I'm fundraising for Ronald McDonald House!
never expect the birth of your first child to be like this. "Your baby
will need surgery". Transferred to a city away from home, emergency c
section, baby taken away for tests and put through surgery that night. Looking
at her through incubator plastic, only allowed to touch her very gently.
Waiting for her to take over her own breathing so she can come off the
ventilator. Asking permission to change her nappy or record her temperature.
Finally able to hold her when she is already five days old. Being careful each
time you move her as she is covered in cords and cables. Having the nurses tell
you she is "stable" when you are hoping for "good". The
unknown stretches ahead. Hours upon hours pass as you sit in a hot, noisy room.
It seems like every 20 seconds an alarm goes off and every single time you
glance up at the monitors to check if it's your baby alarming. The nurses
become your friends in there. You inwardly cheer when you see one you
like has been assigned to you that day. You dread the days where you
might get one you don't like. You bring your kindle in every day but can't
turn your mind off for long enough to get lost in a book, so you scroll reddit
for hours as your baby sleeps. Something that is quite routine doesn't go right
and you learn what crushing fear really feels like.
There are good moments too. When she is ready to move from incubator to cot. The doctors start telling you shes "doing well". She takes a feed through a bottle instead of the tube through her nose. Weight starts ticking upwards. She is getting stronger. The Covid level restrictions are lifted and you can finally introduce your family to their newest member. Surgery goes according to plan. The doctor tells you your daughter is "exceeding all of our expectations". You get moved from the most serious cot in the highest dependency room in the unit, to one less noisy and scary. They finally take the long line out of her arm so she can wear her clothes properly. One day, they tell you you're being transferred to the unit in your home town. A few weeks later, you finally get to take your baby HOME.
will never forget though. You can't wear your favourite hand cream any more, as
the smell takes you right back to all the nights slathering up the hands you
had to wash 45 times in a day. You have to watch the videos you took in NICU on
mute, as you never know when you're going to hear an alarm in the background
that will pull you back there. You wonder if you’ll ever give your child a
sibling. What if they also needed NICU? Could you do it again?
Each minute in the NICU is like building a house of cards. Sometimes the cards stack and stack and stack and then one card just doesn't sit quite right and the whole thing comes crashing down and you find yourself trying to find an empty room to cry in, in a unit that is over capacity. There are other parents there, everyone going through hell. You watch with interest every time a new baby is brought into the unit. You see yourself in every anxious new parent, and can't help the stab of jealousy you feel every time a newer baby is declared healthier than yours and moved away. When will it be our turn? It feels like the day will never come.
Ronald McDonald House was an absolute godsend during this time. A 5 minute walk from the hospital, it was a relief at the end of the day to come home, have a hot meal ready (or in the fridge waiting if we were late) and have a comfortable bed to sleep in. The staff and volunteers are incredible humans who always made us feel so welcome and like we had somewhere calm in the storm that was raging around us. They understand the importance of both parents having a place to call home when their kid is in hospital somewhere away from home. They know that a family needs to stay together. In our 47 nights there we saw many families come through. Some were there for one night, some were there when we arrived and still there when we left. I'm sure every single one of those families feel grateful that this place exists.
In honour of our little girls first birthday we would love to give back to the place that made her first few weeks a little bit easier on us. We would consider a donation on her behalf, to help other families like us, to be the greatest gift she could receive from our friends and family this year.
Every year, thousands of families from around New Zealand will turn to a Ronald McDonald House for free accommodation and support during their child’s medical treatment.
I want to make a difference for these families by raising much-needed funds.
Please help me help them by giving whatever you can using the 'Give Now' button.
The more people that know about RMHC® New Zealand, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!
Thank you to my Supporters
Ryan & Joz
Amelie & Xavi
Papi, Gethin And Effy
Gramz - Aka Bridge
Great Aunty Theresa
Nat, Len & Lola
Will, Kelsey, Zoe And Odin
Mary-anne And Will
Steph Van Zoomeren
Dan Te Au