The Monday after Thanksgiving, I went to the doctor for a routine prenatal check up. Fifteen minutes into my visit, it became apparent that I was being admitted to the hospital for my blood pressure. Twenty-four hours later, I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and was told my baby boy would be born by the end of the week. I was transported from Nash General in Rocky Mount to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville at 3am on Wednesday. The next day, our son Liam made his grand entrance into the world at only 29 weeks and barely 2 pounds. On Sunday, as mom was being released from the hospital, we received a phone call that we had been given a room at Ronald McDonald House.

Since that life altering week, we have had ups and downs. Little Liam has endured six weeks of antibiotics for an infection, a slight cranial bleed, and over a month of shots (twice a day) for a clot right outside his heart. He has gained weight and grown. He has been weaned down to the lowest level of breathing support and has started trying to bottle feed. All in all, Liam is doing great. In such a short time so much has happened, and we haven’t even reached his original due date yet.

We have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House for the last 8 weeks. The best part about staying here is honestly the friendly staff who truly cares. They know that we are here due to an extremely stressful situation. They do their best to make things easier. Being right here near the hospital makes life so much easier since we don’t have to face an hour drive each way if we had to stay at home.

Our stay at RMH has allowed us to spend every day with our son. Being able to hold him and cheer him on as he grows lets him know that he is very much loved. Without RMH, it would be a struggle for us to give him that needed attention. If the Ronald McDonald House did not exist, we would have driven back and forth- between home and the hospital- as much as we could. We do have family that would have helped transport us.  However, I feel that after a couple of weeks of doing that, I would have ultimately not left the NICU and slept bedside, so I wouldn’t have had to leave my son. The stress of having to do that would be unimaginable. It would pose a significant emotional and financial burned to our family. Without RMH, it would be a struggle to split our time between home and the NICU. We are thankful for the kind and compassionate staff at RMH. They help us feel comfortable during our stay. It truly feels like a home away from home.