By Team

LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami) – It’s been a tough year for healthcare workers. Now two nurses on the front lines of the pandemic in California are celebrating new life and their first Mother’s Day.

Bea Joe and Racquelle Thieling enjoy snuggling with their new babies Sloane and Hudson after a year of highs and lows.

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“Now I know when people say it’s love at first sight, and you’re just filled with all this love,” Thieling said.

“It’s very rewarding to be a parent, to be a mother, and to have done this through COVID,” Joe said.

The new moms are friends and nurses, working together through the pandemic at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Los Angeles.

CBS News Correspondent Danya Bacchus asked the women what it was like to find out they were pregnant in the middle of a pandemic.

Joe said, “You take care of yourself, you take care of patients, but you also want to take care of your future, which is the baby.”

Bea Joe and her newborn. (CBS)

That balance was even more difficult during the winter surge.

Thieling said, “I was really, really scared because I don’t know, will this be the day that I somehow get exposed to a COVID patient?”

For Joe, the surge “was very, very scary.”

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Both women kept working despite their fears.

“I wanted to be there for the unit, I wanted to be there for my coworkers,” Joe said.

They also continued supporting each other.

“We would compare our baby bump. It was great being able to see her and go through this with somebody else,” Thieling said.

Racquelle Thieling and her newborn. (CBS)

The friends credit their co-workers for helping them stay safe. Joe and Thieling gave birth just weeks apart at the same hospital where they work.

“I’m just filled with emotions right now. I look at him and I say, I can’t believe this human is finally here,” Thieling said.

After a year where so many have lost so much, they say they are filled with gratitude and hope this Mother’s Day.

“Words cannot describe how happy I am to have her, it’s such a big blessing,” Joe said.

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USC Verdugo Hills has seen a record number of deliveries during the pandemic, despite nationwide birth trends showing the contrary. Team