My name is Jenean Beskal and this is my story.
I’m the mom of two healthy and thriving boys ages 3 yrs and 9 months. But the future for our babies did not start so bright. Both ours sons were born prematurely at the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert, SK.
Our eldest was born at 33 weeks and the staff in Victoria hospital intubated him, stabilized him and he was sent to Saskatoon via ambulance. It was very hard physically and emotionally being transferred to Saskatoon. I was away from home, my doctor, my husband’s job and our entire family support system. And since I did not deliver in RUH, I was not considered a patient and they did not have a bed for me. I couldn’t be near my first born!
But day 12 in Saskatoon we got the news that a very rare spot opened up in the PA nursery and we were transferred home. I was told this almost never happens as the nursery is always full. The change itself was overwhelming and this new environment was overcrowded, cramped and chaotic. The move and drastic changes in care and privacy would end up contributing heavily to my severe postpartum anxiety I would experience in the months to come.
The staff were supportive and caring under the circumstances and I will be forever grateful to them. But due the extreme lack of space, babies were only about a couple feet apart and kept in the hallways and some still connected to monitors housed with their mothers. Imagine trying to pump milk for your baby, hold him for the first time or have a serious conversation with the doctors with a constant flow of bodies coming and going. I was always secretly concerned about how much the amount of noise, rushing around and 24/7 lights would effect my baby.
Our second son was born just shy of a month early and our nursery stay would only be for 4 days this time. He was born not breathing and was whisked off by the maternity team. Hours later when we were allowed to see him I couldn’t believe my eyes. Babies were no longer 2 feet apart, they were 6 inches apart! In a 400 square foot space, I counted 12 human bodies who were in that room. Almost all the equipment was being shared and battled over. The amazing nurses did the best they could to make everyone feel welcome and safe. But there was no longer denying that they needed help.
We were one of the lucky ones, the Victoria Hospital staff saved both our sons’ lives. They are now in perfect health. I forever will cherish the support and knowledge of the Prince Albert pediatricians, delivery and nursery staff for doing everything they could to save our little boys. But it is now up to us to help those who have helped our family. Please donate generously to Give a Little Life Day and lets give moms like myself and their newborns the best space and equipment that they deserve right here in Prince Albert.
Jenean Beskal and family