Going into labor is a daunting task for any woman under normal circumstances, let alone when they’re forced to deal with the added pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.
Spare a thought, then, for Jennifer and Andrew Laubach, a couple in Clarkston, Michigan, who were set to welcome twins to the world while believed to both have COVID-19.
As per reports, Jennifer was battling symptoms right up until the day before her water broke eight weeks before her due date, though she didn’t yet know she had coronavirus. Her husband Andrew, meanwhile, was fighting a violent cough and struggling to breathe as normal, which raised a number of red flags.
With the pair enroute to the hospital, their doctor called to tell them that Andrew had tested positive for coronavirus, meaning he couldn’t accompany Jennifer.
“When I dropped him back off at home, I was worried that I might not see him again,” Jennifer told the Detroit Free Press. “I was afraid he was going to die in his sleep, and he was all by himself.”
She told Andrew she loved him as he got out of the car. Andrew could only nod in return.
He told the Detroit Free Press: “I thought, ‘I know I’m going to miss the birth of my children. But I’m on the brink of death’.”
By the time Jennifer got to the hospital, she had decided Andrew needed to call 911. An ambulance arrived at their house and his oxygen levels were checked. EMT workers, however, deemed them acceptable, so Andrew didn’t need to go to hospital.
“It was the virus, me, God and the cats,” Andrew said. “There were a couple of times it was touch and go. It was scary. … I knew that I was one push away from where it could take me out.”
Jennifer, meanwhile, was in a war of her own. She had to wait for an isolated room because it was assumed she was also COVID-19-positive.
“My maternal instinct just kicked in, and I didn’t want to cause undue stress on myself or the babies so I just tried to remain calm,” Jennifer told Good Morning America.
So it was that she welcomed twin boys to the world, naming them Maksim and Mitchell. The boys were taken straight to a quarantine ICU for newborns – Jennifer was unable to hold them.
“I was isolated again from my family and friends and couldn’t see my babies, and I was going through some postpartum depression I’m sure,” Jennifer, who tested positive after giving birth, told GMA.
“My nurse stayed with me throughout the entire first two nights I was in the hospital. I didn’t have anyone else.”
All told, it would be three weeks before the couple recovered. By April 23 they had tested negative for coronavirus and were allowed to see their twin boys.
As per GMA, Mitchell, who weighed 4 lbs, 3 oz at birth, went home with his parents on Saturday. Maksim has needed the help of a ventilator and a feeding tube, but he’s since come off of both and is making progress towards coming home.
Jennifer now has a warning for others:
“I just want people to take this virus seriously. Don’t take your loved ones for granted, that’s for sure. My heart goes out to all the people who don’t have a happy ending.”
Thank the Lord that this little family looks to have pulled through. I can only imagine the added stress COVID-19 must have placed on everything.
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