At Holy Cross Hospital, there is joy amid so much pain caused by the pandemic. That joy that is practically delivered every hour, when nurses in the labor and delivery unit help bring a new child into the world.
“Being able to help get that baby onto the mama's chest and see that look of joy in the mama's eyes was just a really memorable moment, mask or no mask,” nurse Tamara Sidorov said.
Sidorov works in the neonatal ICU. Health restrictions and safety precautions have forced nurses like her to adjust. The pandemic hasn’t changed the level of care, but it has kept nurses from providing that personal touch to parents.
"That has been really challenging, to not be able to provide parents the same sort of physical comfort that you would in tough moments," Sidorov said. “We’ve all really harnessed some of our strengths and tried to use our words of encouragement to say out loud, 'I really want to hug you right now, I'm wrapping my arms around you and I'm so sorry you're going through this.'”
But the one thing the pandemic cannot change is their passion for the parents and patients, especially when loved ones can't be in the delivery room. It’s in those moments when charge nurse Lisa Marie Pinzone sees just how much her team cares.
“Our nurses really have become -- I mean we are always supportive -- but almost have become the primary support person in many cases,” Pinzone said.
It's those moments that she says keep the labor and delivery unit going.
"I have a lot of nurses that come in and say, 'You know, this just gives me so much energy to be here and see these babies,' and it really does," Pinzone said.
The recent arrival of the COVID vaccine, and the fact that the local community has stepped in to spread holiday cheer, are two more reasons to celebrate.
“The blankets, the knitted items, the crocheted items, the meals that have been provided -- we are so, so very appreciative. We care because our community cares so much,” Nancy Nagel, Vice President of Women and Children Services, said.
Nagel said she’s been impressed by the team’s resiliency this year, but not surprised at all.
“Every day they come back and they're here to serve and take care of people. And that's the best kind of joy that there is," Nagel said.