Alyson and Michael Kogan were hoping for a different kind of childbirth experience, but bringing a baby into the world during the conronavirus pandemic, they were forced to adjust to a new normal.
Not only did they have to do an online baby shower, but their hopes of having the first-time grandparents with them in the hospital to share the joy were dashed. Because of coronavirus, only one family member is allowed.
"In a different time, we definitely would have had them here with us," says new mom Alyson Kogan. "And that's something that this whole pregnancy, I've been missing my mom.”
But Gail and David Fuchs wouldn't let a virus stop them. Their grandchild would be the third generation in the family born at Maimonides Medical Center.
"When we got in front of the hospital, right there was a parking spot, right there across from the window," David Fuchs says. "I said, 'Let's just have a baby tailgate.'"
They set up chairs and displayed decorations on the street outside.
"I just wanted her to know I'm here," Gail Fuchs said. "I'm here because I'm not missing this."
While Alyson's contractions got stronger and the hours passed by, the Fuchs waited outside in the dark.
"Even police coming by on the megaphones, and the ambulance said congratulations," says Grandpa Fuchs. "It was a really fabulous day, and we made the best of what we could.”
After more than 10 hours of labor, Charlie Rayne was born. Her father held her up to the window, reminiscent of a scene from The Lion King.
"It's not exactly the way they wanted to see her, but they were still the first," says new father Michael Kogan.
"Of course we would've loved to have been inside, but I think the story that we now have to tell is an amazing story. You always like to have a story that you can pass on," says Grandma Fuchs.
It’s an uplifiting story to share about a family's love that overshadowed a pandemic.