HARTSVILLE, S.C. — Delivering a child during a pandemic is frightening, even for those who work in health care. Michael Kelley, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, delivered her first child on May 25 at Carolina Pines.

Michael says her pregnancy went well, as expected, and even though her husband, Josh, was not able to attend the last few OB appointments with her due to COVID-19 precautions and restrictions put in place by The Medical Group, the ultrasound technician encouraged Michael to record a video of their daughter’s heartbeat and even printed additional pictures to show her husband.

When she was admitted into the hospital to deliver their daughter, Michael said, she and her husband both wore masks and each staff member who entered her room wore a face shield or goggles and an N-95 or surgical mask.

“I am thankful for the staffs’ commitment to keeping both myself and my baby safe,” Michael said.

During delivery, the staff wore complete personal protective equipment in order to keep everyone safe and protected.

Michael had always heard about the great care provided by the labor and delivery team at Carolina Pines, but it was not until admission that she was able to witness it first-hand.

“I am so thankful for each and every person that provided care to us during our stay,” she said. “The doctors, nurses and techs absolutely love what they do, and it shows. They were encouraging, supportive and put our family first every moment we were there.”

Due to visitor restrictions at Carolina Pines, family and friends of Michael and Josh used social media, group messaging and FaceTime to virtually meet the new addition.

“Our daughter was the first grandchild and great-grandchild to be born into both mine and my husband’s family, so as you can imagine, our phones had trouble staying charged,” Michael said.

Following discharge, the Kelley family is continuing to isolate in order to keep their newborn safe and well. Michael says that family and friends have stopped by to take a peek at Ainsley Kate through the window.

“We have no idea how long these barriers will be in place,” she said, “but it will definitely be until the statistics start trending down for COVID-19 in our area and our pediatrician clears us to resume normal activities.”

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