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Giving birth in the epicenter of the pandemic

Thousands of women in the U.S. have given birth over the last month, many in the very hospitals where medical professionals have been preparing for an onslaught of patients stricken with COVID-19. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Karla Murthy spoke with one woman living in New York City about her recent experience giving birth amid the pandemic.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    Graduations, weddings, even memorial services can be postponed during a pandemic, as painful as that may be for those involved. But what about life-events that can't wait — giving birth, for example. NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Karla Murthy spoke to new mom, Christina Lewis Halpern, about what it's like to become a parent while so much feels like it's crumbling all around you.

  • Karla Murthy:

    As the news was getting more dire. I mean, especially you're in the epicenter, you're in New York City. How did you cope?

  • Christina Lewis Halpern:

    You know, it was really, really scary. I'll say one thing when people would ask me how I'm doing. I'd say, you know, we're kind of great, you know, as a family. We really had something great to look forward to. It does look like children are really not affected so badly by, you know, by Covid. And so that's really the most important thing. You know, like a happy, healthy baby at the end of it. And so we still always have that, you know, reasonably to look forward to. Like I'm not confused about what I need to do. You know, we need to stay in the city near our doctors and, and just ride this thing out.

  • Karla Murthy:

    Tell me about that. You know, the moment you saw your daughter,

  • Christina Lewis Halpern:

    it was very dramatic. They stopped me into the wheelchair at the door to check my temperature, even though I was writhing in the throes of labor because it was happening really fast.

    And so when she was born and it was over, I saw her for the first time and I mean it was a little miracle. I couldn't believe it. But there she was and it was done and she was healthy and I was healthy. We're all there. And I mean, I can't, I've never been more relieved in my entire life.

  • Christina Lewis Halpern:

    Yeah. She just woke up. And yeah, so you know one thing now is that we were always planning to nest, you know. So in the same way, our, no, my plan hasn't changed at all. It was always planning to be not working. Not really going that many places. Not traveling too much. So we're really, really lucky and happy. And that's what I wish for everyone else. Pregnant in the pandemic. It can be. You know, it can be. It will be, I hope, a source of joy, you know, in all this. In this terrible terrible time we're living in.

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