At 29 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy, I found myself at the doctor’s office for a scheduled glucose test. Nurses and doctors were alarmed when my blood pressure read severely high at 225/114. I was immediately sent to the labor and delivery wing, terrified and confused. Surely I wouldn’t be delivering my son any time soon, or so I thought. I was unable to fathom what good could possibly come from the situation that my family had found ourselves in.
Three long, frightening days passed full of health complications, blood pressure checks, and blood draws. Just after shift change on the fourth evening, Asher was delivered via c- section at 12:02am on September 11, 2017, weighing in at just under two and a half pounds.
After 9 days, I was discharged, but our journey was far from over. Asher was born 10 weeks premature and spent the following 64 days in the NICU. Stressed and nervous, my husband and I didn’t know what to do next. The Ronald McDonald House was the answer. We were instantly relieved upon checking in. The house was so clean, the staff was friendly, and the location was second to none. We were thankful for a quiet place to sleep, shower, do laundry, enjoy a hot meal, and be minutes from our baby.
Out of the 64 days that Asher was in the NICU, we spent 58 nights at the Ronald McDonald House so that we could be with our son from 7am into the late evening and not have to drive anywhere. Our car would remain parked for days, even weeks. It felt natural to call the Ronald McDonald House “home,” and we did every time we spoke about it.
After a series of stressful months, Asher was ready to come home. I was emotional as we packed up our belongings from the House. The volunteer who saw us out gave us a blanket for Asher, and I broke down. The thought of not being at the House anymore and finally being able to take our baby home was so overwhelming.
When we visited the House the following summer with a meal for everyone, we were able to go together as a family… with Asher. I didn’t even make it through the door without tears. It was so emotional to have him at the House with us for the first time, where for so long it had been just me and Jacob.
The Ronald McDonald House was truly the unsung hero of our NICU journey with our son. We will be forever grateful for everything that the Ronald McDonald House did for our family to keep us close. We will continue to give back and spread the word of how truly amazing this organization is!