Last week, New York-Presbyterian hospitals and the Mt. Sinai Medical System announced that patients who were going to give birth would have to do it without spouses, partners, other relatives, or doulas present. The hospitals, understandably, wanted to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus among a vulnerable population. But still, such measures are extreme. Super Governor Andrew Cuomo wasn’t having it, and issued an executive order last weekend that states, in part, “Any article twenty-eight facility licensed by the state, shall, as a condition of licensure permit the attendance of one support person who does not have a fever at the time of labor/delivery to be present as a support person for a patient who is giving birth.” I’m sure lots of pregnant people and their loved ones breathed a sigh of relief. Still, I know it must be terrifying to contemplate giving birth in a hospital right now. I know a few people who are due soon, and they are suddenly having to worry about something that, only a few months ago, would never have crossed their minds.
Rachel Bloom announced in September that she was pregnant with her first child. She gave birth at some point over the past few days and wrote about the surreal experience on Wednesday after she got home from the hospital. Her photo is above and here’s what she wrote.
She’s here. She’s home.
Having a baby in the NICU during a pandemic while a dear friend was in the hospital 3,000 miles away made this by far the most emotionally intense week of mine and Gregor’s lives. As the lovely doctors and nurses helped my daughter get some fluid out of her lungs, we watched the maternity ward around us change hourly to prepare for the upcoming COVID storm. The whole family is now home safe and I am just so grateful to all of our medical workers. From those in our NICUs to those directly helping COVID patients like Adam, they are sacrificing so much to fight on the front lines of this war. Thank you thank you thank you.
Brb, gonna go get to know the person who came out of my vagina.
The “Adam” to whom she is referring is Fountains of Wayne cofounder Adam Schlessinger, who, at the time Rachel posted, was hospitalized with coronavirus. Adam’s death was reported Wednesday night. Adam was an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony nominee, and won a Grammy and an Emmy. The Emmy was shared with Rachel and Jack Dolgen for the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song, “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal.” Rachel posted an image from Notes of white text on a black background. The text reads: “I have so much to say about Adam Schlesinger that I am at a complete loss for words. He is irreplaceable.” She wrote again early Thursday: One example of how Adam might have affected your life: over the past few years, many people have told me that they have used “Gettin’ Bi” to come out. Well, that song was all Adam.” She went on to post photos of Adam.
I am happy for Rachel and her husband, Dan Gregor, that their baby has arrived, and that they are all home after time spent in the NICU, which is nerve-wracking enough, without the threat of a pandemic. And I am so sad for Adam’s loved ones. Loss during this epidemic is compounded by not being able to be with someone when they are dying. Rachel’s first Instagram post on Wednesday features her usual thoughtfulness in addressing something serious still punctuated by her deadpan wit. That humor makes the serious part all the more moving. I’m sad for her that she’s having to mourn a beloved friend and co-creator, and that she’s having to do it as she’s also focusing on her new baby.