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'A Surreal Experience': Family Recalls Giving Birth Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) -- Becoming new parents during a pandemic isn't exactly easy, but one Baltimore couple is doing the best they can.

While having a baby is one of the most memorable and significant milestones in a person's life, the coronavirus is adding a unique set of challenges to the experience.

Tara Brown and Ari Mittleman had been trying to have a child for a long time. At 43, Brown was considered a high-risk patient, but on April 19 at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Eloria Galit Mittleman was introduced to the world without any complications.

"Her name is a Hebrew name, Eliora, which means divine light, and to us, that's in many ways what she is. She's a miracle," Brown said.

The experience of delivering the baby was quite different than it would have been without the coronavirus pandemic.

"We were in a private room and on the hour we were washing (our) hands, (there were) multiple hand sanitizer dispensaries," Mittleman said.


Relatives and loved ones who planned to be in the delivery room or at the hospital when Eloria arrived could only send their love via video chat.

"That part is just really sad because there are so many people including us who wanted to really celebrate the joy of all of this and we can't because we're not allowed to be around anybody," Brown said.

Luckily, Brown and Mittleman had a team of medical staff who were kind and offered tremendous support through layers of PPE.

"The nurses are cheering you on and talking to you and you can't see their face," Brown said. "It was just a surreal experience."

The delivery process has been bittersweet, but the couple said they're just cherishing the more intimate moments at home and raising Eloria day by day.

"To us, that's the light here in this darkness as so much around us is uncertain and the world seems to be in this crazy crazy meltdown," Brown said. "She's brought us so much joy."

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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