Sunday, February 19, 2012

Three years ago

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.


  1. Well HappyBirthday to Rhianon! .....and the Ronald McDonald Houses are a good thing. That had. to be a hard time to go through.

  2. I think they are a God send. I always donate to them when I can.

  3. I know many people who have benefited from the Ronald McDonald house and now I know another! So glad they were there for you. Happy birthday to a lovely spunky gal who knows how to make an entrance!! :)

  4. I do frequent them once in a while and don't recall seeing the donation thing. I will look next time. I know last week they asked for a donation to something...American Heart Association and I did contribute.

    We have a facility here in Springfield too.

    I had no idea about your experience. How wonderful that you have that precious little girl with you and yes, modern medicine is a blessing.

  5. What a sweet post on your daughter's birthday . . . to remember the wonderful facilities McDonald's has provided for so many people.

    We had a home birth planned for our daughter also but ended up in the hospital. Instead of coming early, she stayed with her feet firmly braced in my uterus for three weeks past her due date. (I know, some say that isn't possible but it was what it was!)

  6. As a volunteer for another service organization I had a chance to tour our local Ronald McDonald House, and I was impressed with the serenity palpable in every common room. The families had been asked to stay in their rooms for the ten minutes we were there, so they wouldn't feel exposed by all the eyes, but one little girl "escaped" and came right up to us with the story about her hospitalized baby sister. I'm sure the size of our donations into that ever-present box went right up as a result. Thank goodness your little one is doing well. Happy Birthday to her!

  7. Happy Birthday to your little girl!!! Wish her a wonderful third year:)

  8. Happy Birthday, Rhiannon. You picked a great mommy.

    I stayed at the Ronald McDonald house many times with my daughter, though it got very hard to kick me out of the hospital after awhile. Great service that is offered to parents. I pray that no one ever needs to use them ever again, but if you do, it is good to know they are there.

  9. Happy, Happy 3rd Birthday to your daughter! Have a lovely day. :o)

  10. Happy birthday, Rhiannon! Lovely post!

  11. I've also seen first hand the goodness of the Ronald McDonald House. It was truly an answered prayer. Your tribute was lovely. Happy Birthday sweet little girl!!!

  12. Ironically yesterday, I drove thru and gave them all my coins, because I remember how lucky I was to have a healthy baby/kids. Those kind of services are really a blessing...

  13. SFG, thank you for your donations! It's people like you that made it possible for me to stay with my daughter!

    MamaTea, Honestly, I don't think I ever heard of them before we went there. But now I tell everyone I can about the good they do. French fries or not! :)

    gld, we stayed at the RMH in Springfield! Thanks for your donations :)

    MamaPea, ChickenMama just wanted to stay with HER momma for as long as she could! :)

    Charade, thanks for being a volunteer, there are so many good charities out there needing help, either monetary or physical.

    The Family, Thanks for the birthday wishes, she had a great day!

    Rea, it is an amazing place, isn't it? Glad you were able to be with your daughter in that time of need.

    Mooberry, Thanks! We ALL had a great day!

    Patty, Thank you!

    hoosier girl, glad they were able to help you also. I can't say enough good things about them.

    nancypo, thank you so much for your donations. I will never again take for granted my child's health.

  14. Happy belated birthday to Rhiannon! What a wonderful service Ronald McDonald House provides for families, they truly deserve any donation we can afford to give!

  15. Lovely post, and you are right about the Ronald McDonald House, they do amazing things for families. If it wasn't for high-tech medicine and lots of hospitals, I never would have had my two boys, so I totally "get" it! We'll just settle for making life after the birth calm, right? LOL... Happy Birthday to Rhiannon!