2020 | Coronavirus Chronicles

Coronavirus Chronicles: Born in the time of the coronavirus

‘Little did we know that we would be expecting our first child while working as physicians during the coronavirus pandemic.’

The essay author's newborn daughter, Olivia

From Dr. Margaret Holmes

(Editor’s note: This essay is part of Bethesda Beat’s Coronavirus Chronicles personal essay series. Visit the submission page to learn more.)

Baby Olivia was born on April 6, 2020 — right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

My husband and I delayed having children for years while pursuing our dreams of becoming physicians. We met at the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 2008 and traveled the long road of medical education together, including residency and fellowships in the Washington, D.C. area.

When we finally completed our training and bought a house in Chevy Chase, we knew what our next adventure would be: starting a family. Little did we know that we would be expecting our first child while working as physicians during the coronavirus pandemic.

With Olivia on the way, we were extra careful to take recommended precautions such as frequent hand washing and wearing masks.

When it came time for me to deliver, my husband was the only person allowed to be with me during my C-section and subsequent hospital stay. Even our parents were not allowed to visit.

These were small sacrifices for the safety of everyone in the hospital and we are thankful that Olivia was born healthy despite the pandemic.

I am currently on eight weeks of maternity leave. My husband has gone back to work and is doing his best to care for his patients while staying safe.

After a day of seeing patients, my husband enters our home through the basement and throws his scrubs into the washing machine before showering. Then, he can proceed upstairs to see me and our baby girl.

We hope this is enough to keep us all safe. We look forward to a time when the pandemic subsides and we can see our family and friends again — and Olivia can finally meet them.

Dr. Margaret Holmes is a pathologist who lives in Chevy Chase.

Read other essays in the Coronavirus Chronicles series.

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