(Follow this link and listen to the song while you read the post!)
This weekend proved to be different than most.
I mentioned a few posts ago that I was going to be a first-time aunt in April. Well, PeaPod (as my sister’s in utero baby is affectionately known) decided that it would be better if I became an aunt right. now. My sister’s water broke on Friday evening—two and a half full months before her due date—and what followed was a laundry list from anybody’s worst nightmare.
My sister’s pregnancy is considered high risk, because she is at a higher risk for blood clots than the ordinary pregnant woman (we can thank Ortho Jansen and her brand of birth control pills for that). She needs special care in the delivery room, mainly to make sure she doesn’t bleed too much from her blood-thinning injections during birth. Anyway, it turned out that the special care she needed wasn’t available in Calgary when the water broke. Unfortunately, it also wasn’t available in Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, or Victoria. Hence, she had to be flown via air ambulance to the nearest hospital with the appropriate facilities—in Great Falls, Montana. Montana!!
My sister’s partner was ready to make the journey with her, but he was denied the opportunity because he doesn’t have a passport. (New US border laws require anybody flying across to carry a passport.) So. She made the flight by herself, scared nearly to death, while her partner made plans to drive to Montana the next day.
She landed safe and sound, and so far, it looks like her and PeaPod are doing OK. Her labour will have to be induced by the end of this week, and after she gives birth, she will probably need to stay in the hospital until PeaPod is strong and healthy enough to make the flight home. This means that she can expect to stay in the hospital until her regular due date—April 14—at a minimum. I don’t care who you are—that’s a long time to spend in a hospital, and it’s a long time to be away from your friends and family, too.
I’m grateful that a system is in place to get women who go into labour prematurely the medical care they require, even if it means transporting them to another hospital. However, my heart breaks when I hear how scared and alone my sister feels. My mother is with her now, but my sister’s partner, friends, and the rest of her family will only be able to make weekend trips to be with her, if that.
I spent the weekend knitting my first ever preemie caps and a log cabin preemie blanket to send with my sister’s partner on his next trip down. In the meantime, I’d appreciate any and all of the support you can offer. I trust that this situation will have a positive outcome for everybody involved, but it’s a bit frightening for the time being.
How to Help Out:
- Keep my sister and PeaPod in your thoughts and prayers (thanks so much to everyone who is already doing this!)
- Consider using your soft scrap yarn for preemie caps and/or blankets. Most hospitals accept donations of knitted items on an ongoing basis. This site has some basic instructions and sizing guidelines for caps. Basically, caps should be knit to fit an orange or your clenched fist.
- For the results-oriented, instant-gratification types out there, contact me to arrange cash donations for gas money, hotel costs, and other expenses in Great Falls, Montana. Money is tight for expectant couples of all sorts, and this case is no exception.