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Santa Maria couple welcomes new baby amid coronavirus outbreak, grandma visits through window

Posted at 5:39 AM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 14:19:08-04

A Santa Maria couple knew they were in for an unforgettable experience when they welcomed their baby boy into the world last week but delivering a child amid the coronavirus outbreak is something they could've never imagined.

After waiting anxiously for nine months, Jessica and Michael Zoppo delivered their first baby at Marian Hospital in Santa Maria.

But the welcome party was much smaller than the couple could've imagined.

"Having that moment with our family is what I pictured the whole time," Jessica Zoppo said. "I thought they'd be there in the delivery room, they'd see him come into the world. "

Just hours before going into labor, the hospital called with some bad news: due to COVID-19 health concerns, Jessica could have only Michael by her side.

"It was sad because we wanted our families there and no one could visit," Jessica Zoppo said. "it was kind of a different experience than we thought we'd have."

Something else they didn't expect was birthing complications.

"I'm trying to tell her stay positive, keep pushing, but my heart was racing," Michael Zoppo said. "I'm looking around for the support of our mothers but there's no one there."

After 48 hours of laboring and various spikes in the baby's heartbeat, Theodore Zoppo finally entered the world, healthy and thriving.

Now, mom and dad are home but due to COVID-19 concerns, Theodore must also quarantine.

On Monday, an excited grandmother swooned over her family's newest addition through the other side of a glass window.

"To see little Theo in the window, it just means the world because it feels like I'm still interacting with him even though I'm not holding him and it's so emotional," Jeannie Zoppo, Michael's mother, said.

Through the window, this new grandma pressed her palm against baby Theo's in a gesture of love no virus can take away.

"I'm sure looking forward to enjoying my grandson, holding him -- just be the family we've always been," Jeannie Zoppo said.

"They've seen him but they haven't held or kissed him or anything like that," Jessica Zoppo said of the baby's grandparents. "So it's definitely different than we imagined but they'll get to do it soon so we're just staying positive about it."

The couple said they are thankful friends and family gifted them so many diapers and wipes at their recent baby shower because the shelves at grocery stores across the country are now bare.

French Hospital has now also implemented the same delivery room restrictions, a hospital spokeswoman told KSBY News Tuesday.