Friday, October 23, 2020
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalee Eddins, her husband Brandon, and her mom Kathy weren't the only ones anxiously awaiting their baby, Brooks, at the Norman Regional HealthPlex this week.
Finding Alternate Ways to Be There
Kalee checked into the HealthPlex at midnight Wednesday, Oct. 21 to be induced the next morning. When morning came, Kalee was being induced with Brandon and Kathy by her side in the room, while Kalee's sister, Shyan, was carrying a box full of decorations to set up outside the HealthPlex where it could be seen by their hospital room.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norman Regional HealthPlex's Women's and Children's unit allows only two patient representatives during the entirety of a mother's stay - from labor and delivery to discharge. Kalee and Brandon's family decided "COVID can kick us out of the waiting room, but it can't kick us out of the parking lot," as one of the signs they created read.
Shyan said they're a very close family so they knew they wanted to be there and if they couldn't be in the waiting room, they would just be as close as they could be.
"We found out I was pregnant at the end of February right before the coronavirus hit. I was absolutely terrified with so many unknowns. Brandon wasn't able to be at three fourth of my appointments and it was so heartbreaking for both of us. As my delivery got closer I was so thankful I was able to have my mom with us. However, my family is super close so it was difficult knowing they couldn't physically be inside," Kalee said. "It meant the world to us that they set up outside. Brandon and my mom were FaceTiming and taking videos as people were coming and going. It made the process a lot easier knowing we had so much love, support, and prayer right outside the window."
Aside from Shyan, some of the family members at the wait party outside the HealthPlex included Kalee's sister-in-law Morgan, now great uncle and aunt Jack and Dona, now-grandpa Joe, and now-great grandpa CT.
Kalee's labor was long, but she finally delivered Brooks at 10:51 p.m. Oct. 21 while Kathy facetimed Shyan so she and the rest of the family could be a part of his birth. He was perfectly healthy, weighing 6 pounds and 11 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
"My sister was actually FaceTiming my mom a couple times as I pushed and we heard everybody cheering us on. After he was here, I had 73 messages unopened in our family group text due to my mom giving them a play by play," Kalee laughed. "My experience has been absolutely incredible. Every single nurse, doctor and anesthesiologist has been so calming and encouraging. Even when things got a little tense during labor they made sure to keep my nerves and anxiety at ease. I couldn't have asked for better.
"I just want to thank everybody again. The medical staff, my family, and my husband. It truly took an army and God sure did provide me with the best."