Family, friends await newborn baby from COVID-19 friendly outdoor lobby

Group waits outside of window, uses technology to help celebrate new family member.
Beloit Health System
Beloit Health System(Beloit Health System)
Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 12:17 PM CDT
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BELOIT, Wis. (WIFR) - New parents, Devin Huffman and T.J. Huffman welcomed their first child, Wren Lee Huffman on Thursday in Beloit.

Wren was born at 3:39 p.m. on August 19 at the Packard Family Care Center. Proud new Mom, Devin, is a teacher at Hackett Elementary School, and Dad, T.J., is a City of Beloit Firefighter. T.J.‘s two sisters work for BHS as both a CT Tech and RN in the Family Care Center.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing visitor restrictions, the Huffman’s family and friends created a way to set up an outdoor waiting room on the hospital campus lawn by the window where Devin and T.J. were located. Eagerly arriving the baby’s arrival, family and friends spent the day watching the window where a pink or blue poster board would be displayed announcing baby’s gender.

“We tested out the windows to figure out which one would allow our sign to be most visible. Then, we let friends and family know the exact location,” T.J. said.

It was a small gathering in the beginning. Grandparents had spent the night overnight in their cars in the parking lot, and more friends and family joined by the hour, socially distanced in lawn chairs waiting together in support.

“My mother has been an OB/GYN nurse for over 31 years, and I always imagined that she would be by my side. My mom assured me everything was going to be ok, and that she would still be with me,” Devin said.

Using available technology, the family was successful in keeping in touch every step of the way, according to Beloit Health System.

“As soon as Wren arrived, we conducted a mass Zoom call for everyone in the lawn, we opened up the blinds and could share our joy in real time. We could see everyone’s faces and reactions. It was very special. For those who were not here, we placed individual face time calls and connected to share the news,” Devin said.

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