LOVELAND, Colo. — Motherhood has been nothing but a joyful experience for Sarah Mays.
The Loveland mom is new to the job. Her 4-month-old, Kabrini, accompanied her to the UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies Friday for Mays' second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
For Mays, facing her fear of needles was successful again with the help of virtual reality goggles.
"There's lots of balloons everywhere in the mountains," Mays said looking into the googles. Before she knew it, she was fully vaccinated. "Thank you," Mays said to the nurse with a sense of joy.
In the summer, her doctor's sense was everything, but that.
"I was on a ventilator for about five days. They weren't seeing any progression," Mays said.
She was seven months pregnant and unvaccinated at the time.
"We are definitely not anti-vaxxers," Mays said. "We spoke to several different doctors and they all kind of had different answers, but none of them could really give us a defined answer that this is the best thing that you should be doing for you and your family."
Mays and her husband contracted COVID-19 and she wound up on her death bed.
"They told my husband about a 20% chance of survival for me going on ECMO," she said.
During this time, doctors delivered her baby, Kabrini, on Aug. 18, through Cesarean section
. Kabrinia was a preemie just 29 weeks at the time.
"They felt that it was the best for me and [my] baby," Mays said.
Mays started improving, her doctors calling it a miracle.
"He's like, 'I really don't have the words other than I am just blown away that you are sitting up in your bed right now,'" Mays said.
Several days later, she would meet Kabrini for the first time.
"It was incredible," Mays said as tears streamed down her face.
"I didn't have the strength to get out of the hospital bed right away, but the second they told me I could see her I was able to get out of that bed really fast."
Kabrini, according to her mom, is also a miracle.
"I am so lucky. I didn't know how to prepare myself for being sleep deprived. But, she sleeps all through the night," Mays said.
There's been a kick to Mays step since leaving the hospital a few months ago.
Being parents with her husband Andrew was a goal the longtime sweethearts have had for years.
It's a dream that was almost made impossible and that's why she wants other pregnant mothers to seriously consider getting vaccinated.
"I just want them to never experience anything that we went through and if that just means a quick poke ... I would try my hardest to persuade those women who are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant to get the vaccine."