That magical first meeting with your newborn baby is something forever implanted in parents’ memories. Looking into the eyes of the little one you created is truly a miracle. But one Kentucky mom didn’t get to experience that wonderful feeling — or lay eyes on her baby at all — until a month after giving birth!
After testing positive for COVID-19 at 33 weeks pregnant, Michaela Dailey slept for two days straight before her family took her to the emergency room, according to a story by WHAS11 on Jan. 26. “The last thing I remember them saying is, ‘We’re calling your doctor, we have to take your baby.’ Then I woke up at UofL [University of Louisville Health] and that was a month and a half later,” Dailey told the station. Later, she added, “I never got to experience the itty bitty stage of her.”
Can you imagine waking up a month and a half after your baby is born? Our hearts go out to this mom who didn’t get to prepare for her baby’s arrival — and wasn’t even awake during the birth! When the labor and delivery nurse takes your baby for a few minutes to clean and check them for vitals it’s hard enough, so I can’t imagine missing about 6 weeks of your newborn’s life. According to What to Expect, a 6-week-old baby is typically smiling, reaching for dangling objects, eating every three to four hours, and starting to show their personality in little ways. It’s such a fast stage of growth and development, and it must have been so challenging for Dailey to see how much she missed.
But Dailey is lucky that she was able to wake up at all.
Dr. Victor Van Berkel, thoracic surgeon at UofL Health, told WHAS11 that they had to do an emergency C-section because Dailey’s oxygen was at a dangerous level and the baby was struggling. He got emergency privileges to operate and put her on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a life support machine that pumps blood from the patient’s body to an artificial lung that adds oxygen to it and removes carbon dioxide) at Hardin Memorial. “We were at the point where without the support of a machine, she would have passed away,” he said in the interview.
Dailey has been working with Frazier’s Pulmonary Rehab to regain strength, which she recently finished. Her newborn daughter, Shawna, is also growing and doing well. Now, Dailey is telling everyone to know to get the COVID-19 vaccine (which she didn’t have before). She said her mother died from COVID and her father developed blood clots from the virus while she was recovering from her own scary experience with it. Dailey is now fully vaccinated and encouraging other pregnant women to get the vaccine, too, to hopefully avoid any complications like what happened to her.
Dr. Van Berkel added, “I haven’t taken care of a single person who has been vaccinated,” he said. “All of the people that I’ve taken care of have been unvaccinated and the people who have been really sick in the hospital are all unvaccinated.”
We are so happy that Dailey and her daughter are doing well and can finally spend time bonding together!
Childbirth is nothing like in the movies, as these beautiful photos show.