Mom describes experience of having baby during pandemic

Sanford nurses 'were amazing. They made us feel like nothing was different'

Luke and Alissa Sendelbach pose as Alissa holds their newborn baby, Audrey. (Photo courtesy of the Sendelbachs)

When Alissa Sendelbach looked ahead to her due date, she never could have imagined delivering a baby in the middle of a global pandemic.

Thankfully, she’s delivered before.

Alissa and her husband, Luke, welcomed Audrey Joan on March 25 in Sanford Health‘s Birth Place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Audrey joins her big sister, 2-year-old Adalyn Julianne.

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(Photo courtesy of Alissa Sendelbach)

The couple opens up about their experience before the due date, during labor and delivery, and now life at home.

Were you nervous about labor and delivery?

Looking back, the first thing that brings the Sendelbachs joy is the nursing staff.

“They were amazing,” Alissa said via Skype. “They made us feel like nothing has changed, nothing was different. They made us feel comfortable. I cannot praise those nurses enough for everything that they did. I found myself getting teary-eyed during the process. I worked myself up this whole time, leading up to delivery: ‘Oh, my gosh, all these rules, we won’t be able to have any visitors.’ When it came time for labor and delivery and after delivery, it was those nurses that constantly kept us comfortable. … It was a good process for sure.”

‘Above and beyond’

“They were focused on making us feel like it was a normal birthing process,” Alissa said.

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Sanford Health nurse Katie Lobach helped with labor and delivery of baby Audrey. (Photo courtesy of Alissa Sendelbach)

“The (nurse in charge) said: ‘You had this nurse last time you delivered. Do you want to have that same nurse again?’ That was really comforting. They were going above and beyond to make sure I was feeling super comfortable because I had the same nurse, Katie Lobach, with my last pregnancy. She was actually working that same night, which was very ironic.”

How did the new visitor restrictions affect your experience?

“It was totally different. That made me really nervous going into all of it. Oh, my gosh, I won’t be able to have our parents meet the baby right away. That’s such a special moment when everyone wants to meet them. Not being able to have siblings come in, that was difficult. We embraced it. Took advantage of the moment, just us. Once we got home to a 2-year-old, we knew it would be craziness, so we enjoyed the relaxation just a little bit.”

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Alissa Sendelbach with Audrey. (Photo courtesy of Sendelbach)

How did this delivery compare to your first baby?

“When we had Adalyn, we had 30 people in and out, family and close friends coming by to meet her. With Audrey, you could only have one support person in the room with you at all times. It was great bonding for my husband and I to enjoy the three-day moment and soak it all in.”

Tell us about life at home as a family of four.

“The difficult part is now that we’re home from the hospital, we can’t have visitors. We’re sheltering. She hasn’t had her vaccines. We don’t know what this virus is doing. That’s been the most difficult part because we can’t have family over now. We’re just adjusting as a family to a new schedule, going for walks, playing on our swing set. It’s such a good bonding moment. That’s the bright side of it. … Having Adalyn here and having Audrey here, they were able to bond instantly, and we watch it grow.”

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Adalyn, 2, holds her newborn sister, Audrey. (Photo courtesy of Alissa Sendelbach)

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Posted In Coronavirus, Pregnancy, Sioux Falls, Wellness, Women's

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