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Melissa Rauch announced on Monday she has given birth to a baby boy, son Brooks Rauch.
The Big Bang Theory star shared the news on Instagram, giving thanks to the doctors and nurses who helped her deliver amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“His arrival was made possible, in no small part, by the front line heroes — the nurses and doctors who show up each day to make sure that life keeps marching forward, regardless of the circumstances.
“Words can't describe how grateful I am to have this baby boy join our family, but to say that it is a surreal time to be bringing life into the world is an understatement,” she revealed.
“Given that, I wanted to share some thoughts with other expectant mothers or ‘Pandemamamas’ — as I like to call us — who are navigating these uncharted waters.”
The 39-year-old actress wrote about her experience in an essay for Glamour, revealing her husband Winston was unable to be in the labor delivery room.
“Although the hospital I was delivering at did allow birth partners, my husband had to stay home with our daughter since our original plan of having family come to town — as well as our backup plans — were no longer options due to COVID-19,” she wrote.
Rauch and Winston are also parents to two-year-old daughter Sadie.
“In the weeks leading up to my due date, I had been so fearful of how this would all go down. I’d had good days where I’d felt optimistic— ‘I can do this!’ — and other days of complete ‘What kind of fresh hell are we living in?!’ panic,” Rauch admitted.
“The anxiety over giving birth without an advocate and support system in tow, compounded with the exposure concerns of walking into a hospital during a pandemic, were a lot to process.”
Rauch then realised she had a birthing partner after all: her unborn child.
“I found comfort in the idea that this would be our first adventure together,” she shared. “So I tried my best to hold on to that as I said goodbyes to my husband and daughter and walked myself into the hospital, masked up, clumsily balancing my bags and birthing ball like I was doing a knocked-up Mr. Bean bit.”
Still, Rauch found it hard not to have Winston by her side.
“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times during the intensity of labor that I craved the comfort of my husband being there with me physically. I don’t want to sugarcoat it; it’s an inherently difficult situation and there were moments I felt every feeling in the book of feelings — so much so that my feelings were having major feelings,” she said.
“But here’s the great thing I realised about birth: It is never going to take a backseat to anything. No matter what is going down, when one human is coming out of another human it becomes the main focus — there’s no other choice. No pandemic, or fear of being alone, or anger over not having a partner there to bitch-slap through the whole hellish gauntlet of labor gets airtime. I had a job to do.”
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Winston made an appearance, though.
“The nurses, the doctor, and my husband (who joined on FaceTime to see the birth of our son) ultimately made me feel safe and protected,” she shared.
Rauch explained she’s “in awe of our medical professionals on the front lines.”
“My anxiety over being in a hospital melted away as each of them shared with me how hypervigilant they are in order to keep mamas and babies safe, amping up their already intense cleaning routines and safety precautions,” she wrote.
Rauch wants other pregnant women to know it’s “okay to grieve how you thought things would be.”
“I had such feelings of guilt that I should just be grateful for a healthy pregnancy rather than focus on the less than ideal situation surrounding it. But those two feelings aren’t mutually exclusive —you can be thankful to be on the verge of having a baby and pissed that you have to deal with this unfair s*** show,” she said. (Rauch has been open about her infertility challenges, revealing in 2017 she had a miscarriage before Sadie.)
The actress concluded with a message to her “Pandemamamas.”
“Just as I reminded myself, you can do this, you will do this, and you will do so with the fierceness of all the powerful warrior women before you who have brought life — and hope—into this world during the most unfathomable of times,” she wrote. “As I look into my son’s eyes, I am filled with that hope.”