I remember when I was so afraid that we wouldn’t have anywhere to stay when Oliver was in critical condition in the PCICU. We were already so scared and beyond stressed from finding out our baby was born with this heart defect that required 3 open heart surgeries to “fix”, and to add some more stress into the equation, we had to worry about our normal bills and about how we were going to afford to pay for hotel rooms, food, gas etc. I really didn’t want to go home and be 2 hours away from my baby boy. He needed me, and lord knows I couldn’t handle being far from him. After the Doctor’s told us about this place called the Ronald McDonald House, they called over there to try to get us a room. Thankfully they had one available and we were in within 24 hours.
We were so blessed to be able to have a place like this, and I’m not sure how we would have made ends meet had we not had the RMH. I was so happy to sleep so close to the hospital… Free of charge! Although we did donate when we could. They provided dinners, toiletries, emotional support, holiday activities, etc. For over 5 months we lived here. Through all the end of the year holidays they gave us donated toys for Oliver, along with gift cards for us. We met some amazing families that stayed there, and some awesome ones that worked there. It was made to feel like a home away from home, and it was.
I did miss being home though. After many months I almost forgot what it was like to be home. To be able to get up in my pjs and make breakfast and get coffee without strangers all around me. I don’t mean to complain, I’m so grateful, I was just so homesick and I didn’t know when we would ever be able to bring our baby bear home. I wished we could have spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at home with him. We ate at the Ronald House for Thanksgiving, we opened gifts in Oliver’s hospital room, and Oliver and I watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve on the hospital’s tv. Even though I cried every holiday because it wasn’t like how I pictured his first holiday’s were going to be, I would quickly shake off the sadness and make the best of it. Thats all you can do. Oliver is very sick, but he is alive and loved, and I realized that it didn’t matter where we were in the world, but that we were together as a family.
Now that we are home, it’s crazy that I get to actually get to do all of the things I’d dreamt of doing with my son. Even the simple things like relaxing on the couch watching tv. Better late than never, am I right? I’m so thankful to be able to make these memories with him. I can’t wait until we celebrate Christmas in July with Oliver, we can actually put a big tree up and dance around the house singing along to annoying (But great) Christmas songs, and be with all of our family this time. We plan on spoiling him with lots of love and we want him experience as much of life as we can. I don’t know how long he will be here, but I treat every day like it could be the last day with him. I feel as if everyone should do this no matter sick or not. I don’t have the answer to why bad things happen to good people, but I know that unfortunately things can happen at any moment that are out of our control. Be positive, pray for the best, and never forget to tell the people you care for that you love them every single day.