The birth of her first child wasn't what Pinsi Lei was expecting.
Lei went into labor on March 11 and had her baby two days later. The coronavirus situation in New York City, where Lei lives, was reaching a fever pitch.
During the course of her stay at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she gave birth, the rules regarding visitors changed rapidly. "The visitor policy changed from two support persons in labor and delivery and two visitors at a time in the postpartum unit to one support person and zero visitors," Lei told "Good Morning America." Her husband's parents were not allowed to meet their grandson at the hospital.
Because she went into labor two weeks earlier than expected, Lei's apartment "was a mess. I was in the middle of getting it ready for baby. I had hoped my parents would clean and organize things before we returned from the hospital and prepare some food."
But her parents arrived from Guam on Thursday -- the day prior to her child's birth -- and immediately went into self-quarantine for two weeks. They have still not met their grandson.
"I'm not only worried about my, my child and my husband's health. I'm also worried about my elderly parent's health," she said. "Nevermind that I can't count on their support during the first few weeks of new motherhood. "
The first few days were harder than Lei expected. Instead of having an opportunity to rest and heal, she was on her feet "22 out of 24 hours of the day tending to the baby," she said. "My physical recovery took a back seat. I was sleeping on average an hour and a half per 24-hour period and my labored and stitched up body was not happy."
Lei's husband works in public relations and as a result is experiencing an unexpectedly demanding work environment.
And there are issues Lei has faced that are not typically thought of in advance. In the absence of her husband and parents, she considered hiring a night nurse or postpartum doula -- but the potential exposure of the virus made that option non-viable. "The emotional toll of having to now do it all on my own was extremely hard to process," she told "GMA."
And then there's breastfeeding -- it's not coming as easily as she hoped, she said. But Lei can't get a lactation consultant to do an in-home visit.
"Can you imagine a new mom's feelings of guilt and helplessness with surging postpartum hormones of not being able to breastfeed her baby and not even being able to get the help she would more than willingly pay an arm and leg for? " she said.
But there are bright spots. Lei isn't concerned about a shelter in place, for one. "We are fortunate to have the means to stock up on food and supplies. And as a new mom, I enjoy being home with my family," she said.
Plus, she's found other new moms to lean on. "I am part of an [Upper West Side] Moms group chat and we have kept each other company via text. I am able to video chat with friends and family. If I need fresh air, I open a window."
And she's got a big moment to look forward to: Her parents will be out of quarantine and able to meet their grandson -- and give Pinsi a hand -- late next week.
I gave birth during the coronavirus outbreak and everything changed originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com