Just a mere half-hour from now, exactly three years ago, Rhiannon decided that she'd had enough of life in my uterus. She wanted out, and wanted out right THEN!
As she made this decision two months early, and without consulting Paul or I, it was quite the experience for us. And our plans of a quiet home birth were thrown out the window. So much for laboring in the tub with candles, incense and classical music playing in the background.
Heak. That's how I WANTED it to be. Granted, I'm pretty sure there would have been lots of loudly vocalized swearing, cussing and the like. But since we'll never know how it would have gone at home, I'd like to think that it would have been a very calm and spiritual experience. Well, let's just pretend, shall we?
To say that our world was turned upside down for a while would be putting it mildly. Two ambulance trips (one that cost over five grand!!! What's with that??? Although in retrospect, that was one of the cheapest line items on the bill.), two different hospitals, one almost two hours away, and a month of Rhiannon in the NICU.
But after all the insanity, we were able to bring our daughter home. And as any parent knows, she has forever changed our lives for the better.
And even though I tend to lament on about how my serene, natural home birthing experience was stolen from me, I am glad for the availability of modern medical facilities. I cringe to think what may have happened if we did not have these options available to us.
I'd like to add just one more thing about our month-long stay at the hospital. Although Paul was there by my side 24/7 for the first week-plus, he eventually had to go back home for work and to relieve my Mom and our neighbors from the daily tasks of our farm. Since the hospital was a two-hour drive from home, I couldn't feasibly drive back & forth every day to see Rhiannon. After being kicked out of the hospital bed, we had to find some sort of hotel so I could stay nearby. That's when we found out about The Ronald McDonald House.
I cannot say how wonderful it was to have that facility available. For those of you that may not know about The Ronald McDonald House, it is basically a large home away from home, usually located very close to a hospital (the one I was at was within a very short walking distance). They provide room and board to families that have members in the hospital, believing that having family close-by is one of the best medications to a healthy recovery. Daily home-cooked suppers were provided by local volunteer groups, an office with internet connection, a nursery / play room for younger children, a basement recreation room with a pool table for the older kids, and plenty of support from other families struggling with a member of their family in the hospital. It was more than just a bed to go to after a long night at the NICU. It truly was home-away-from-home during our time there.
For those of you who frequent The Golden Arches (do they even call it that anymore???), I'd like to ask you to think about dropping some of your spare change into one of those little collection boxes at the counter. Yes, their fat and calorie laden franken food is pure evil to us homegrown / home canned / home made folk (but their french fries.....ooooooo, their fries!!!!), but I like to focus on the good that they have done.
Unlike many of the larger, always-in-your-face asking for donations charity organizations, this is one that we can honestly say does the most good in our community and is one of the few carefully chosen benefactors of our charitable donations.