Mallory Pease’s contractions grew stronger as her husband, Mitchell, drove her to Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Michigan, to give birth to their second child. It had been a routine pregnancy, but she told her doctor she’d recently developed a sore throat, aches, coughing and shortness of breath — symptoms her provider knew could indicate COVID-19.
So, when she arrived at the hospital, she was taken to an isolation area, tested for the coronavirus and given oxygen. She took shallow, panting breaths as she delivered her daughter on March 23 in about five hours.
But she could hold little Alivia for only five minutes before the newborn was whisked off to a nursery. Pease, 27, was transferred to a COVID-19 floor, where she was told her test came back positive. By the next morning, she was so ill that her doctors discussed putting her on a ventilator.
As she struggled to