New moms who gave birth during pandemic share their stories, laughs at hospital reunion

Coronavirus

Moms who gave birth during the COVID-19 pandemic reunited with their doctors and shared their stories with each other, May 7, 2021 (PIX11/Mary Murphy).

NEW HYDE PARK, N.Y. — Three moms who gave birth during the height of the COVID-19 crisis showed off their healthy babies and gave thanks Friday during a gathering at Katz Women’s Hospital to kick off Mother’s Day weekend.

“I’m very grateful to God and all the nurses,” said Samantha Natoo, 34, who actually got sick with COVID in the last month of her 2020 pregnancy.

In March 2020, “I had cough, fever, aches,” Natoo recalled. “I had lost my taste and smell.”

Natoo was one month away from delivery when she tested positive for the virus.

“It was very scary, because people were losing their lives every day. And I was scared,” she said.

Yet Natoo said she got better at home, taking Robitussin and Tylenol, before delivering her baby boy, Jaden, on April 24, 2020.

“When I gave birth to my baby on the 24th, I was still positive,” Natoo said.

Jaden is now just over a year old, and he smiled broadly at Dr. Monique Jones, associate chief of labor and delivery at Katz.

“There were a large number of mothers that were COVID positive,” Dr. Jones told PIX11. “Some of them had to go to the intensive care units. We did have a few that were ventilated.”

The Northwell Health system has treated more than 202,000 COVID patients since the pandemic began.

The Katz Women’s Hospital is celebrating the 7,000 babies that were delivered between March 2020, when the lockdown started, and March 2021, when things started to look up, largely due to effective vaccines that became available.

“I’m so happy to be here and out of the house,” joked Lora Sorrenti, who just gave birth to baby Lorenzo six weeks ago, on March 22.

As Sorrenti cradled Lorenzo in her arms, she said she decided to get her first COVID vaccine shot on April 19, about four weeks after the baby was born.

Mackenzie Closs proudly held her son, Finnegan, who made a dashing fashion statement in a snap cap and bow tie. Finnegan will be six months old on May 11.

“It’s definitely an isolating experience,” Closs recalled, of giving birth during COVID lockdowns.

But she said the nurses and doctors helped soothe her anxiety.

“We definitely felt safe and taken care of,” she said.

Dr. Michael Nimaroff, chair of OB/GYN at Katz Women’s Hospital, joined Dr. Jones to give plush toys to the baby boys, and gift baskets of shampoo and lotions to the busy moms.

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