Mother’s Day this year is liable to be a bit different for many people due to the precautions association with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for the women who have become mothers for the first time during the pandemic, the precautions in place at local hospitals have been both bitter and sweet.
Hannah Potapov, 20, gave birth to her first child Wednesday at Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center. The boy she named Adonis weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces. His father, Kevin Simes Jr., 20, of Prosper, is a student at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Also celebrating bringing home a new child this Mother’s Day, Shelby Willis and her husband Troy welcomed their son Beckett Edward to the world on Thursday at Texoma Medical Center in Denison. The baby boy weighed 8 pounds and 8 ounces.
The new parents teach in the Bells Independent School District.
Potapov said welcoming her son into the world during the pandemic was worrisome.
“You’re worried about going out and being around anyone and letting anyone see him,” she said. “Its really sad to because I want to show him to a lot of my friends and friends that I consider family we can’t guarantee that anything is safe.”
Potapov said she and Simes had planned to have their parents and siblings at the hospital to help welcome their son into the world, but COVID-19 restrictions didn’t allow that.
“It’s kind of hard,” she said. “It’s a little lonely without all of the support.”
The pandemic precautions haven't been all bad for the new parents.
Shelby Willis said the lack of visitors has allowed them take things at a slower pace without the constant interruptions of visitors.
"We've had time to figure this thing out together just the three of us," she said. It even gave the couple time to sit and figure out a name for their little bundle of joy.
Both hospitals have provided tablets to those welcoming babies during the pandemic to allow them to communicate electronically with family and friends who could not actually come into the hospital to visit.
TMC Director of Women's and Children's Services Angela Yancey said the there have been 115 babies delivered at the hospital in April. WNJ' s Labor and Delivery team have welcomed 48 babies since mid March.
Both women said even though their experiences have been different than what they first planned, they have still had experiences that will stay with them forever.
"I have a whole new respect for all mothers having gone through childbirth. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done for sure," Shelby said. Potapov said she too, has very strong memories of her birthing experience in which she elected not to receive any pain medication.
Both women said that in the past their Mother's Day experiences centered around celebrating their mothers and grandmothers.
For Potapov, that would have included going out to dinner. This year, of course that will be different.
She said she knows some places are opened back up for seated dining, but with the new baby she just doesn’t feel comfortable being around that many strangers. So, she will be celebrating with a meal at home with family who she feels safe allowing some close contact.
The Willis family will be at home, too. Shelby Willis said her parents will get to see their second grandchild through the glass door at his new home and her husband's parents will get to view the baby, their first grandchild, the same way as they continue to practice social distancing.