(WXYZ) — A metro Detroit mom recalls moments of terror while delivering her children during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a live interview, Jen Laubach recalls delivering her twin boys in April of 2020, eight weeks earlier than expected.
At the time, her husband was sick with COVID-19, leaving her with no choice but to drive herself to the hospital.
Jen delivered her babies with only hospital staff by her side.
Shortly after, her boys were taken away and put into isolation.
Jen then tested positive for COVID-19, and wasn't able to see her sons for 20 days.
“When my water broke in 2020, my BP was 140/90. I delivered the boys on a Friday, went home on a Sunday, and by Tuesday night was back in the hospital again with an even higher BP,” Jen said. “I was COVID positive, had chest pains from the high blood pressure, and couldn’t see my babies or husband. I thought I was going to have a heart attack or stroke and would die without ever meeting the boys.”
Two years later, Jen became pregnant with her third child as the Omicron surge was putting hospitals at their breaking points.
“I seriously couldn’t believe it was all still going on,” Jen said. “Just like a bad dream. The 32-week mark was especially difficult. Cases and hospitalizations were climbing, and I kept thinking, ‘Is the same thing going to happen? Will Baby Girl be born prematurely? Will we be separated from her, too? Will I get pre-eclampsia?’”
According to Jen's medical team, her postpartum preeclampsia and her son's premature births may have been sparked from COVID-19.
The hospital says COVID-positive pregnant women are at an increased risk of hospitalization, preeclampsia, or being admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27,854 pregnant women with COVID-19 have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic. More than 267 have died.
Doctors continue to urge pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Research also indicates the vaccine is the safest, most effective way to prevent COVID,” Dr. Torok said.
And to pregnant women on the fence about getting the vaccine, Jen says: “Do it! Research shows it's safe. I really do believe the vaccine protected me from getting COVID in the fall since I had several exposures through co-workers and did not contract it.”