was a healthy woman who never expected to get so sick and wants to share her story with others.
“I didn’t expect it to hit somebody at my age so hard and it made a life-changing moment. There is a lot to process and there will be for years to come,” Wesley said.
Because they had to protect Oscar from being infected, the new mom didn’t get any cuddles. The first moment she saw him was on a tablet. She never got to hold him until he was almost two-and-a-half weeks old.
“The first time, I Zoomed for a whole hour. When I was talking, he was more awake than he’d ever been,” Wesley said.
“It was so heart filling but it made me want to cry because he was a floor underneath me and I couldn’t be with him.”
Wesley’s 10-year-old daughter was the first in the family to test positive. Wesley’s partner, Oscar’s dad, also tested positive.
“It did open conversations I didn’t think I would need to have,” Wesley said. “My children almost lost their mother. My son would have never met me. My daughter — I can’t imagine the pressure she felt.”
Wesley has been home for close to three weeks. She went through physio and is very slowly rebuilding her strength after losing a lot of muscle mass.
“I’m grateful I did make it out — unlike a lot of people.”