Husband Who Can't Be with Pregnant Wife Stages Dates Outside Hospital Where She's on Bed Rest
"It felt like he had traveled the world to come see me because it meant so much," Shona Moeller said of her husband Robert Conlin's gesture.
When Shona Moeller was admitted to an Illinois hospital on April 13 at 23 weeks pregnant, her husband, Robert "Bob" Conlin, was heartbroken that he couldn't join her due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Good Morning America reported.
"We were both just sobbing and I was thinking, how could Shona possibly be going through this without me by her side?" Conlin, 45, recalled to the outlet. "It was really sad and scary but we just focused on the baby and tried to make the best of the situation."
Conlin delivered. Though he couldn't physically be with Moeller, 41, the dad-to-be got creative and started setting up date nights outside her window at Hinsdale's AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center as a way to maintain some sense of normalcy during the uncertain time.
Sitting on a lawn chair beside a table decorated with flowers and candles, Conlin started FaceTiming his wife from four stories below while they enjoyed takeout from their favorite restaurants (which he had delivered to her hospital room) and holding up signs that read "You Are Beautiful" and "I love you."
He also sweetly held up one with illustrations of trees reading, "Protect Our Forest" — a nod to their unborn son, whom they plan to name Forest.
"I think it’s a little glimpse of some normalcy," he explained to 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."
Though Moeller was not admitted to the hospital until April 13, her water actually prematurely broke three weeks prior, according to GMA.
At the time, Moeller, who works as a high school teacher and part-time life coach, instantly went on bed rest at her home in an effort to prevent going into early labor, which could risk her unborn child's health.
Since mid-April, Moeller has continued to be on bed rest — but in the hospital without her husband. Refusing to let that keep him from seeing his wife, Conlin started FaceTiming and Zooming Moeller, before getting creative with his outdoor dates.
The first time Conlin, who works as a relationship coach, set up their date night, Moeller told GMA she was taken aback and "lost her breath."
"In this time where I’m by myself, every gesture feels so monumental and lovely and sweet," she explained. "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," Conlin added to the outlet.
Along with the sweet surprise from her husband, Moeller also received a woodland-themed baby shower from the nurses at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center after her initial one was canceled amid the pandemic.
"I lost it when Shona FaceTimed me," Conlin recalled of the nurses' surprise for his wife. "It's so sweet."
He wrote on his Facebook page: "These nurses at AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Hinsdale are angels. Our guardian angels treating the whole of all three of us. We could not be happier with the care and compassion we have been receiving. It makes this so much easier to know that this team is on our team."
During the moments she's not on date nights with her husband, Moeller has been resting and preparing for the arrival of her little one while keeping Conlin in the loop.
"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," he told GMA.
When Forest finally does arrive, Conlin will be allowed in the delivery room. The dad-to-be told GMA he already has his bag packed and looks forward to when he can reunite with his wife, as well as meet his new son.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the couple by their doula to assist with their medical bills for Moeller's lengthy stay in the hospital and Forest's anticipated stay in the NICU once he's born.
"As a couple in their 40s, they had tried for over a year for this baby," their doula, Hillary Hittner, wrote on the page. "When they found out that they finally conceived they were overjoyed, as well as a little scared, to be honest."
"If you personally know Shona and Bob, you know that they are love. They stand for love and they share their love freely," she continued. "They are grateful for any support you and your family could provide."
"Especially when we are all hurting, scared and confused given our current state of the world," Hittner added. "It would mean the world to have the stress and fear of this financial strain out of the picture while they focus on keeping mama and this miracle baby healthy."