When Kristen Connors McEvoy, RN, learned she was having twins last spring, she kept working as the clinical leader in CentraState’s busy Emergency Department. And then the COVID-19 crisis hit. While all healthcare workers were anxious about the virus, her pregnancy brought another level of concern. With the advice of her OB/GYNs and the support of her co-workers, Kristen was able to continue working and deliver her baby boys safely.
Like any new mom-to-be, Kristen, 30, of Jackson, was nervous about her first pregnancy. When the number of COVID-19 cases started to spike in CentraState’s ER, Kristen reached out to her OB/GYNs Margaret Dufreney, MD, and Angela Markman, MD.
“There’s still so much that we don’t know about COVID-19 and how it affects pregnant women and their babies,” explains Dr. Dufreney. “We provided Kristen with the latest recommendations throughout her pregnancy to help her take the proper precautions.”
This included using personal protective equipment, washing her hands often, avoiding patients with or suspected of having COVID-19, and visiting the obstetricians’ office frequently to monitor her condition.
“The fear of the unknown made it challenging, but my doctors took the time to answer my questions and helped me feel comfortable with my decision,” says Kristen. “I focused on administrative tasks instead of direct patient care. My director and the rest of the clinical staff made sure I distanced myself from patients with COVID-19.”
An Early Delivery
Kristen and her doctors had planned for her to have a C-section on September 1, but when she saw CentraState perinatologist Myriam Mondestin-Sorrentino, MD, on August 28 at 37 weeks, blood flow to one of the babies was slowing. She delivered the twins via C-section that day at CentraState with Dr. Markman. Both babies – named Lucas and Landon – were on the small side, weighing 5 lbs. 1 oz. and 5 lbs. 7 oz. Lucas was delivered first and needed extra suction to enable him to breathe.
“Twins are typically delivered a little early, so it’s great that she made it to 37 weeks,” explains Dr. Markman. “It’s not uncommon for them to be smaller and have minor issues when transitioning from the womb to breathing on their own.”
Despite the added anxiety due to COVID-19, Kristen says she had a great experience. Her husband, Marc, was able to be with her throughout the delivery, and the nursing staff took time to explain every step thoroughly.
“I’m a nurse, but I’ve never been a mom,” she says. “We felt like we knew nothing about caring for newborns, and I was comfortable knowing I could ask any question we had. The entire staff helped us and supported our decisions.”
Both babies now weigh over 10 pounds and are eating well. Kristen is adjusting to life as a new mom.
“I had all of these plans for things we’d do, but I’m learning to just enjoy getting a shower when I can,” Kristen says with a laugh. “We’re living in the moment and just enjoying life as it comes.”