The “unexpected” with the arrival of the “expected” began to take place. Newborn matching hat and swaddle set, check. Snacks, check. Toiletries, check. Testing positive for Covid, check.
Anxious to meet their baby girl, never did Jon Eric and Jordan Johnson expect to be parting ways just 24 hours prior to Jordan going into labor. Jon Eric had tested positive for the coronavirus after experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms that week. He recalled being in “pure disbelief, because [he] had talked [himself] into being sure it was just bronchitis.” Nonetheless, Jordan was just as much in shock as she was adjusting to sudden changes in their birth plan, and more disheartened with the simple fact that Jon Eric would miss the birth of their firstborn as he took precautions to keep the baby safe. Already passing the nine months mark and only one single day before she was scheduled to deliver their baby girl, Jordan remembers being ” so close to not having any hiccups during [her] pregnancy.” Heartbroken and confused, Jon Eric kept reminding himself that “Ten days was just a drop in the bucket compared to how much time [he] would get to be with [his daughter] the rest of [his] life.” A life full of memories was waiting on the horizon, he just needed to “take it day-by-day until they came home.”
Scheduled to be induced at The Birth Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on Wednesday, October 21st, Jordan bravely walked in the doors, with her supportive mother at her side ready to welcome this precious new human into the world. With the nurses and doctors using facetime to keep Jon Eric informed on the birth, Jordan delivered a beautifully healthy baby girl, Olivia, at 1:11 pm. While Jordan wishes her husband could have been there in person, she’s still “forever grateful that [her] nurses and other staff worked so hard to include him in every step and most importantly, thankful that Olivia is healthy.”
Despite the good intents of Jon Eric staying home to keep his family safe, COVID-19 had other plans. While both Jordan and her mother, Amy Hammett, tested negative for COVID-19 on the day of delivery, Jordan did end up testing positive only two days after Olivia’s birth. Similar to Jon Eric, Jordan only experienced mild symptoms which allowed her to continue to care for Olivia. For extra safety precautions, Jon Eric and Jordan altered their birth plans again to isolate the girls for the following ten days in the basement of Jordan’s mom, Amy.
That Friday evening, as Jordan packed her bags to head to her mother’s house, Jon Eric eagerly awaited their arrival in the driveway. Remaining at a safe distance, he was able to admire his little girl as Jordan and Amy carefully cradled up Olivia from the car and brought her home. After settling, Jordan pulled her rocking chair up to a glass door for Jon Eric to catch a glimpse. He was wearing his N95 mask for extra safety to meet Olivia for the first time in-person. As Jordan held her tiny angel on the other side of the glass door, Jon Eric was filled with an “odd mixture of joy and sorrow,” as he was finally getting to “see her in person, but not getting to hold her and be close to her.” Over the next few days, Jordan and Amy consistently wore N95 masks to ensure the newborn was never exposed to the virus, other than the times they ate, showered, and brushed their teeth, which never occurred in the presence of Olivia. Thankfully, Olivia and Amy never tested positive for COVID-19.
After all safety precautions were taken and their ten days were up, Jordan, Olivia, and Jon Eric were finally reunited together as a family. Looking back, Jon Eric and Jordan note their biggest blessing came true despite the challenges, – a happy, healthy baby who never had to leave mother’s side. “God was looking out for us,” they said.
While they continued to adapt with the unforeseen events, Jon Eric and Jordan couldn’t be more grateful for Amy Hammett, Jordan’s mom, who not only accompanied Jordan to the hospital, but was by her side in Jon Eric’s place, keeping him well-informed and connected along the way. Going above and beyond, as she volunteered to quarantine with Jordan and Olivia in her basement while her husband isolated upstairs. In addition, Amy self-quarantined for an additional 14 days for extra safety, as Jordan was tested positive. “I don’t know if I would have made it through this without her,” said Jon Eric. “Knowing she was taking care of my girls while I couldn’t be there was my greatest sense of comfort.” In addition, many great friends and family would visit at the glass door and bring food to both Jon Eric and the ladies who isolated at Amy’s house. “I can’t tell you how much we appreciate their help and support, along with all the doctors and hospital staff who did a great job keeping everyone safe.”
As Jordan says, they’ll “definitely have an interesting birth story to tell her one day!”