Joseff and Marlena Diedrich founded Acts of Grace in November of 2007. The foundation was inspired after the loss of their daughter, Grace. The Diedrich Family experienced what many experience during pregnancy: hospital bedrest. Marlena shares a few thoughts of their experience and inspiration below;
In March of 2007 we found out we were having twins. We were extremely excited and proud, we told anyone we met and everyone we knew! We spent the next months preparing for the arrival of our two girls.Our due date of October 17, 2007 could not come soon enough! The pregnancy was going great and I was enjoying every moment of our journey. The girls were developing on target and I was honored to be able to carry our two baby girls. The morning of August 13, 2007 (30 weeks gestation) I called my doctor due to some concerns of pre term labor. We were told to meet our doctor on the labor and delivery floor of Sky Ridge Medical Center. Shortly after our arrival, I was told I was in labor due to complications with our Baby Grace. We were advised to spend the duration of the pregnancy in the hospital on bed rest to receive a number of IV/oral medications and for monitoring of our girls. August 17, I was transferred to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in anticipation of Grace's delivery. I cried all day on that Friday. I did not want to leave my loving doctor's care nor did I want to face the reality that I was having a high-risk pregnancy. I was afraid of being under a different medical group's care, was fearful of the unknown and was saddened that one of our girls was having life threatening complications. I thought I was in a nightmare, I could not believe what was happening. Our first days at P/SL we were visited by a number of specialists advising us of Grace's poor prognosis and what we could expect at the delivery. The plan was to get me to 36 weeks gestation keeping me on the IV/oral medication to control my labor and continue to assess Grace's unknown condition through further testing. This news was overwhelming for us. We had many fears of the unknown and felt completely isolated. How could this be happening to us? After a few days of attending the pool at P/SL, I realized there were other women in similar situations and realized how therapeutic it was to interact with them. I also realized many of the women admitted to P/SL were completely alone.
On September 27, 2007 (37 weeks gestation) our two beautiful daughters were delivered. Grace arrived into this world with no signs of life, we were able to bring her sister home with us. Weeks after being back home, I could not stop thinking about my time in the hospital. I also could not stop thinking about the other high risk women with their various situations. I felt that there was a strong need to reach out to pregnant women on hospital bedrest in the community.
We started providing services in April 2008 and look forward to expanding those services to other communities.