Sidelines National Support Network
/ Volunteer Spotlight
Volunteer of the Month
volunteer Lisa Hootselle with her children, Hayden and Madeline
Name: Lisa Hootselle
Home: Canton, Georgia
Husband's Name: Jeff
Children’s Names and Ages: Hayden, age 5 ˝ years; Madeline, age 16 months; currently adopting Emma, age 2 ˝
"I will always remember the kindness and compassion I received from so many amazing people with both of my high risk pregnancies."
Lisa Hootselle's husband first discovered Sidelines on the Internet while searching for information to help her get through bedrest with her first pregnancy.
"Sidelines quickly matched me with a bedrest sponsor while I was in the hospital for an extended stay," Lisa said. "I found my Sidelines sponsor to be so helpful and encouraging throughout my difficult pregnancy that I knew I wanted to help others after my son was born. Today, I refer Sidelines to any woman I hear of who is having a difficult pregnancy."
Lisa explains that her pregnancy with her son, Hayden, was very complicated. At 19 weeks, she was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix and placed on bedrest at home. By 20 weeks, her doctor discovered that she was having contractions that she could not even feel, and she was hospitalized for the duration of her pregnancy. While in the hospital, she was administered magnesium sulfate and terbutaline subcutaneously via an infusion pump.
"At the end of my 28th week, my water broke, and I went into labor," Lisa said. "I delivered my son almost 12 weeks early. Today, my son is doing very well despite his premature birth. He is as happy and healthy as any child."
In early 2008, Lisa became pregnant with her daughter, Madeline. With this pregnancy, she was placed on bedrest at home at 16 weeks due to contractions and an incompetent cervix. She received progesterone shots weekly until approximately 36 weeks. "I was placed on bedrest for 5 months, and I literally went into labor just a few days after being taken off bedrest," Lisa explained. "With Madeline, I was able to make it to 37 weeks, and it is hard for me to believe she is already over a year old. She is our little angel."Lisa says that friends, family, doctors, and her Sideline buddies worked hard to help her keep her spirits and strength up while she was on bedrest.
"Going through these high risk pregnancies also let me see my husband in a new light," Lisa said. "The love and support he gave me through these difficult times only brought us closer as a couple."
To help her get through the months of bed rest with her daughter, one of Lisa's good friends told her to keep picturing pumpkins and Halloween decorations to keep herself focused. Lisa's due date was in early November, but she knew she was "at a safe point in my pregnancy" once everyone started putting out their Halloween decorations.
"This really helped me stay positive and get excited about the pending arrival of my daughter," she said. "Instead of counting weeks and months during the bed rest, I thought about how I would spend the holiday with my daughter. My advice would be for the pregnant mommy to focus on a fun holiday close to when she will be taken off of her bedrest. Counting days can be overwhelming, but a holiday is something fun to focus on instead."
Lisa also purchases copies of the Sidelines magazine, Left Side Lines, so that her specialist and obstetrician can keep copies on hand for women who need them.
"I feel receiving support from someone who has already been through what you are currently going through is extremely reassuring and empowering," she said. "For me, this helped me realize that the bedrest was just temporary and that I would soon be moving on with my life, too."
A volunteer since 2005, Lisa said that throughout the years, she has received many pictures of the newborn babies and their mothers she has supported. One of her favorite surprises was a video montage looking back at the first year of a little girl whose mother she had sponsored.
"The moving video had me shedding tears of joy over this miraculous little girl and how much her parents loved her," she said.
In addition to being a busy mom, Lisa serves as a board member of Remember Georgia's Children Foundation (http://www.remembergeorgiaschildren.org), which is an organization formed to build a children's park and family center in North Georgia. She also is the leader of the River Green Book Club and enjoys reading, writing, and working out in her spare time.