NewsRegionBaltimore County


Pikesville couple celebrates the light of their daughter's birth during this dark time

Posted at 8:39 AM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 10:21:13-04

TOWSON, Md. — Can you imagine having a baby during a global pandemic? Well, it's happening every day.

"The basic underlying principal of what we do hasn’t really changed much. Moms are still coming in in labor. Moms are still having babies. Our labor and delivery is still running," said Dr. Laura Erdman from the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

How patients and even doctors get to the delivery portion of the hospital is very different. "We have to stop at a check point. We’re asked questions about Covid-19 symptoms. If we don’t have any symptoms, we have our temperature taken, that happens daily. We get a sticker that says we’re cleared to pass through to hospital grounds," Dr. Erdman. Then, everyone is required to wear a face mask. Doctors and nurses also have full personal protective equipment they have to wear in certain scenarios, like checking in on moms during labor.

"It’s odd to walk into somebody's room who’ve you’ve known for nine months and taken care of and have to reintroduce yourself because they don’t know what you look like," said Dr. Erdman.

Dr. Erdman has delivered many babies, including little Eliora, who was born on April 19th.

"There's a reason we gave this little one the name that we did. Her name translates from the Biblical Hebrew divine light so it’s pretty dark out there. No one knows what the futures gonna hold but the least we can do is look toward the lights," said Ari Mittleman.

For Ari and his wife, Tara Brown, Eliora is their light during this dark time. She's extra special for these two since they struggled with infertility for so long. To have their baby in the middle of a global pandemic, was a little nerve racking.

"I was pretty down, I think a lot of people were. It had the potential to take the joy out of a miracle which is having a child," said Tara. She added, "it’s okay to panic for a little bit, it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to be uncertain but you have to focus on the beauty and the magic of bringing another life into the world and it’s a reminder that life does go on."

with constant changes, the couple realized the birth of their little girl wouldn't go quite as planned. Their GBMC breastfeeding classes were canceled and they had to cancel their home nurse who was coming fro New York. It really hit them about a month out from their due date, when Ari wasn't allowed in the hospital for his wife's check up.

Ari said, "I found out after finding parking that I have to hang out in the car that I wasn’t allowed upstairs."

When it was finally time for delivery, Ari was allowed in the room. GBMC's policy usually allows five people in the room during labor, three when it's time to push and as many visitors after birth. Now, no visitors are allowed in the hospital.

"We kind of joke. I’m one person but I had the energy and contributed enough for five people," said Ari.

All of these are just safety precautions to make sure everyone stays healthy. Dr. Erdman said, even now, the hospital is the safest place to have a baby.

"We're taking all precautions to ensure not only a safe delivery but a memorable delivery. It’s such an important time we wanted to make sure we have patient centered care and have moms recall their delivery with great joy and not as a fearful event but something that changed their lives in a wonderful way," said Dr. Erdman.

With no complications or worries, Eliora was born and the three of them got to go home after two nights. Tara said she felt safe and comfortable the entire time.

"Despite the times that were in. Despite the fact that he was the only visitor in the room, which I think in hindsight is a good thing. Despite that they’re in full PPE, they made us feel like we’re having a baby and this is an exciting amazing moment and we should embrace it and be joyous and have a great time and they did that," said Tara.

Ari and Tara have a strong community who've supported them over the years, a group they've been looking forward to celebrate with. They're planning a big first birthday bash to make up for it. Until then, they're sending their friends and family plenty of pictures and videos of little Eliora.