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Manitoba mother and newborn fighting COVID-19

Last Updated Apr 29, 2021 at 6:52 pm PDT

WINNIPEG (CityNews) – A Winnipeg mother is pleading with the public to take COVID seriously, after she, along with her newborn baby, battle a variant of concern.

“I thought I was going to lose my life yesterday, and that’s not fair. It could be life or death for a little person with little lungs right?”

Having her third child at St. Boniface hospital, was one of the happiest days of her life, but just days later, Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais and her newborn son wound up at the Health Sciences Centre battling a COVID-19.

“We were afraid we were going to lose him a couple times, so for him to come into this world and have his mother suffer and him suffer for a couple days as well. It’s been really hard to be apart from him as well,” explained Robinson-Desjarlais.

Robinson-Desjarlais found out her 2-year-old son’s daycare had a positive case a couple days leading up to her delivery.

When they went into hospital to welcome their new son, she was tested for COVID-19 and the results were negative. After her son was born they were sent home, and soon after that, a migraine started, and her blood pressure shot up.

“I woke up and I couldn’t breathe, it was so scary, it felt like somebody was sitting on my chest, I felt like I was drowning in my lungs I couldn’t breathe, it was the scariest feeling I’ve ever had,” she explained.

Since then she tested positive for COVID-19 and is in a hospital bed with the help of breathing tubes, and medication. Her 2 year old son, her dad and her newborn baby also tested positive for COVID-19.

Robinson-Desjarlais says, the stress of COVID came soon after. What she described as a tough pregnancy. She had major surgery during her pregnancy, and in December she lost one of her best friends to COVID. Now she’s worried about the impact COVID will have on her new baby.

“His little nose was so stuffed, I couldn’t even suction anything out of his nose. He was laboured breathing, so I steamed him and, the breast feeding helps that right? The feeding helps alleviate from the newborns and he’s one of only a few newborns who’ve had it in Manitoba so I was really worried because they don’t know how they’re going to react,” she explained.

Robinson-Desjarlais was eligible for a vaccination, but decided to wait until her son Miller was born.

Another pregnant woman in Manitoba has created a petition to move pregnant women onto a priority list for vaccinations like they are in Ontario. She says all pregnant women should at least have the choice to get it right away if they want it.

“The baby is best off if I’m safe, if I can be a good mom, if I can be healthy. And of course hopefully antibodies get passed on to baby, but either way eliminating my risk of severe illness eliminates risks to both my baby and the rest of my family.”

Robinson-Desjarlais held back tears while talking about missing her newborn son whose at home right now with her husband as she fights COVID.

She hopes that everyone will take this virus seriously and help other moms avoid what she’s going through. “I thought I was going to lose my life yesterday, and that’s not fair, and that’s not my fault, and people need to think about more than themselves at a time like this.”