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New mom shares how she delivered her baby while COVID positive

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Lauren Swope’s daughter Arabella will have quite the story to tell when she grows up.

“What a crazy birth story she has, especially because the outcome was what we wanted it to be,” Swope said.

Swope, now a mother of three, was a patient at University of Maryland Medical Center — battling COVID for a second time — when she went into labor.

“During that time is when I really had no exposure to my family or anybody. I was here in the hospital,” Swope said. “Your anxiety naturally just goes through the roof and I felt that 100 percent.”

Swope described the ventilator being on hand as she was about to give birth to her daughter. She, her husband and their two older children all tested positive for COVID-19 at the time.

“I only had Dr. Crimmins on one side and a nurse on my other side holding my hand and they were really just cheering me on the entire time,” Swope said, describing how she needed a central line and general anesthesia. She said a nurse, Nicole Sweeney, held her hand throughout the insertion of catheter lines.

“Trying to make sure patients feel supported in the absence of their family is probably the biggest challenge,” UMMC Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services for Women’s and Children’s Health Monika Bauman said. “During this pandemic, all of us probably have a greater appreciation to what that human touch does for us. It’s something as nurses that we just naturally do.”

Arabella was born happy, healthy, COVID-negative and likely, mom said, with COVID antibodies. Swope said she and her family are now fully recovered from the virus.

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