'It felt wrong': Woman welcomes baby alone after husband tests positive for COVID-19

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Danielle Sol gave birth to her first child Jonah alone after her husband tested positive for COVID-19. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of Sol Family).

A first-time mother is sharing her experience of delivering her child without any support — before discovering that she was positive for COVID-19.

Danielle Sol, a teacher from Long Island, N.Y. was scheduled to deliver her first child via caesarean section until her husband, Rudy, developed a cough. Initially, Sol believed Rudy was experiencing seasonal allergies, or a cold. It wasn’t until his symptoms grew to include a fever of 101 degrees that she phoned her OBGYN and asked to delay her c-section that her doctor first questioned whether or not Rudy had somehow contracted the novel coronavirus.

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While Rudy sought screening, Sol went to stay with her parents. On March 17, Sol told TODAY that she received the call from her husband confirming that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Danielle Sol, a teacher from Long Island, NY, welcomed her first child alone after her husband tested positive for COVID-19. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of The Sol Family).

“Thoughts rushed through my mind. How did this happen? What does this mean? At the time, there were so few cases of COVID-19 in New York and I couldn’t fathom how it was possible for my husband to be one of them,” she said.

Doctors rescheduled Sol’s C-section for the next day and informed her that even though Rudy couldn’t be with her, she wouldn’t be able to bring a support person with her - not even her mother.

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“They were treating me as if I were also positive for the coronavirus and they needed to take extra safety precautions,” Sol explained. “I had to deliver my baby alone.”

Sol said she was instructed to wear a mask into the hospital when she arrived the next day, to welcome her baby by herself.

The first photo of Sol's son Jonah. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of the Sol Family).

“Immediately, it felt wrong. Everyone was covered in personal protective equipment: gowns, masks, face shields. I could only see their eyes,” Sol said. “Prior to this, I had never had any surgery and joked that the biggest thing that ever happened to me was a paper cut. Now I was having a C-section by myself.”

Although she was without her husband or any family, Sol described the staff at Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center as “wonderful” and “supportive.” The anesthesiologist gave Rudy a guided tour of the operating room via FaceTime while nurses held Sol’s hand.

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When their son, Jonah, was born Sol said she and Rudy cried together over the phone. Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding his delivery during a pandemic, it was an intimate and personal moment.

Following her son’s birth, Sol began to worry that he would somehow have the virus or be taken away from her to keep him safe.

Danielle Sol, her husband Rudy and their son Jonah have visited her parents, who both tested positive for COVID-19. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of the Sol Family).

“I wanted to do skin-to-skin contact and nurse him, but wasn’t sure if they’d let him stay with me,” she said. “He had tested negative for the coronavirus. They allowed me to nurse him and have him on my chest. They believed I was giving him antibodies that would protect him. I made sure not to touch his skin with my bare hands and wore my mask constantly.”

On March 19, Sol learned that she too had tested positive for COVID-19. Although she said she had on a “few” symptoms, she was relieved that each time Jonah was tested, his results came back negative.

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“Being in the room alone might have been the hardest part,” she admitted. “While the nurses helped me a great deal, it was not the same as having my husband sleeping beside me.”

Sol was released from hospital on March 21, and returned home to her husband who was still ill. To add more stress to the family, Sol learned her parents had also contracted COVID-19, and had been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Sol and her husband Rudy have all but recovered from COVID-19. (Image via TODAY/Courtesy of the Sol Family).

Instead of arriving home to the helping hands of her mother, Sol returned home and immediately set to work to clean and disinfect her home, days after undergoing major surgery. Friends brought the new parents food and supplies to help get them through the first few weeks.

Now, with Jonah a month old, Sol shared that nearly everyone in her family is fully recovered. Her parents have had a chance to see their grandson through a window, and she can’t wait until they can all be reunited and see her parents hold Jonah for the first time.

“I was proud of myself when I realized what I did alone. I was strong enough to deliver and care for an infant by myself and I want other women to know they can, too,” she said. “I have been praying for other mothers who are preparing to give birth during the pandemic. It is a scary time, but they can do it. I know. I did.”

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