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Tony Pacitti's Story: COVID-19 and Postpartum Psychosis

My wife, Sondra, and I struggled for six years with unexplained infertility, miscarriages, and failed efforts to get pregnant through IUI before finally becoming pregnant with twins through IVF. Once we had a viable pregnancy I believed that the hard part of our journey to become a family was over. The reality was a one-two punch that we never could have anticipated: COVID-19 and postpartum psychosis. The combination of the two put me face to face with the terrifying and ever-changing realities of having two NICU babies in the earliest days of the pandemic and a partner who would require six weeks of inpatient treatment.

I recently wrote this first-hand account of our postpartum pandemic, which was published in the July 2021 issue of Rhode Island Monthly. In addition, the piece contains three short snapshots of other Rhode Island families who welcomed new babies into the world at varying points throughout the pandemic. It is my hope that our story serves as a testament to these unprecedented times, and helps to raise awareness for the importance of having open and honest discussions around postpartum mental health.


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