Medical Appointments Were Restricted to Just the Patient

Pregnant woman at her ultrasound appointment to see her baby
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Pregnant woman at her ultrasound appointment to see her baby

One of the measures that was implemented in many clinics and hospitals was the restriction of visitors in certain areas, such as ultrasound departments, labor and delivery units, and surgical suites. This was done to limit the number of people in the facility at any given time, and to reduce exposure for patients, staff, and visitors.

Before the pandemic, clinics and hospitals had always had specific guidelines for visitors during appointments, surgeries, and child birthing. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, many clinics and hospitals enforced much tighter restrictions.

When women are going through a pregnancy, they require multiple, in-person clinic visits for measurements, exams, and lab tests to ensure the health of the mother and baby. For ultrasound and other prenatal measurement appointments, which were usually times of excitement, women commonly bring their partners, family, and children with to share in the moment. Many clinics and hospitals restricted additional people in the room or limited it to one.

In some cases, during child birth, only the expectant mother was allowed in the delivery room, while others allowed only one support person. Furthermore, individuals were required to wear masks during delivery. As a result, family members, doulas, and birth photographers (yes, this is thing) were left without access. After the delivery, visitors were restricted as well, leaving some mothers without the postpartum support they needed.

Although some hospitals had relaxed their policies, others continued to enforce restrictions that would change at any time depending on the pandemic's status. It was hard for expecting families to adequately construct a birthing plan, which in and of itself caused extra stress.

For other types of surgeries, the visitation limit was similar, allowing one or even no visitors for patients. For children having a surgery, that would mean picking which parent could stay with the child. For adult children, helping to get an elderly parent guided through a procedure proved to be difficult. While the restrictions were put in place to keep everyone safe, they caused extra stress for families.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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