New mom shares what it was like to deliver her first child without her mom by her side

Hospital visitor restrictions due to COVID-19 create emotional hardships for moms delivering babies

MADISON, Wis. —  Caroline Dorothy Bonde was born a happy, healthy baby at St. Mary’s hospital nine days ago.

“She was born at a scary time but I’ve got a perfect little baby, so I can’t complain,” said new mom Cassie Bonde.

For Bonde, this scary time meant accepting the reality that she wouldn’t have her mom by her side during one of the most important moments in her life.

“I was very emotional,” Bonde said.  “I had a really great nurse that helped me get through it all, too.”

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Although Bonde said her nurses were supportive and encouraging of the fact that she could handle the delivery of her first baby on her own, Bonde said “whether you’re 4 or 34, you want your mom.”

It was also a hard reality for her mom Sandra Paulsen to accept, too. Being by her daughter’s side was something Paulsen always had in her plans.

“I had done it before with my other daughters so yes, I figured I would be with her to hold her hand and walk her through it,” Paulsen said.

Paulsen said she understood why the visitor restrictions at the hospital were in place, but it didn’t make it any less difficult to not be in the room with Bonde.

St. Mary’s hospital restrictions only allow one visitor to be in the room during a childbirth due to COVID-19 concerns. Bonde’s husband was the only one in the room with her that day.

It wasn’t until Bonde was discharged three days later that Paulsen finally got to meet her grandchild.

“She’s adorable. She’s beautiful,” Paulsen said.

Not only was not having her mom by her side not how Bonde envisioned the birth of her first child to play out, but she also didn’t plan on bringing a child into the world that is so different than what it was just a few weeks ago.

“I’ve been telling people ,’I know you want to see her, and I want to share her with the world. But just stay home. Let’s get through this and then as soon as everything’s done, we will have a big party’.” Bonde said.

Bonde said bringing a new life into this strange new world is scary for her own health and her baby’s health. Bonde said she is taking extra precautions to wash her hands many times throughout the day.

Bonde also said she has seen photos of her friends who delivered their babies just a few days before the hospital visitor restrictions were put in place that include many of their family members in the photos. Bonde said when she looks at the pictures, “I don’t want to say I feel robbed of that, but I do a little bit.”

For all the moms who will have to face this harsh reality in the unforeseeable future, there is a silver lining coming from the women who experienced this emotional time firsthand.

“This will work out. This will go away, just keep your faith,” Paulsen said.

“No matter what does come our way, if we can get through this right now with a newborn, I think it’s going to make me realize that there’s a lot of things that will happen in her life and our life together that we will be able to get through,” Bonde said.