Being pregnant during a pandemic doesn't come with a "how to" book or class, but it is something Jackie experienced firsthand.
While the whole world was faced with the challenges of covid-19, her family had a 4 & 7 year old at home and a baby to plan for on the way. In September of 2020, little Petra came into the world to greet her parents, Jackie and Mark, 12 weeks early. Due to IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction), Petra weighed only 620 grams and was 10 inches long at birth. Having IUGR and being born so tiny, she was only given a 20% chance of surviving birth and being healthy enough to go home with her family.
The day she was born, c-section prevented Jackie from being able to see little Petra right away but she heard the most magical sounds…a tiny cry! "I knew I had a fighter on my hands and promised to fight right along with her.”
Then, Jackie and Mark were faced with some big decisions. They were 45 minutes away from their home in Aylmer, had two kids to care for, and now a beautiful and extremely fragile baby in-hospital to keep safe during a worldwide pandemic. Jackie and Mark knew they wanted to protect Petra at all costs, so they decided to divide and conquer. While Mark held down the fort back home, working and supporting big siblings Oli and Kit, Jackie settled into her new “home-away-from home” for 71 nights. Jackie found comfort in her home-away-from-home...
Being away from them [family] was so hard, but the silver lining was that I was able to isolate and feel confident that I was doing everything possible to stay healthy while I spent my days with our sweet baby. Having a soft place to land, meals and wonderful people to welcome me gave me the time to rest and heal. RMH was a blessing to me in this journey and I’m deeply grateful.
For 71 nights, the Stockford family remained strong through distanced visits outside where they enjoyed activity packs and everyone’s favourite - sweet treats from the RMH kitchen!
Petra, after spending 10 weeks in Children’s Hospital and another 3 weeks in the Special Care Nursery at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, was able to make it home to join her anxiously awaiting Dad and siblings just in time for Christmas.
I absolutely believe being a constant partner in her care allowed her to get the most out of her NICU stay and allowed her to come home a little sooner.
Now at almost 6 months old, Petra is thriving and the Stockford family is together again. They've been advocating in their home community for #keepingfamiliesclose by sporting their red and white RMHC stripes!