Seltic went to bed the evening of March 31st, after a month of suffering with blood pressure issues during her pregnancy.

She woke up at about 1 am with sharp pains in her rib cage. After getting a drink of water and hoping the pain would go away, she took her blood pressure, only to discover that it was quite elevated. She knew then it was time to wake up her husband.

Since it was April Fool’s Day – he looked at Seltic and asked, “Is this a joke?”

After contacting medical support, the nurses advised over the phone to head to the nearest emergency department which was in Drumheller. Luckily when they arrived the medical teams at the hospital had seen Seltic a couple weeks prior to this visit and were aware of some of the symptoms she had been experiencing throughout March.

After a few tests the medical team determined that there were enough abnormalities to warrant more testing. Seltic was more than agreeable as she was hyper-focused on the health and safety of this new baby.

The OB came in a bit later after the tests to say “I have good news and I have bad news… the good news is you’re having a baby today. Bad news… you’re having a baby today.”

“Oh, and by the way you’re going to Red Deer.”

Seltic had arrived at the emergency department with just the clothes on her back. She was exhausted. And heading to Red Deer to have a baby sooner than planned was not something she had been ready for. Especially when her doctor was in Calgary.

Seltic and her husband had left their two dogs in the middle of the night. Austin was about to start a new job the next day. Their support systems were scrambling to figure out where everyone would be (and of course the dogs!). Despite all of this – the doctors were most concerned that Seltic kept her blood pressure down. No easy feat in a situation like this.

Their baby boy Ryker was born a few hours later via emergency c-section.

Seltic says she was waiting for that cry from her baby boy. It was a relief when she finally heard it. Then one of the medical team members told her, “He’s three pounds and twelve ounces.”

Seltic was trying to comprehend what she had just heard. She was also trying to take in this moment. He was so small, and all bundled up, and before she knew it, they had to take baby Ryker to the NICU.

Ryker needed some extra support for nearly three weeks. During that time Seltic made her home at the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer.

“When all my plans changed, it scared me a little bit,” said Seltic.

“You don’t know how much you need help until you’re in that situation.”

Seltic Larsen

Austin was the one to check the family into the Ronald McDonald House.

While Seltic was recovering in her hospital bed he sent her a photo saying, “You won’t believe the stuff that was waiting for us at the Ronald McDonald House”. Seltic was overcome with emotion. She knew what RMHC did but didn’t realize how much she would receive in terms of support. There were handmade blankets, there were toys, there were preemie needs.

After four days in the hospital, Seltic was discharged and went to make her new “home” at the Ronald McDonald House. When she walked into the House, she couldn’t believe this place was there for them. It felt so much like a home.

About RMHC, Seltic says, “You don’t know how much you need help until you’re in that situation.”

“The staff and the volunteers always asked me how I was doing. They really care about you and your wellbeing and your mental health. And they care about your kids, always asking how they are doing.”

Seltic still sends photos of Ryker to the team at RMHC Alberta, and even made a special visit on Ryker’s first birthday.

“It brought back amazing memories. Once you leave, the people don’t stop caring. Knowing that if I ever had to end up in this situation again – they would remember me and care about our family.”