Due to complications with her pregnancy, Shona Moeller has been on bed rest in a Chicago-area hospital for over a month. The soon-to-be new mom has had a rough go it, but her husband is doing all he can to provide comfort and support.
Bob Conlin is unable to visit his wife in the hospital because of risks involved with the coronavirus, but he has found a way to be there for Shona as they await the birth of their first son. Bob brings date night to Shona from 40 feet below her window.
Shona’s water had broken in late March, about 5 months into her pregnancy. The condition is called preterm premature ruptured of membranes (PPROM), and it occurs when the amniotic membrane surrounding the baby breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy, exposing the mother to increased risk of infection and premature childbirth.
Bob and Shona don’t know why it happened. ”It happened while we were working on our nursery. We had less than a 1% chance the baby would make it,” he explained.
But after weeks of bed rest, Shona and the baby have remained healthy. By week 23 of her pregnancy, doctors pronounced the baby viable and Shona was admitted to the hospital where she will be monitored until their son is born.
Bob and Shona were scared to be separated during this critical time, but they focused on the positives and resolved to do what was best for the baby.
“The outpouring of love and support from our family, community, and clients has helped a lot. Sharing our story, our love and hope have given us that love and hope right back. We have a strong spiritual practice as well that keeps us grounded and connected,” he said.
At first the couple did their best to communicate through FaceTime and Zoom, but eventually Bob opted to meet his wife at her window.
Shona said when Bob surprised her on their first date night at the hospital, she was touched and “lost her breath.”
“In this time where I’m by myself, every gesture feels so monumental and lovely and sweet,” she explained to People. “It felt like he had traveled the world to come see me because it meant so much.”
“She thought we were just going to do it over FaceTime so when I showed up, she was really surprised,” Bob added.
Bob’s date night routine is to set up a table decorated with flowers and candles four stories below Shona’s window. He FaceTimes his wife from a lawn chair he brings as they share take out from their favorite restaurants at a safe distance.
He holds up signs with messages like “You are beautiful” and “I love you” and signs welcoming their son who they plan to name Forest.
“I think it’s a little glimpse of some normalcy,” Bob told GMA. “We ask each other 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?'”
“He’s just been a beacon of support,” Moeller said of her husband. “He has such a big heart.”
After he tested negative for COVID-19, the hospital made a special exception for Bob and allowed him to surprise Shona for Mother’s Day.
Bob will be allowed in the delivery room to experience Forest’s birth when the time comes. He says his bags are packs and he can’t wait to reunite with his wife and meet his new son.
The couple has set up a GoFundMe to help offset the cost of Shona’s long hospital stay.