BELL COUNTY, Texas — Laterrica McCall was 31 weeks pregnant when she got COVID-19. Within days her health drastically declined.
"I told the doctor 'Please don't let me die. I don't want to die,'" McCall said.
Two months before her due date she was intubated in the ICU and had an emergency C-section.
"At that point I didn't want to fall in love with a baby I didn't think I was ever going to get to meet and it made me sad. It made me very sad," McCall said with tears in her eyes.
She met her son Jackson two weeks later in the NICU and finally brought him home a month after his birth.
"He's doing much better now, he got discharged, he's meeting all of his milestones and is doing great," the mother of two said.
McCall, who is also a nurse, said she knows the importance of the vaccine but chose not to get the shot while she was pregnant. She said at the time there wasn't enough guidance for pregnant women and she didn't want to jeopardize her pregnancy, which would be her last due to a medical condition.
"It makes you question your decision like if I would have gotten the shot could I have prevented that? So I encourage women, yes it's okay to be scared but ask the questions and look at the research because when I got pregnant that research wasn't there."
The research and evidence is there now.
"We want to tell pregnant moms that are on the fence about this vaccine 160,000 moms have gotten this vaccine. We have data, we have followed these pregnancies. This vaccine is safe for you and baby and protects you and baby from COVID," Dr. Jessican Ehrig said, a maternal medical director at Baylor Scott and White Health in Temple.
Ehrig cared for McCall during her pregnancy. She said as a mom first and physician second, she hopes no other woman goes through that.
"I would be lying to you if I didn't say I was worried that we were gonna lose one or the other of them that night. I think we all had tears in our eyes when she and baby were discharged from the hospital," Dr. Ehrig said.
McCall said she is beyond grateful because she knows things could have been much worse.
"To know that I came back from where most people don't, it is a miracle and I'm thankful to be here," McCall said.