Ob/Gyn Dispatches During COVID-19: Ashley Tedone, NP
Each day during the COVID-19 crisis, we'll share an update from a member of our team in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Today's note is from Ashley Tedone, NP, nurse practitioner in the Division of Family Planning in the Department of Ob/Gyn at NYP/CUIMC.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the nurse practitioner with the Family Planning division. I am also 23 weeks pregnant with my first child. Being a healthcare provider and pregnant has been a… unique way to experience the COVID-19 pandemic. Physically, my pregnancy has been really smooth, and I’m so grateful for that. But COVID-19 has cast a cloud of uncertainty over not just my pregnancy, but the experience of mothers-to-be around the world.
When COVID-19 washed ashore in New York City, working in Ob/Gyn was, in some ways, a curse. We know enough to know we knew very little about the disease, and that knowledge exacerbated the natural anxieties of both COVID-19 and pregnancy. I watched women go into labor alone and my heart broke for them. As a first-time mom, I couldn’t imagine doing this without the support of a partner. That empathy ran in the face of the understanding that this protocol was necessary. The rational, ground-in-science nurse practitioner on one shoulder was constantly in one ear, and the stressed, anxious, and emotional mother-to-be was in the other.
As COVID-19’s wave crashed ashore, the former won out. I was fueled by our patients who expressed unrelenting gratitude for the care we provided during this crisis, whether it be talking a patient through her miscarriage management options or providing support and counseling for women who decided to terminate. Because as we all know, abortion is essential health care. Our patients’ resilience during these unprecedented times never ceases to amaze me. The 7 p.m. clap for healthcare providers continues to makes me cry on a daily basis. The comraderie of my division lifts me and fills me with a sense of pride and purpose.
I look forward to welcoming my little man in September and telling him how he was growing and thriving during times of COVID-19. And I look forward to a day when we can all physically be together again, and reflect on what a difference we made on the frontlines.
Ashley Tedone, NP