Wednesday, September 22, 2021
65.2 F
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
65.2 F

Life in the New Normal: Patterson Woman Readies for Birth During the Pandemic

Editor’s Note: This article is part of’s ongoing series, “The Beaver County Coronavirus Chronicles,” the county’s historical experience of the pandemic. Click here to see more of the series.


Niki Gaberseck, 19, is five months pregnant with her first child, a daughter due in July.

She had just moved into her new place in Patterson Township with her fiancé when she found out she was pregnant. So that was a surprise.

Then a week ago, her employer at a fast food restaurant at Pittsburgh International Airport laid her off, giving her only half of the previous check it owed her, and nothing yet from her next expected check. So that was another surprise, but definitely not as happy as the first one.

She didn’t want to name the company because she didn’t want to risk losing possible backpay, but she said it owns other businesses outside of the airport as well.

“They said (the coronavirus threat) had put them in a cash-starved situation,” Gaberseck said. But that didn’t make sense because the pay period she received only half her pay for was from March 2-15, she added. “It wasn’t even my final check.”

Then, her fiancé got laid off from his welding job at Sukup Steel Structures in Ambridge. Another unhappy surprise.

Both have filed to collect unemployment, and both are looking forward to expected federal stimulus payments and they hope it all will keep them afloat. In the meantime, her doctors at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital have had a checkup with her by video messaging.

They asked her to buy a blood-pressure cuff to track her rates, and she fortunately already had one. She and her fiancé are playing cards and putting together puzzles and thinking about baby names as the baby kicks inside her. Gaberseck is wondering what her birth will be like and if hospitals will still only allow one person to be with her.

“I hope it’s blown over by then,” she said. “Because I don’t think I’d be able to do it without my mom in there.” If she has to choose, it will be her fiancé.

“It’s my first kid,” she said. “I never expected to have to go through it without my mom. I expected her to be there.”


An Important Message To Our Readers’s coverage of the novel coronavirus is being made freely available outside of our normal paywall. We believe the information we are providing is important to all members of our community and should not be limited to just those with financial means.

For those who are able to support our efforts, we would appreciate it if you considered subscribing to gain access to all of our award-winning local reporting. As always, thanks for being a reader of!

Sign Up For Full Access To

Lori Boone
Lori Boone
Lori DeLauter Boone has more than 20 years of experience in investigative and community journalism. She’s won more than a dozen regional, state and national journalism awards.

Latest News

Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty For Ambridge Mother Accused Of Killing Her Kids

Prosecutors have announced they will be seeking the death penalty against an Ambridge mother accused of killing her two...
error: Alert: Content is protected!