When Michelle Costley reflects back on the four and a half months her twin boys spent at Regina General Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), she is positive and grateful.
At 24 weeks, Michelle needed daily monitoring. She was at her farm near Gravelbourg when she learned her pregnancy was high risk with the possibility of complications. She moved into the Rawlco Centre Hostel, at Regina General Hospital, and two weeks later she gave birth to Logan and Jesse.
For the next four months, Michelle stayed in the hostel, just down the hall from the NICU. While it was an extraordinary situation, Michelle found routine by spending most of her day with the babies and resting in the hostel. Her husband Chad stayed home at the farm with their other two boys, and was relieved Michelle was at the hospital to take care of the twins. The Rawlco Centre Hostel is located close to the NICU and Special Care Unit. It provides a comfortable and relaxing place for parents to stay. With private bedrooms, washrooms and a shared living space and kitchen, families can have privacy or visit with others in similar situations.
During her stay, Michelle noticed the common room fridge was always full. Michelle and Chad knew they wanted to pay it forward for all the support they received. Through Hospitals of Regina Foundation, they provided mini-fridges for all the individual rooms. The fridges allow mothers to pump and store their milk, so it is readily accessible when a baby needed it, especially in the middle of night.
After 124 days, Jesse was cleared to leave. Logan needed a few more days of care, so Michelle was moved to a care by parent room. “I was so happy to stay there, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a place to keep Jesse while I was taking care of Logan,” says Michelle
Michelle and Chad were asked to share their story at the 2016 Z99 Radiothon:
It was our pleasure to help out with Radiothon. The NICU and Mother Baby Unit did more for our family than they will ever know. Michelle not only shared her story, but helped out as a volunteer at the event.
The boys celebrated their first birthday on April 24, 2016 and Michelle happily shared they are doing great. “They have just started to crawl and are getting into everything,” she jokes. The Costleys look forward to July when the boys should receive their clean bill of health and have their last visit to the pediatrician.
As they close this first chapter in Logan and Jesse’s lives, the Costleys will never forget the people and place that saved their babies’ lives. Chad says,
We are so grateful to the amazing nurses and doctors and to everyone who supports the NICU. It really is the most incredible place in the world. To have everyone care so much for our babies and for us, well, it’s indescribable.