Due to the hospital’s coroanvirus-related restrictions in New York, a mum had no choice but to give birth without her partner beside her in order to protect hospital staff, other mums and newborns.
Emily and Billy Scheer arrived at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital when she was five centimetres dilated to be told by hospital staff that they couldn’t be together during the delivery due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
It was announced on March 22 that a network of 10 New York-Presbyterian Hospitals in New York City would be banning companions from the labour and delivery rooms in order to protect healthcare workers, hospital staff, and other patients from the potential exposure to the deadly virus. A number of other New York hospitals then followed suit after hearing of this decision.
This decision was made despite the World Health Organisation declaring that it was fine for a woman to have a companion beside her during delivering a baby, regardless of a pandemic taking place.
When this decision was ruled official, Emily was 38 weeks pregnant and absolutely terrified of giving birth without her husband, as he had been there for her first.
She told Insider that when she and her partner arrived at the hospital, they were informed that due to the coronavirus crisis rules in the hospital had “changed” which meant that Billy must leave the hospital.
Her bags were then taken from a security guard and he reassured Billy that Emily would be helped to her room. The couple used their last-minute together to hug, having come to peace with the decision after being put at ease by the reassurance of staff.
Immediately, Emily was tested for coronavirus whilst her husband grabbed something to eat and went back to their car. He was parked right beside the hospital so he could be close by if there was any news. He ended up remaining there for the following four hours in which he spent his time Facetiming his wife as she brought their second daughter into the world.
Billy told Insider: “I made the best of what I was given. A small window into what was going on.
“The nurses were saying and doing everything I would’ve done. I was happy to take a backseat.”
Thankfully, Emily’s labour was an uncomplicated one and the labour progressed quickly. She only pushed for 18 minutes and her baby was born perfectly healthy. As neither of them tested positive for coronavirus, they were never separated.
After just one day in the hospital, Emily and her baby were allowed home. On Sunday at 1 am, her husband came to meet the baby in the hospital lobby.
Just twenty hours after the Scheers’ daughter was born, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office then ruled that the decision should be reversed and women could have a partner beside them whilst giving birth. An executive order was issued stating that hospitals were to allow birthing women to have a companion by their side.
Since giving birth, Emily has admitted that she would have felt differently about not having a birthing partner if this had been her first child or if a difficult medical issue had occurred.