McKenna and Mitch Tulane aren’t sure what they’re going to tell their daughter years down the road when the subject of what it was like in the year 2020 comes up.
Where would one even start with that story?
Maybe the blunt, matter-of-fact version of events is the best way to get the story rolling and they can go from there.
“She had quite the first 48 hours. She was born in a pandemic, her first morning home she experiences the earthquake and I don’t think she’s truly going to understand how her first 48 hours were,” Mitch Tulane said.
The Syracuse couple welcomed their second child into the world last week, a baby girl named Jersey.
Any mother will say childbirth is stressful, painful and scary all on its own. Throw in the current COVID-19 pandemic with all the resulting social and health guidelines into the mix, and the equation changes.
“It was a little scary. I was definitely a little bit nervous going to the hospital; I just kept thinking this is the worst timing to bring a human into the world,” McKenna Tulane said.
The couple anticipated the pandemic having some effect on childbirth and figured they would have to limit the amount of visitors at the hospital.
Once Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency earlier this month, the reality set in for them. It set in further when they pulled up to the emergency room at McKay-Dee Hospital last Sunday evening.
The nurses could immediately see why the family was there, but they stopped Mitch and asked him a series of questions about if he had a fever, a cough, if he had traveled recently and so on.
“Every time I left the hospital, I had to do the same thing,” he said.
McKenna said she’s had a slight cough the past six months, so once she told that to the nurses, they too asked questions about her travel history.
The hospital was taking its health precautions so seriously that at one point in the delivery room, she cleared her throat, prompting a nurse to turn around and ask if she had a cough.
But for the most part, the childbirth was as normal as it could be. The hospital staff didn’t make McKenna wear a mask and she was able to hold Jersey immediately after.
When the couple’s first daughter, 4-year-old Everlee, was born, McKenna said there was a handful of people in the delivery room with her.
When Jersey was born, the only visitors allowed were McKenna’s mother and husband. Everlee had to wait a couple of days before being able to meet her baby sister.
“It was hard not to be able to share our joy with our family,” McKenna Tulane said.
Jersey was born early Monday morning, March 16, and the family was able to take her home the next day.
Early Wednesday morning, Mitch felt the house shaking and thought the nearby construction crew was getting an oddly early start to the workday.
Nope, it was just the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck near Magna and woke up the entire Wasatch Front.
The family was already planning to stay home in Syracuse for the foreseeable future, a “nice new house to be quarantined in,” Mitch Tulane said.
Now, because of the pandemic, they aren’t letting anyone visit in person, not even family members.
“You’re careful when you bring a newborn home anyways, but this was like a whole new level of being careful. The stress was definitely different than an ordinary situation,” McKenna Tulane said.
The family’s self-isolation has been busy, not just with taking care of a 4-year-old and a newborn, but because Mitch is a teacher at Syracuse High and has been monitoring his classes’ remote learning.
The Tulanes are making the isolation work, though. Family members have seen the new baby on video calls, and McKenna set up a camera and took new family portraits herself.
One thing’s for sure, the story that McKenna and Mitch tell Jersey about the week she was born will be one for the books.