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Rau Family Story

Everyone has heard of people having kids in cars or have seen it on a TV show, but never thought it would happen to them. That is exactly how our story begins. It was New Year’s Day when my wife called me to tell me she had some discomfort and that I should probably come home. I raced home, grabbed our overnight bags and we headed for the hospital. Being only 30 weeks along we were told to head for St Luke’s Boise where the NICU team would be waiting. Living an hour away from Boise all speed limits became suggestions. We had just made it before the Franklin exit in Nampa when my wife said I think he’s coming right now! Quickly dialing 911 we took the exit and turned into the Jackson’s gas station parking lot. 911 dispatch instructed us to prepare to deliver this baby on our own if help did not arrive in time. Thankfully just as his head was halfway out, the amazing crew of Nampa fire department station 3 arrived. I’ll never forget the medic running over and looking my wife and I in the eye and saying it’s all going to be okay we’re going to do this together. No more than 2 minutes later and our baby boy was born. Coming out lifeless, pale, not breathing, and with a weak pulse they loaded him in the ambulance right away…..leaving my wife, one fireman and I sitting in the parking lot. In that moment every expecting parent’s worst nightmare of losing a newborn was a very real possibility.

Many prayers and thoughts of what our future would be like raced through our minds. My wife was transported to Nampa St Luke’s as I followed behind in our car. As soon as I walked through the ER entrance, I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk to my wife unless I knew how our boy was. I was greeted by the medic who informed me our son was alive and had been intubated during transport. It seemed like every doctor and nurse who was working that night was huddled in one room around our 4-pound 6 oz baby boy. Everyone kept asking what his name was, and I told them after what moms been through tonight that decision is up to her. The name Sawyer was chosen as we tried to wrap our heads around what had just happened. After mom had been checked out, she was wheelchaired down so she could see our beautiful baby boy before his transport to the Boise NICU. We will never forget the first-time walking into the NICU and seeing our little guy in his box all wired and tubed up. Over the next 2 days we had so many doctors and nurse visits that we hadn’t given any thought to how we could stay close to our child. Without us even asking we were contacted by the Ronald McDonald House who told us we had a room waiting if we would like one. They said all they needed is a yes and they would take care of everything!

We were greeted at the front desk with a smiling face to such a welcoming home. They then showed us around the amazing facility that has everything a family would need to make it feel like home! From kitchens, a dining room, laundry rooms, small playground, to even a game room for the kids, it was just so nice knowing that now we could keep our child’s hospital stay our top priority and didn’t have to sweat the little things. Over our stay we saw families in many different situations, families that anywhere else would most likely never have a common bond! But in this safe space away from the hospital people shared their stories and raw emotions knowing we all had a common goal…..to see our children healthy and happy no matter how long it took! Some stayed a few days, for others it had been months. After 55 days in the NICU and 53 days at the Ronald McDonald House our little guy was discharged from the hospital. Our first stop had to be back to the Ronald McDonald House to show the staff our little miracle that we had told them so much about. Without the Ronald McDonald House we wouldn’t have been able to spend as much time with our son during his hospital stay. We are not the first family to be blessed by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho and won’t be the last either. So, from the bottom of our family’s heart, we say thank you to RMHC of Idaho and all those who have supported it. Without you none of this would have been made possible!

~ Rau Family | Fruitland, ID | 53 Nights at the House