First of all, we would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging during the last couple of months. We are constantly amazed at how people have come around us and helped us.

For your prayers, your well wishes, your condolences, and your support; Thank you! 

I am going to try and be brief for this next update (I am trying)… Sorry about the length. :)

This part of the story starts on Thursday, Nov 27. I got stuck in the snow outside our house. I had ran out to Home Depot to buy a Black-Friday snow blower…  which wouldn’t fit in my Rondo… and we were stuck when returning home. #yay

Thankfully, a neighbour (who knew me as the Halloween Picture Guy) used his truck to get me unstuck. We decided, with how bad the roads were (and it was still snowing), to call in to work. #snowDay 

Sadly, we also had a meeting with our OB, Dr Robinson, that Friday morning as well. We figured it would be safe to postpone the meeting until Monday. Jenelle had been experiencing some back pain, and we had some questions about doing an amnionic fluid drain; but that would have to wait.

Saturday evening was Jenelle’s work party, and the roads were a lot better. The Comic Strip in WEM had, surprisingly, great food, and the company was great. :) As the party ended, Jenelle started to not feel so well as she also had started mild spotting that evening. We decided to drive into the Alex instead of heading home. 

Jenelle was admitted, and monitored that night. We got to spend 4.5 hours hooked up to monitoring machines to ensure everything was okay with baby. Jenelle also got a shot of morphine to help with the extreme back pain she was experiencing. Turns out, they were really strong Braxton Hicks. They were not regular, and Jenelle was not dilated; so we were sent home.

Jenelle slept more than 5 hours for the first time in a month that night (Go morphine! :D)

The next day I went to church, and Jenelle slept in. She was feeling a lot better but wanted rest, as we had got home at 3:30am the night before. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful; except that Home Depot accidentally dropped and smashed the snow blower I had bought on the Thursday before. :’(

I never did get a snowblower. Sad, I know.

Jenelle’s contractions came back sometime that afternoon. She didn’t really sleep that night. On Monday, we headed straight to our OB’s office to try and get in ASAP to make sure everything was okay. Our OB had been on call the night before, so she was at home asleep. 

Based on the information that we gave, and that Jenelle was experiencing quite a lot of pain, we were sent to assessment to have her looked at again.

This time Jenelle was dilated 2cm. The resident on duty was extremely nice and helpful as she explained that Jenelle needed to be checked in and be put on bedrest for her, and the baby’s, health.

We were moved to the 3rd floor West in the Robbins Pavilion. This is where we would spend the next week.

Jenelle called her work to let them know she wouldn’t be coming back, as her temp position was set to end on Dec 12th anyway, and they encouraged her and gave her their full support. 

We would like to thank the Capital Region Housing Corporation for their over-the-top support of Jenelle during this entire journey. Their compassion, support, and genuine friendship helped Jenelle through one of the hardest struggles of our life thus far. Thank you SOOO much!

That afternoon I went by my office to explain the situation to the owners, and was overjoyed to be told that I could take any time I needed to care for my family. Thank you Mike, Gregg, and Jon for being such awesome bosses. :D

Lera Grace _Hospital Stay -1

The next 5 days were a blur of helping Jenelle get comfortable, get up to pee, get comfortable in bed, get up to eat, lay back down and get comfortable, get up to pee, calm Jenelle down, delicious pudding, prayer for baby and Jenelle, visitations from friends and family, and sleeping on the pullout chair in the room, after getting Jenelle comfortable.

The nursing staff was wonderful, and we started to get to know our regular nurses pretty well. 

I also brought my own Apple Express Router, and figured out what port in the room gave me internet. I set up a wireless network for the floor, and was able to get some work done remotely for my job. 

#HospitalHack : look for the green and yellow squares on the wall. The yellow ones flip open and are ethernet ports. My download was 60Mbps and my upload was over 90Mbps. #winning

I didn’t have to leave Jenelle’s side for that entire week. Friends and family would bring me food once a day, and I lived off the delicious pudding.

As the week went on, Jenelle’s contractions continued to get worse. They didn’t check her dilation, because they didn’t want to poke around and cause her to go into labour early. Jenelle was measuring at ~44 weeks pregnant (even though she was 31 weeks when admitted) so the hospital staff often had troubles finding baby’s heartbeat. They would find it, nice and strong, then she would give a swift kick and we would hear the heartbeat fade as she floated away. 

We stopped getting anxious when they couldn’t find her heartbeat, because we could always hear her sloshing around in the excess fluid.

Our OB decided that we would induce on Monday, December 8th. Jenelle was showing signs of preterm labour, and they wanted to be preemptive and strike before real labour started.

Jenelle’s biggest fear was that her water would break early. Baby also had a habit of kicking her right in the cervix, which added to her stress. The doctors, nurses, and myself all tried to reassure her that it wasn’t that likely; but Jenelle would get anxious every night before bed that her water would break as she slept. Every morning she woke up okay.

We did a lot of prep during this time. Some of the most important things we did were

  1. Bereavement pre-counselling with Patti Walker and Michelle Brandenburg. Both ladies were wonderful to work with, and they helped us talk through our feelings, what was coming up, and make practical plans for the birth of our daughter.
  2. Creating an official birth plan with Dr Dawn Davies and Tara Wren from palliative care at the University of Alberta.
  3. Spiritual counselling with Cheryl Krueger. We explored many different faith based options that we could take during and after the birth and, although we didn’t end up doing any, it was a great comfort to talk with and pray with her.

We also had arranged for some of our best friends, Krista and Zach Manntai, to be present to take photographs of us and our family when our sweet pea did come. Their entire family drove up from Calgary to be in the city and available for us that week. They stayed in our house, doing free house sitting as well.

Lera Grace _Hospital Stay -2

We felt prepared, but not ready for Monday morning’s C-section. It was scheduled as the first section of the day. We contacted our family and friends, and started preparing ourselves for what was to come.

Read the next part here »