Shona Moeller has spent 6 weeks at a local hospital in Chicago, waiting for the arrival of her first born, a baby boy. The high school teacher and part-time life coach was having a fairly normal pregnancy until about 20 weeks in, when her water broke prematurely. She was put on bed rest at home for 3 weeks before she was admitted to the Chicago hospital at 23 weeks.
Shona has been cooped up in the hospital for over a month trying to keep her pregnancy on hold, until she can deliver a happy healthy abby boy. The worst part of the whole ordeal is that she is unable to have visitors, including the companionship of her husband Robert Conlin. But Shonna does have one thing to look forward to every week.
Robert comes to the hospital once a week and has dinner from the couple’s favorite restaurant delivered to Shonna’s hospital room. Then he sets up a dinner table with his food and some candles. But Robert isn’t setting this up in her room, or at home or in the hospital lobby. Robert parks himself on the sidewalk outside Shona’s window and holds up signs to his lovely wife as they FaceTime- the closest he’s allowed to get to her during the pandemic.
“I think it’s a little glimpse into normalcy. We ask each other out on dates all the time still and the first time I came [to the hospital] as a date night I asked her the same thing ‘Do you want to go on a dinner date with me?'”. Robert said of the first hospital window date.
“She thought we were just going to do it over FaceTime so when I showed up, she was really surprised.”
In this time where I’m by myself, every gesture feels so monumental and lovely and sweet. It felt like he had traveled the world to come and see me because it meant so much.” Shona said of the first date.
Robert also tries to get creative to keep in touch with his wife and Forest, the name they plan on giving their baby after he’s born. There are Facetime and Zoom calls with Shona of course, but he also makes signs and sends messages from the sidewalk for his wife to see from her window.
I remember the day before she went into the hospital and we were both just sobbing and I was thinking how could Shona possibly be going through this without me by her side.”
“It was really sad and scary but we just focused on the baby and tried to make the best of the situation.
The staff at the hospital has also been nothing short of amazing. When some of the nurses found out that Shona’s baby shower had to be cancelled they came together and got her a few woodland creature themed baby gifts for her and Forest while Robert got to FaceTime in.
The good news is that Robert will be able to go in for the delivery and be there for his wife and first child, thats one thing the hospital made sure of. And with the amount of effort he has put in just to see his wife from a distance, he deserves to get at least that much. “He’s just been a beacon of support. He has such a big heart.” said Shona of her caring husband.
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