My husband and I were pregnant with our first child despite infertility issues and beyond excited. At 34 weeks gestation I was transferred to Vidant Medical Center/Pitt Memorial Hospital to deliver our daughter Emma. I was induced with Pitocin due to preeclampsia and she delivered on February 11, 2010 at 1935. When Emma delivered she had no respiratory effort and was immediately intubated and taken to the NICU. She was on the ventilator for five days, phototherapy, weaned from an isolette, tpn, lipids, ten days of antibiotics for pneumonia, and countless IV’s.

My profession as a NICU/nursery registered nurse could not have prepared me for the days to come. Being on the other side as a NICU mother was a completely different experience than caring for the neonate. I couldn’t rationalize Emma’s plan of care or questions I should have asked as a nurse my role now was a concerned mother. My heart would sink when we would visit and find Emma re-intubated, phototherapy restarted, reattempting IV sticks, back to an open crib from an isolette and losing weight which delayed discharge.

Many people helped us through this experience. First, is the almighty God who is always faithful. Second, was our family and friends who would visit, call, text, or email. Third, was the Ronald McDonald House. When we were told of the RMH we were excited for the opportunity to stay close to our little one. All we hoped for was a bed to sleep in and a warm shower. When we entered RMH my husband and I was overwhelmed by the friendly staff, clean rooms, and plenty of accommodating amenities. We could not stop saying how amazed, appreciation and in honor of Emma, every February (Emma’s birthday month) we cook dinner for the families. This is just a small act of appreciation. We live an hour away we could not afford a hotel every night plus three meals. What the RMH provided for us was this plus so much more. RMH provided us a way to stay close to Emma, a cozy bed, all you can eat food, passionate and accommodating staff, breast milk pumping and storing, and the interaction between other families sharing the same feelings was priceless. We thank the staff and volunteers at RMH for all they do. It really does make a difference in others’ lives. RMH has left footprints on our hearts forever and we will never forget.

Jenn & Lee Heath

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.     Proverbs 3:5-6