The Ulseth Family

Red Deer House

Consort, Alberta

My husband and I decided to have a third child last summer and found out that we were having two more babies.  We were soon sent to a specialist at the Royal Alex in Edmonton and were told that monochromic diatomic twins (twins that share the same placenta) came with many complications. I drove to Edmonton every two weeks from Consort, Alberta for an ultrasound so the doctors could closely monitor the babies. In early December we had a fetal echo where they noticed some abnormalities with Jackson’s heart; it was also closely monitored which meant more driving to Edmonton (about 600 kms round trip).

On January 20, we went to see the doctor at the Consort hospital, as I was having some complications. I was sent by ambulance to Edmonton because of early labour and was admitted to hospital and put on bed rest. On January 30, the fetal echo showed that Jackson’s heart was in distress. We were put on 24 hour monitor and at 2 a.m. January 31, they delivered the boys by emergency c-section.

We were very excited about their arrival but it had been a long road and the one ahead only looked longer. We were unable to get into the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton so I stayed with family and drove back and forth to the hospital. Traffic was horrible and the parking was even worse; by the time I got to my boys I was exhausted. Kevin had gone home with the girls so they could go back to school and work. I requested that the boys be transferred to Red Deer as soon as they were well enough, as it was closer for my family, and I could use Ronald McDonald House. On February 7, the boys were transferred and I arrived at the House late that night after both boys were settled in at the Red Deer hospital.

From the first moment I walked into the House, I was treated like family. I was shown around the House and was amazed at the beauty and homey feel it had. I was so happy to see the heated garage and short distance to the hospital. I was apprehensive at first to just help myself to all the wonderful things the House had to offer; it just seemed like too much but I have to say that by the end of my stay, I was getting a little territorial with my little home away from home.

I looked forward to Roberta’s baking on Monday mornings; Dusty’s smiling face as she mopped up all the beautiful floors, Jen’s conversation and helpfulness, Patti’s helping hand and all the other amazing people who run the House. I met some really great people while there and was very impressed by all the volunteers who come in to make meals.

But the best most precious thing that the House gave me was time with my two amazing boys. I was never very far away and got to spend every day over at the hospital to help my boys get healthy enough to come home. Bryson was born at three lbs and now weighs close to 10 lbs. He was discharged from the hospital on March 26 and was able to stay at the House with me where he was spoiled by everyone. I was supplied a crib and the House has a swing and blankets so I could make Bryson feel like he was home.  Jackson was born at two lbs 12 oz and now weighs close to nine lbs. He went through a lot at the beginning but he is our little fighter. After 71 days in the hospital, he was discharged on April 12. I was so happy to be taking both my boys home but I was also a little sad to be leaving my little family and home away from home. Thank you so much and we will always be grateful to have had the House available to us.

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