Pregnant St. Luke's nurse shares experience of working during COVID-19 pandemic | www.WDIO.com

Pregnant St. Luke's nurse shares experience of working during COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: May 13, 2020 05:50 PM

A St. Luke's nurse is sharing what her journey has been like working during the COVID-19 pandemic as a nurse and with a baby on the way.

Kelly Sweet, 38, is pregnant with her second baby and has seen and experienced both sides of the spectrum during this health crisis. She said it has been difficult but has adapted to the changes that have come with it.

Sweet has been working at St. Luke's Birthing Center for two in a half years now. She takes on several roles like helping with labor and delivery, special care nursery, pediatrics, postpartum care, and lactation consultation.

Sweet said she enjoys the work she does but never imagined a health pandemic would be something she would be experiencing on the job.

"I was pregnant before COVID was even talked about and never thought this would happen but here I am, and we'll never forget," said Sweet. "It's really the fear of the unknown, not knowing what's going to come. Is this week going to be a surge? are we going to start seeing patients that are sick? and just trying to prepare and constantly re-evaluating every day."

Sweet has a 2-year-old son named Jasper at home and has a baby girl on the way. She has been dealing with the pandemic as a nurse and as a hospital patient. Sweet said as a nurse, adapting to the PPE equipment has been a challenge.

"We do a lot of education on this unit so talking with a mask and then a face shield on is really hard. It separates us from patients. It's kind of hard to breathe. I'm 37 weeks pregnant now and breathing is often an issue," said Sweet.

Sweet also offers perspective on what it has been like as a patient who's having a baby soon.

"We have a pretty healthy floor. Overall we haven't seen any cases at this point. We are a locked unit and I feel very safe up here," said Sweet.

Sweet said she has seen mom's come in who just like her, say social distancing has been a challenge during this time when families unite to prep for the new bundle of joy in the family.

"It's so different, this pregnancy compared to the last one. We didn't have a baby shower, we're not doing anything community-based just to honor this pregnancy. Also, a lot of moms really need that support network of their community, of their parents and their siblings and their friends and here we are asking them to come here with only one support person and do it alone," said Sweet.

Although, Sweet did say social distancing will have some perks for mom's having a baby soon.

"It's a unique opportunity for us to really get to take in our children. Usually after birth, we have our babies on display and we share them with the world because we're so excited but there's something pretty awesome about just going home and getting to tuck in and enjoy our babies all by ourselves," said Sweet.

Her advice to expecting moms out there: Be positive, stay safe, and listen to health guidelines!

"Stay clean, wash your hands all the time, and adhere to the social distancing. Have a safe and healthy pregnancy," said Sweet. Doctors have been really great in guiding us, guiding me personally on when I should be going in and when a virtual visit is appropriate. They really do have our best interest at heart."

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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