In a candid post on Instagram, actress Melissa Rauch announced the birth of her second child, a baby boy, with her husband Winston Beigel. The Big Bang Theory star also shared in an essay for Glamour published Monday that because the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had changed up her original birth plan that involved having family come to town to help and support her at home, she had to give birth without her husband by her side.
"I am incredibly thankful and overjoyed to announce the birth of our son, Brooks Rauch, who we just welcomed into the world and directly into our hearts," the 39-year-old actress captioned a photo of a tiny hat on Instagram. "His arrival was made possible, in no small part, by the front line heroes — the nurses and doctors who show up each day to make sure that life keeps marching forward, regardless of the circumstances."
"Words can't describe how grateful I am to have this baby boy join our family, but to say that it is a surreal time to be bringing life into the world is an understatement," she continued. "Given that, I wanted to share some thoughts with other expectant mothers or 'Pandemamamas' — as I like to call us — who are navigating these uncharted waters."
Rauch then directed her followers to read an essay she wrote for Glamour about her experience. In it, the actress shared while the hospital she delivered at allowed birth partners — some have found themselves in hot water for attempting to ban them as a way to help prevent the spread of the virus — he needed to stay home to care for their young daughter, Sadie, who was born in December 2017.
Rauch, who's perhaps best known for her role as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory, wrote that she'd been feeling "so fearful of how this would all go down" ahead of her due date. "The anxiety over giving birth without an advocate and support system in tow, compounded with the exposure concerns of walking into a hospital during a pandemic, were a lot to process," she wrote for Glamour. "So I tried my best to prepare for a scenario I never thought I’d face: filling my hospital bag with disinfecting wipes and practicing labor breathing in a mask like I was training for a dystopian marathon."
Part of her preparations also included thinking of her newborn son as a birth partner, a notion she acknowledged in her essay might come across as "odd" or like "hippie-dippie granola thoughts" to some. But it helped her — as did the team of doctors, nurses, and her husband via FaceTime.
"Just as I reminded myself, you can do this, you will do this, and you will do so with the fierceness of all the powerful warrior women before you who have brought life — and hope — into this world during the most unfathomable of times," Rauch wrote to fellow expectant moms in her Glamour essay.
This isn't the first time Rauch has opened up about her experiences with pregnancy and motherhood. In July 2017, in a separate essay for Glamour, she wrote about her journey to parenthood and the miscarriage she experienced. And in 2019, Rauch, who penned a children's book called The Tales of Tofu, told People that becoming a mom has given her a "wonderful perspective shift."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.