When their babies are born early

by Jan Gunter

Families stay with us when their children are in the hospital. The most common diagnosis of these children is premature birth. That means we see lots of precious little babies on their way home after weeks or often months of being in the neonatal intensive care unit. And it also means we see lots of parents who are going back and forth to the hospitals every day to be with their tiny babies.

Emma and Talia Stavchansky

Last year Emma and Talia Stavchansky were two of those babies. Here they are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in those early days.

Sometimes families stay with us in the Ronald McDonald House while their babies get big and strong enough to go home. Sometimes they hang out in the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms inside the hospitals at Dell Children’s Medical Center and the St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas. But wherever those families are, we are there to provide a little bit of normalcy.

Bobbi and Lexie Neusch in the NICU

Bobbi and Lexie Neusch

Here’s some of what our NICU families have to say:

“Having babies in the NICU, while also taking care of my three-year-old son, was an emotional rollercoaster. Just knowing that there was a comfortable and convenient place where I could go was a huge help.” – Rachel Stavchansky

When Bobbi Neusch found out she and her husband could stay at at the Ronald McDonald House she said it was “like a Mack truck had been lifted off my shoulders.”

“I love the people and the feeling of togetherness you get while there. They really make you feel like family. I was surprised to see how nice the facilities were. The rooms were gorgeous, the dining area and kitchen was very nice and having a place to do laundry for free was amazing!” – Jessie  McAvin

And here are some Family Room stories on video. Click the image to see the videos:

Ronald McDonald Family Room Video Playlist

Ronald McDonald Family Room Video Playlist

Lila Borgsteadt in the NICU
Lila Borgsteadt in the NICU

We are very clear about our mission. We don’t provide medical care. We do enable parents to have a comfortable place near that medical care so when the child needs specialty care, the parents can get some sleep and some good food nearby.

Lila Borgsteadt

Lila Borgsteadt after she got to go home

Volunteers staff the Family Rooms every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., so if you are looking for a great way to make a difference for a lot of families, please learn more about how to become a Family Room volunteer!

We are glad to know that whenever children arrive into this world a bit too early, we are here to make life easier on their parents until they get to take them home – like Lila’s parents did.

Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.

This entry was posted in Jan, Kids & Families, Ronald McDonald Family Room, Volunteers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When their babies are born early

  1. Pingback: The Family Room Recycles | RMHC Austin

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  3. Kelsey says:

    my son wasn’t born early but he was transferred to Dell Children’s shortly after he was born. It was 2 hours from home and an hour from where our closest family lived. We were SO relieved when we found out the RMH was right across the parking lot from the hospital. We plan on looking to volunteer when our son is a little older!
    The RMH is a great place to stay and we enjoyed it (as much as we could).

    • rmhcaustin says:

      Kelsey – it’s great to hear from you! I’m so glad you were able to stay at the House while your son was in the hospital. Yep, I know what you mean about “enjoying” it – we always “enjoy” meeting familes here, but most of all we are glad when you get to go home!
      – Jan

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