© Submitted photo
Becky and Glenn MacArthur pose with their children, Fallyn, age 4, Autumn, 7, and Raedyn, 1.
Becky MacArthur is used to getting bad news during her pregnancies, but she hopes a trip to the IWK Hospital in Halifax next month will end on a happy note.
MacArthur and her husband, Glenn, are expecting their third child together, but are dealing with complications that could leave them with the choice of whether to continue with the pregnancy.
For now, it’s a matter of waiting for that appointment in Halifax.
“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, that’s for sure,” Becky said.
The problems with the latest pregnancy started at around 11 weeks when Becky started bleeding and thought she lost the baby. She didn’t but there was a blood clot in her uterus with the baby that at one point was taking up about half the space.
About a month ago, she found out the baby’s head and belly weren’t growing as much as they were supposed to.
Becky said they don’t know what that means for the baby, but if his brain isn’t developing properly the couple may have to make the difficult decision of whether to continue the pregnancy.
She is seven months along in her pregnancy and once the couple goes to Halifax, doctors there will confirm measurements taken in P.E.I.
“If they confirm the head measurements to be true then at that point I’d be given my options that obviously don’t look very good,” Becky said.
To complicate things further, Becky had high blood pressure known as preeclampsia in her last pregnancy and has been experiencing similar symptoms this time so she has to travel to the Prince County Hospital in Summerside from Abram-Village every week for monitoring.
The preeclampsia wasn’t the first time Becky had problems with a pregnancy either.
Her four-year-old daughter, Fallyn, weighed less than three pounds when she was born 10 weeks early.
MacArthur said she couldn’t imagine anyone could be that small.
“She was the tiniest human being I have ever laid my eyes on,” she said.
The financial burden of the complications started to mount before Fallyn was born when Becky spent a few weeks in hospital in Summerside for monitoring before a transfer to Halifax.
She spent two or three weeks there before Fallyn was born and another month before they got back to the Island.
There were more complications when she was pregnant with her son, Raedyn, who is almost one year old and almost had to be airlifted to Halifax when she went into premature labour.
He was born about three weeks early and there were problems with the placenta not giving him the nutrition he needed to grow.
Both of the babies overcame their rough starts and Becky said they both thrived, which is what kept her and Glenn going through her current pregnancy.
“Hopefully we can have a third miracle,” she said.
While the couple doesn’t know what will happen when they go to Halifax on Nov. 6, what they do know is some people back home in P.E.I. already want to help and have started raising money to help cover some of the MacArthurs’ costs.
After writing what Becky described as a rant on a Facebook parenting group about how long it took to get her ultrasound results, women she didn’t know offered their support.
Once she updated the women about the need to go to Halifax, one of them suggested members of the group donate to the family. Becky woke up one morning to messages from strangers asking for her email address so they could transfer money to her.
From there, someone posted an online classified ad explaining the family’s situation and providing contact information for donations. Since then the couple received a few hundred dollars in donations through email money transfers.
The couple didn’t find it easy to ask for or accept the help, which Glenn said was mostly because of pride.
“There’s people so much worse off than we are,” he said.
Becky said she hoped the people who helped her family will continue to help others and she is going to make sure she pays their kindness forward.
“A million thank yous is never going to be enough to express our gratitude,” she said.
Anyone who wants to donate to the MacArthurs can do so by email transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org or at the Walmart portrait studio in Charlottetown where a photographer is also collecting donations for the couple.