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COVID-19 and pregnancy: Arkansas mother shares story and encourages others to get vaccinated

30 weeks into her pregnancy, Ashton Reed had an emergency C-section due to COVID-19 complications. Today, she shares her story in hopes that it helps others.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Ashton Reed contracted COVID-19 in May while she was pregnant.

She hadn't gotten the vaccine yet, something she didn't want to do while carrying her child.

"You know, being a first time mom and never going through a pregnancy before you're concerned about everything," Reed said. "You don't want to take anything. You don't want to expose yourself to anything. So, for me I was hesitant."

Ashton began to get sicker during the next couple weeks. Her husband, Charles, took her to the emergency room and then to UAMS. 

"I do remember them saying I was getting worse and they would probably have to intubate me and put me on a ventilator," Ashton said.

"That was definitely the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life. I thought I was going to lose both of them," Charles said.

At 30 weeks pregnant, Ashton had an emergency C-section as doctors intervened to save her and her baby's life.

"It's kind of funny looking back now. When I had her, they put her up so I could see her and she put her little hands on my face then she sneezed on me," Ashton said.

The couple welcomed their daughter, Celia, but for two weeks neither Ashton nor Charles could hold her. Nothing could have prepared them for that first moment.

"When I finally got to see her and hold her, it completes you. It's the most peaceful feeling to finally be able to hold your daughter after so long," Ashton said.

She hopes her story will prevent others from going through what she went through, or worse.

So, her next stop is to get that long-awaited shot.