Welcome to June! Summer is in full swing. Soccer and softball have started, many of us have dipped or dunked our bodies in the ocean, perhaps caught a fish or two. As I sit here and bask in the glory of summer, I also reflect on last June and how it was so different from today. Last June I was large, and very pregnant and on June 9th during my 32nd week of pregnancy, my little bun wanted out of the oven before she was done baking. After a sleepless night with the lovely Bartlett Regional Hospital OB staff, and a couple measures to try and stop contractions, the decision was made to medevac myself, and husband to somewhere with a neonatal ward in case labor couldn’t be stopped and our baby girl decided to make an appearance. In case you didn’t know, Bartlett will deliver babies at 36 weeks gestation and past that, anything earlier, mama and baby get a plane ride. We were lucky enough to be able to choose which hospital we wanted to go to. We chose Providence in Anchorage as we have family there (pictured: me on my one of two wheelchair rides I was allowed each day).  We were doubly lucky that we had purchased an annual membership with Airlift Northwest, which is a medevac service that services Southeast Alaska and beyond. The membership is $99 and applies to the household in conjunction with your primary insurance. There are a number of benefits that go with this membership such as billing and accepting your insurance company. It was so nice to not have to worry about the extremely high cost that incurs with a medevac. I highly recommend purchasing a membership whether it be with Airlift Northwest or Guardian Flight, another medevac company that services Southeast Alaska. I certainly am not an alarmist and try not to dwell on the “what if’s” in life because you never really know, but because the membership is affordable I’d recommend it. Especially if you or a family member has any medical conditions or natural life chances like pregnancy that might need to take you to a higher level of medical care not offered in Juneau. Now in case you’re wondering, after the medevac and arriving at Providence we had a few long days that turned into weeks slowing labor and ultimately finding a medication that mostly subsided the contractions and there I stayed until my 36th week of pregnancy when I was then cleared to fly home. Happy June Southast Alaska, have so much fun and stay safe!

Anna Hoke is the graphic designer and owner of Southeast Living Magazine. She can be reached at anna@seakliving.com.