Kelowna rallies behind baby born 3 months premature

Kelowna rallies behind baby born 3 months premature
Born three months early – Kelowna News
McDonald’s restaurant is now available for delivery to residents of Kelowna through Skip the Dishes, an online food delivery business.

The service is actually called McDelivery Canada and prides itself on delivering breakfast in bed, food at night and for your midnight cravings.

“Yes, you can order all day breakfast selections delivery through the app,” says the website.

Both the Lakeshore Road and Harvey Avenue restaurant locations deliver in Kelowna through Skip the Dishes.

Kelowna's Marcus and Beth Schmaling, parents of three boys, were expecting their first daughter in mid-November. That timeline was moved up significantly in August.

After finding a blood clot in the baby's umbilical cord, doctors told Marcus and Beth they needed to perform an emergency C-section within the next two hours. That was on Aug. 23, when baby Maisie was at 27 weeks gestation. She was just two pounds, 11 ounces when she was born.

It's been an emotional rollercoaster for the Schmalings over the last seven weeks. Maisie required surgery after a piece of her intestine died. The surgery has been successful.

“A week after that she had what looked like seizures,” Marcus said. “That was hard, because there are chances that a premature baby will have brain damage … so that was always a fear.

“Just that fear in the gut of is my daughter going to actually make it and is my daughter going to have permanent brain damage of some kind.”

Maisie has undergone several tests since the seizures which have come back negative for any brain damage and after taking anti-seizure medication, those have stopped.

“It has kind of been two weeks of what feels like a new normal,” Marcus said. “She's just over five pounds, which is amazing and as of a few days ago, she moved into a crib, so she doesn't need to be in an incubator anymore.”

Since the delivery, Beth has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, while Maisie has been cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit at BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Marcus and their three sons, aged four, six and eight, remain in Kelowna. Marcus has been making weekend trips to visit Beth, and he's recently taken a leave of absence from his job as a youth pastor.

“That's just been huge for my psychological health,” Marcus said. “Being a pastor is a very emotionally engaging job and so I found I didn't have anything left to give to my boys when I'd come home.”

Through Employment Insurance, Marcus is making less than half the income he had been, and the cost of the weekly trips to the coast, along with caring for their three sons, is adding up.

While they initially had reservations about reaching out for financial help, friends convinced them to set up a GoFundMe account, to give others a way to help.

“We didn't know it would go this fast,” Marcus said. “Our faith community, KGF Church, is a very generous church with very generous people and they've been very kind to us.”

Marcus says they're hoping Beth and Maisie can come home sometime in December, but that timeline is by no means a guarantee. Until then, Marcus will continue to make his weekly trips to the coast.