HINSDALE, Ill. — The birth of a baby is always a memorable experience. Add a pandemic and it’s more challenging. And with a required hospitalization for the mom, Bob Conlin and Shona Moeller had to get pretty creative to stick together in an incredibly frightening time.
Moeller is pregnant with the couple’s first child. She has been on bedrest since April 13. She is staying at Amita Health Adventist Medical Center in Hinsdale but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, Conlin hasn’t been allowed inside.
“After she was here for a couple days, she was able to get moved to a room with a window to the outside,” he said. “And once we found that out, that I could come and visit and see her through the fourth story window, it just seemed like we’re going to capitalize everything we can with that because that’s all we’ve got.”
“I got a package and they brought it into my room and they’re like, ‘Look down,’” she said. “And he was there and he had this sign that said, ‘I love you.’ … When I saw him down there it felt like he had travelled the world to see me.”
“We’ll have date nights,” Conlin said. “I’ll bring her favorite food from one of the favorite restaurants and I’ll eat down here and she’ll eat up there and we’ll just talk and hang out for an hour or so.”
In the last few days, Moeller’s condition has changed. She’s no longer able to stand at the window to see Conlin below. The medical crisis began when her water broke at 20 weeks. The couple was told they had a less than a one percent chance their baby would survive.
“The minutes turned into days. The days turned into weeks and the first few weeks were just heart wrenching,” Conlin said. “We were at home. I think we cried everyday because we were told we had no chance. And our baby proved everyone wrong. And here we are.”
When we got admitted, Shona and I talked and one of the things we wanted to do was connect as deeply as we could with the baby. And part of that was to find out what we were having. So we found out we were having a little boy and his name is Forest.
“I remember the first week this happened having a conversation with our baby and saying, ‘If this is your time, to have already taught us your lessons that you wanted to teach us, we want you to know we are so appreciative. And if now is not the time for you to be with us we understand that. And if we are yours we’re going fight like hell.’ And that was the hardest conversation I had with our sweet little one and he kept fighting.”
Forest is 28-weeks-old today. Mom and dad are hoping to get to 34 weeks before delivery.
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family during this time.