Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Expecting During a Pandemic: Husbands Now Allowed Inside Delivery Room at St. Luke's

I missed out a lot while expecting during a pandemic. I didn't get to enjoy those fun baby fairs or experience a baby shower. I found myself extra paranoid every time I step out of the house. And getting the food I crave was, more often than not, a challenge. But the saddest thing this new normal changed for pregnant women is not having their husbands or partners beside them during labor and delivery. I wanted to share this precious moment with R. And luck was on our side when I found out that one companion during delivery is now allowed at St. Luke's! 

Two days to go before we meet Sam!

I was beyond thrilled when I accidentally found out that husbands or partners can now enter the delivery room. It was late at night when I was browsing through Glam-O-Mamas' Facebook community page when someone inquired about a swab test for her husband as he'll accompany her in the delivery room. She was asking fellow moms if paying PHP4,300 (walk-in) or PHP6,500 (drive-thru) is worth it given its short validity of five days for dads or dads-to-be (versus two weeks for moms). 

Though some moms felt that it would be best to deliver solo, such was not the case for R and I as we are both first-time parents. Being in the same room, seeing our little one for the first time, and R having the privilege to cut the umbilical cord is priceless. It is, without a doubt, worth it. 

But before you book your husband's or partner's swab test appointment, make sure to check first with your OB-GYNE as your partner's access to the delivery room is subject to the approval of your doctor. Ours was okay with R being there for me. We quickly booked one as soon as we got home.

Booking his appointment is the same as how I booked mine. You have to create an eHealth Hub profile or log in if you already have one, click Covid Test, pick the branch you want to visit as well as the mode of swab test (walk-in or drive-thru) and answer a short questionnaire. Once done, you will be directed to the payment page where you can conveniently settle your bill. 

Make sure to check your email after and print your receipt as this is required during your appointment. Also, wait for an SMS to confirm your appointment. 

We arrived a few minutes before R's appointment, and we were surprised that he had to wait for two to three hours before getting swabbed. I asked if R can get his test done in a separate area as he'll be accompanying me to the delivery room. (I thought that they might be more lenient with dads as them being exposed means putting me at risk too. Sadly, they don't.)

The guard on duty suggested that we go back around three to four o'clock as the crowd usually thins out around that time. We went back around 3 p.m., and the place was still busy. R got to have his swab done an hour and a half later. It was a good thing he was allowed to wait by the car instead of the waiting area. He also had his swab test done in the area where pregnant, seniors and PWD get swabbed.

R got his result before noon the next day. And it was negative. 

Now, we have to make sure Sam comes out before R's swab test result expires. 

Note: I highly recommend that you take drive-thru instead. We didn't know that walk-in for those who are not pregnant, senior, or PWD have to wait that long before getting swabbed. With our Covid-19 cases still high, spending a few extra bucks is worth it. We didn't see any other car in the drive-thru area the whole time we were there.

Photo credit: Swab test photo from Aide App.

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