The Gyimah family were excited to welcome a new sibling for their 5-year-old daughter, Skylar. But when the pandemic hit, “it was terrifying,” says Chadine Connor-Gyimah. “We didn’t know what this thing was. We didn’t know what it did to adults or the unborn.” There was an added layer of anxiety because her husband, Eric, is a nurse on the front lines.
Just one week before her scheduled C-section, Eric came down with severe COVID-19-related symptoms, so to be safe Chadine and Sklyar moved in with family nearby. When Chadine was admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, any stress around her birthing process was erased with the help of Roseanne Seminara, the hospital’s director of midwifery. “She was rubbing my back, giving me massages. She was so sweet,” says Chadine. “I never had a C-section before, but [the care team] coached me through it.”
After giving birth, Chadine discovered that, though she was asymptomatic, she tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be moved into an isolated room. “I felt lonely and scared,” says Chadine, until a night nurse came by to check in. “Her name was Marina [Byshovets], and she was so kind. She spoke to me about her life and made me feel human again,” recalls Chadine. “She was that sunshine during a rough time.” Now Scarlett (who tested negative for COVID-19) is the ray of hope getting Chadine through the pandemic. “Scarlett is a happy, healthy baby who loves to giggle,” she says. While Scarlett’s first year is not going as expected, Chadine isn’t worried about her little girl. “She’s a go-getter,” she says. “I’m not fearful at all about her future.”