This has been a really difficult year to welcome a baby, and no one understands this more than Casey Goode. The influencer and former American Idol contestant became a mama on September 18 when she and her husband welcomed their son, Maximilian Vaughn Goode, into the world.
Being pregnant during a pandemic is hard. Having your planned home birth moved to the hospital is hard. Having a complicated delivery is hard. Having an emergency episiotomy is hard. Seeing your baby in the NICU is hard. Goode went through all those things and now faces something so challenging most of us cannot even comprehend it: Her newborn baby, Max, was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend.
Goode announced the news on Instagram Sunday, explaining that little Max tested positive on Saturday morning and asking her hundreds of thousands of followers to "send good energy to our little bub so he recovers fast."
Baby Max spent eight days in the NICU after he was born, and when he started running a fever in the middle of the night his parents rushed him to the ER.
"We had confirmation that he was exposed from direct contact with a medical professional who had cared for him earlier in the week. This has been a total shock to us. I am currently quarantining with baby Max in the PICU," Goode explained in her Instagram post, adding that while she is showing no symptoms of COVID-19 the hospital staff are treating her as if she is positive because she has been exposed, too.
She addressed the uncertainty of the situation in the note to her fans and community, writing: "Not sure what happens next from here... but I expect to be offline for a while as we recover."
Our hearts are with Goode, her husband, Alex, and little Max right now.
The good news is Alex says he expects his wife and son to be discharged from the hospital very soon, perhaps as early as Monday. In a series of Instagram Stories on Sunday Alex explained that "mama and Max are doing well". In a caption, he wrote: "Max's fever has come down and he is doing much better. "
What mamas need to know about COVID-19 and newborns:
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is rare for babies to contract COVID-19, but when babies under a year old do they do appear to be at higher risk for a severe case.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic say "this is likely due to their immature immune systems and smaller airways, which make them more likely to develop breathing issues with respiratory virus infections."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the current evidence suggests that it's uncommon for newborns to get COVID, and that when they do most "have either asymptomatic infections or mild disease" and recover.
The CDC explains: "Severe illness in neonates, including illness requiring mechanical ventilation, has been reported but appears to be rare. Neonates with underlying medical conditions and preterm infants (<37 weeks gestational age) may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19."
While Max is at higher risk than other infants his age, he was born at 37 weeks, not before.
It's important to note that serious cases of COVID-19 in babies are very rare. That is an important point for everyone to know, but so is the fact that COVID-19 is real. In these trying times it was brave of Goode to share her story with the world and we hope the the world meets her with the empathy and compassion she deserves.