Due to the coronavirus pandemic, stricter protocols are in place at hospitals, meaning patients often do not have the option to see visitors. Shona Moeller has been hospitalized at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center in Hinsdale, Ill. for seven weeks. She was admitted because of pregnancy complications, and during this difficult time, her husband was unable to visit her.
That didn’t stop Bob Conlin, though. Throughout her hospitalization, the excited dad-to-be has staged “date nights” outside her hospital room window. During these dates he makes sure they’re able to enjoy takeout from their favorite restaurants “together” by sending up food and flowers to her room.
The two communicate on Facetime from four stories apart. Conlin has brought surprise guests over, staged candlelit dinners and even continued Moeller’s tradition of hitting a piñata on the last day of school (she’s a health teacher and relationship coach) by blindfolding himself and having her guide him to one that he set up. He’s definitely being creative for these unusual outings!
Here is his holding up a “Proud Papa” sign in this photo posted to Facebook on May 2:
Her husband’s dedication gave Moeller some much-needed hope during a trying ordeal. Her water broke at 20 weeks, and at that time, the expectant parents were told their baby boy likely would not make it. Their options were to terminate the pregnancy or wait a few weeks and see. They waited — until the 23rd week.
Entering the hospital would improve the infant’s odds from that point, so the couple made the difficult decision for Moeller to get treatment there, even though they knew it would mean they’d be separated for some time.
“I didn’t sleep for like three days before I left for the hospital because I knew I wouldn’t be with him,” Moeller told NBC 5 Chicago. “I was just so terrified to be going through this experience without him … we knew that [the hospital] was the best place to be but it was just so hard saying goodbye.”
The effort Conlin has made has meant a lot to the mom-to-be. And you can see why by looking at some of the signs he made for her for their dates. He posted these to their GoFundMe page, which was created to raise money for their hospital expenses:
“In this time where I’m by myself, every gesture feels so monumental and lovely and sweet,” Moeller told “Good Morning America.” “It felt like he had traveled the world to come see me because it meant so much.”
The couple was even able to reunite for real on Mother’s Day. Here’s a video Conlin posted to YouTube showing her surprise and happiness when he visited her hospital room in person.
Moeller is now 29 weeks along, and their son, whom they plan to name Forest, has a 90% chance of surviving.
On May 27, Conlin shared the baby’s latest ultrasound picture on Facebook:
“Shona has been really great with sending pictures and Forest gets monitored a few times a day and she calls me every time it happens so I’m able to hear his heartbeat,” Conlin told GMA.
How sweet! When he finally makes his debut, little Forest will surely know he’s loved.