Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ronald McDonald House

Colin's arrival into the world was a miracle that I will never forget.  The day of his arrival was a challenge for mommy and baby.  Soon after he was born, he was unexpectedly whisked away to NICU at CHOC hospital and the longest few days of our lives began.

Colin's ride to NICU

We are so incredibly happy and humbled that Colin is home safe and sound and thriving, but those days were still a challenge.  At the hospital we delivered, the Children's hospital is separate from the main hospital.  While I'm sure there are lots of good reasons for this, it makes it very difficult when mom and baby are patients at different hospitals.  The days Colin spent in NICU, I spent racing between his bedside and my hospital room in time for medications and mandatory doctor visits.  Neither Gavin or I ate or slept much and we were tired and becoming increasing frustrated with trying to understand and coordinate Colin's required care.  Up until the minute we signed the release and rolled out of NICU, we weren't sure when he'd be coming home.  

Wired baby
The distance between the 2nd and 5th floor of Mission Hospital felt like a million miles when I was on one and he was on the other, the thought of coming home without him, and trying to feed him and care for him from here was more than daunting.

Very tired momma
One day, one of the NICU doctor's comforted me by explaining that if Colin's stay were extended, I would be likely be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald Room to continue to be close to him.  Knowing that I wouldn't have to leave him meant the world to me and brought me so much comfort and peace during a very stressful time.

In the Children's Hospital, there is a Ronald McDonald House hospitality room for patient's families.  One of the few things I ate during my stay was a muffin from one of the RMDH volunteers.  While I had limited interactions with them, they were always incredibly positive, helpful and friendly.  

I know there are tons of fantastic charities out there, but if you are looking for a place to donate this Christmas, please consider Ronald McDonald House.  I think prior to our hospital stay, I had an idea of what they did, but I had no idea what a valuable service they were providing to families facing what is likely some of their darkest days. 

Thank you to Ronald McDonald House for helping keep families together.  I hope we never need to experience your kindness again.

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