Editor’s Note: This article is part of BeaverCountian.com’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.”
Editor’s Note: CLICK HERE TO SEND YOUR OWN STORY TO BEAVERCOUNTIAN.COM