A Place of Solace: The Taisey Family Story
Up until 30 weeks, we thought my pregnancy was going perfectly. The night my water broke, we discovered we were wrong. My amazing, nurturing, and supportive husband helped me to the car and drove me to the hospital where we thought we were starting our birth-plan, albeit a bit early. On the contrary, the staff informed us that both the twins and I were in danger, and in the wrong
place. Forty minutes, and an extremely bumpy ambulance ride later, I was admitted to St. Luke’s in downtown Boise, Idaho. I was given a shot designed to help speed along the process of lung development for the babies, a process we were told took 48 hours, and so began my 80-hour labor. While confined to lay only on my back, enduring contractions, unable to even sit up for fear of losing more of our daughter’s precious amniotic fluid, I was given a barrage of tests, prods, pokes, and drugs, all designed to keep the twins inside for another few weeks. After 3 days, the doctors stopped all attempts to slow the delivery and see how it went. A few hours after that, I was getting a C-section.
Our daughter, Harper, was born weighing in at 2 lbs. 11 oz. Our son, James, weighed 3 lbs. 8 oz. Both babies and my husband were ushered out of the room whilst I laid on the table alone. It would be three more days of posteclampsia and pneumonia for me before I was allowed to hold either of my newborn babies. As my discharge from the hospital fast approached, my husband and I began to worry about the logistics of seeing our kids every day. We live an hour from the hospital, and our babies were going to be in NICU for several weeks. How are we going to see them every day? How can we afford the cost of fuel for travel and food while our hearts and minds are laden with the worry of early delivery? With the blessing of the Ronald McDonald House (RMH), our anxieties were mollified.
I was able to stay at the RMH the whole time our babies were in NICU. They provided me with a room on the first floor as I was still at risk with my post-eclampsia after my C-section delivery, and my husband was able to stay with me on weekends so we could still be together outside of the NICU room. He was tasked with taking care of the house, the dogs, maintaining a 50-hour work week, and still managed to see us every day. Because of RMHC, I knew I had a warm, comfortable bed that was only minutes from our babies. I could come and go as I pleased, store food in their community fridge, and enjoy the meals that were provided every day by amazing volunteers. Complete meals were provided, as were snacks, some drinks, and other amenities. When we checked in, we found a stuffed animal for each baby, books, toiletries, and two carry totes with the RMH logo and HOPE on them. You wouldn’t believe the amount of stress relieved by knowing I had a warm and inviting place to go during those uncertain and disconcerting times. With their van service, I knew there were only 15 minutes between my babies and my warm bed, and it was just a phone call away.
As a new mother, I found there were a great deal of hormones surging through my body. I also had the shock of early delivery, constant breast pumping because our babies were too tiny to latch onto my breasts and didn’t know how to suckle, the fear of knowing that I am no longer protecting my babies in my belly and they are suffering their own hardships and fighting for survival. The RMH gave me a place of solace. The friendly staff and volunteers transcended expectations in alleviating as much stress as possible and making my stay comfortable. We have a lifelong bond and friendship with some of the other residents at that time, all of whom were suffering their own hardships. We cannot thank the Ronald McDonald House, its staff, volunteers, or donors enough for what they did for us during that time. They were there in our hour (weeks) of need, and we are forever humbled and grateful for their generosity.
Thank you, The Taisey Family