As mothers everywhere know, sometimes you simply can’t plan for the birth of a child. Babies often have a mind of their own. Little did Paige and Dakota Aggler know when they realized they were expecting their first child, he (Jeremiah Jones Aggler) would be born in the midst of a pandemic.

According to Paige, the couple, who dated for nine years before marrying a year ago, had always talked about starting a family but decided “if it was our time it would happen and if not no worries. Our time would come when it was time.”

When she first realized she was expecting, Paige said she and her husband were very excited as was the rest of their family once they were told.

“We told our parents by going to see them one night.” Paige explained. “They were given an onesie and a little note and that is how they found out. We found out on Christmas Eve morning what the gender was and so we kept it to ourselves then when we had Christmas with our families on Christmas morning we shared it with them.”

According to Paige, once COVID-19 arrived in the area she tried to stay away from big crowds and tried to limit the people she was around. The couple limited their contact to the same people at the end of the pregnancy to those they allow in their home now.  

Paige is a special services teacher for the Sedalia School District 200. Dakota works at WireCo World Group. 

“My pregnancy went very well once the first three months was over,” Paige explained. “I had nausea for the first three months and was super exhausted. I would come home from work as soon as possible and sleep until Dakota would wake me up for supper or to go to bed.

“This was hard to hide because we did not tell anyone until three months into the pregnancy once it was harder to hide the pregnancy,” she continued. “Once the pandemic was underway it got very hard to do normal living.”

Paige was not quarantined in the beginning of her pregnancy. She delivered meals for Sedalia 200 as many times as she could knowing she would end up quarantined sooner than she wanted.

“Once the doctors told me to try to stay at home and not go many places and Dakota told me I did not need to be going places, I started staying home,” she noted. “I only went to the doctor’s appointments and Walmart grocery pick up then came home. That is all I got to do.

“We would go on Ranger rides around home and different things but no social interaction with others unless it was my in-laws and or my parents,” she continued. “That is about all I saw to the end of pregnancy.”

She was a patient at Bothwell Regional Health Center’s OB/GYN clinic and was allowed to only have one person with her at appointments. Her temperature was taken and she was asked questions about the virus before being allowed to enter the office. All individuals were asked to put on face masks for appointments. Aggler noted if she brought someone with her they had to follow the same procedures.  

Aggler had a doctor’s appointment at 2:40 p.m. May 5 and her contractions had started an hour before. During the appointment, Dr. Loraine Nolla told her by the weekend she would give birth to her “little man.” It seemed fitting for the family as that weekend was Mother’s Day, but again, babies have their own timetable.

“After leaving the doctor’s my contractions had gotten closer and worse,” Aggler said. “So finally I told Dakota to take me to the hospital. I wanted the pain to stop. I was not going to miss out on the epidural for waiting too late to go in.”

The couple arrived at Bothwell around 6:45 p.m. and had to enter through the emergency department. Only Paige was allowed to enter as Dakota had to remain outside the hospital until the staff knew if they would admit Paige.

Once the decision was made 45 minutes later, a staff member told Dakota he could come inside. While waiting for the anesthesiologist to give her an epidural, Paige’s water broke. Jeremiah entered the world at 8:43 p.m. weighing a healthy 8 pounds, 3 1/4 ounces.

Only Dakota was allowed in the labor and delivery room with Paige. Both sets of new grandparents sat in the parking lot in their cars waiting until Dakota texted them pictures and information through the delivery. According to the couple, everything “went good with no complications. The nurses and Dr. Loraine Nolla were amazing through the whole thing.”

As part of the pandemic guidelines, visitors could not come and go during their two-day stay in the hospital.

“Dakota had to stay in the hospital. If he left the hospital he could not come back in until it was time for Jeremiah and I to leave the hospital,” Paige explained. “We asked if we could have food brought to us and the nurses met my mom outside the hospital and got our food for us so we could have something different besides hospital food. We video chatted with our families so they could meet Jeremiah while still in hospital.”

Life for the family is different in many ways than they imagined it would be. Dakota has returned to his job. Jeremiah and Paige stay home throughout the day, “trying to just stay clear of anything.” Paige was teaching from home through Seesaw, Epic Books, and Lalilo. Once Jeremiah was born, Heber Hunt Special Education Coordinator Julie Bales took over the final weeks of sending weekly emails to parents with activities that Aggler did not have set up in advance on Seesaw.  

“We thought we would get to have friends and family over to see him,” Paige explained. “With the virus we had been told to try limiting as many people as possible coming and going into our home and going places. So we have only allowed very few family members into our home to meet Jeremiah at this time.”

In spite of the limits of one to one visits because of the pandemic, the couple is grateful for the well wishes of friends and family through texts and emails and are thankful for the nurses, Dr. Nolla and staff at Bothwell and most especially for the blessings of their son.

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Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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