Wednesday, March 31, 2010


When the social worker at the hospital tells you that there is a place by the name of the Ronald McDonald House, which will provide a roof over your head and a meal on the table, you might have mixed thoughts in your head. I know I did. I remember agreeing with her, thinking oh great! I had this vision in my head that was unclear as to whether I wanted to look into it more or just fork out bucks to stay somewhere else. I quickly asked people on facebook what they knew about the RMH and got nothing but good information about it, but was still like hum.....
It was not until that Sunday when I got discharged from the hospital that I had a chance to really see what a RMH is and what it provides and would be providing for me for how knows how many weeks ahead. Granted I knew it could not be picky especially when I was only paying $15/night or $105/week, but I was still questioning whether or not this was a good idea or not.
I quickly discovered that this place was clean, the people were nice and that I was not the only one who had a child in the hospital. Our room, 101, was this small bedroom across from the kitchen, with sage green walls with a closet, two twin beds, a nightstand and a bathroom with a stand up shower. That was it! It felt like a college dorm room and my mama was my roommate!! LOL Over time, it became my home. A place I looked forward going to each night to lay my head and rethink the days events. A place that welcomed me with open arms and was stable enough to provide me food each night along with any other meals I might have needed, a midnight snack, a pop for only $0.25 as I headed out for the day. THIS WAS MY HOME for 6 weeks and a place a I was sad to leave because I had needed it over this journey.

One way the RMH is able to keep the cost down is by donations such as money, supplies, food and pop can tabs. Yes, pop can tabs! Something so small and so easy to save helps keep the cost down for those families, such as mine, while in the time of need and so far away from home. I would ask for everyone to start saving the tabs after they enjoy a drink. It is such a simple way to give back to a place that helps so many families each day.
I have decided on saving Greyson's formula can to decorate and give away for saving tabs. It has crossed my mind to look into doing a tab drive at the schools next year or even to be able to place a can in the teacher's lounge or in your break room at work. I think of how many can a Bar tosses on a busy weekend....! I am willing to go around and collect the tabs from the cans and get them to a RMH. Or if you save them at home, give me a jingle and I will come grab them from you and get them to a RMH. I just think something so easy would be a nice way to give back.
If you have any ideas or would like a can (got to give me time to save them up) leave me a comment.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who would have thunk it? I surly didn't!!

A New Title

As I sit her holding Greyson (who I will brag about soon) I am trying to watch all the episodes of Private Practice that I have missed over the past 2 months. Parts of the episode aired on 2.18 brings back so many memories of the roller coaster ride that I have recently come off of. What a ride it was and one that will be etched in my mind forever. The realization that I am (was) a NICU mom is a title I thought I would never add my list of names such as daughter, sister, sister in law, aunt, granddaughter, wife, friend and mommy.

My new title was given to me at the University of Utah on 2.12 when I was blessed to give birth to our son Greyson James. I worn my "Mommy NICU Crown" as I sat by his crib each day blessed to have a healthy little man who needed time... time to grow is all. For the next 6 weeks (2.12 to 3.20) I was lucky enough to be able to be present every watch him grow, watch him meet his goals, watch him turn into the little man Jay and I have created together. I am lucky to have a wonderful husband who returned back to work Greyson was only 6 days old to provide for our family..our new family of 4!!

There is so much to be thankful for as I look back on the roller coaster ride we have been on. Most of all, Ashlynn, who is such a great big sister and a role she has been wanting to be for so long. She was so strong through this all and was so patient for the day she was able to see Greyson for herself in person and not through pictures. Ashlynn was able to meet Greyson for the first time the day (3.20) he was discharged from the hospital. She left a prayer in the pray box in the Hope Chapel on the second floor and her pray came true 6 weeks later. She told grandma, "This is the happiest day of my life!"

I am thankful for my family. My brother and his family for helping with Ashlynn as we rode this ride. I don't know what we would have done without their help and knowing Ashlynn was being take care of. The miles they traveled to support us before and after Greyson was here. My dad, who also helped with Ashlynn, but who is honored that Greyson is named after him. He lived bachelor hood for the majority of the time while my mom stayed with me. He also was willing to drive the miles to make sure everyone got to where they needed to be. My mom, who put in as many hours as I did at the hospital and away from home. Together we learned hospital lingo and how to get around SLC. She also took time to go home and take care of Ashlynn while Jay had the time off to be with me. Travis and Melanie, Jay's cousin that lives in Lehi, UT. They were kind enough to let me use their car so that I could get back and forth on my own. I don't know what I would have done without it! My cousin Billy and his wife Missy, who was willing to help us at any point, but also made us laugh.

There are so many people that work at the UofU that made this ride much easier then I could have ever imagined. Air Med crew were AWESOME and took me a ride in the beautiful sky that I don't much remember. The Labor and Delivery doctors and nurses that make me wonder how they are able to do their jobs. The care I received those 7 days I was in the hospital before and after Greyson was amazing!. A shout out to Starbucks there at the UofU.....we kept them in business...well maybe Tina did a better job at that then us...LOL!!
The staff in the NICU who in one way or another helped take care of Greyson whether we talked to them on a daily basis or not. To all of Greyson's nurses who spend 12 hours a day with our son and all the other babies doing what they do best. It was amazing the work they do each day to these little bodies that rely on them to make their days the best they can be.
Even though there are a number of outstanding nurses that took care of Greyson, his Primary nurses' Rebecca, Mairiam and Rachel are truly awesome!
Rebecca (pictured below) is this ball of fire who I was honored to have as his top primary nurse. She took pride in Greyson and looked forward to her shift knowing she would be with him (and the company of my mom and I..hehe :) She would get a kick out of the littlest things Greyson would do such as peeing on himself head to toe or laugh at his poor little cry when he would care to share it. Laughter was always in the air in room 6, which is something I wish every mom had with their child's nurse. If someone was going to know my child more then myself, I am thankful she was the one person who did. I was sad that I was not able to say goodbye and tell her how grateful I am that she was part of our journey.
Mariam was Greyson's second primary nurse who was a quite person with long brown hair who wore cute hair bands with a smile that refreshed your day. She also got to know Greyson very well and took great care of him. It is amazing that someone so young is mature enough to take care of these little babies including my son.
Rachel become a primary nurse at the end of our journey, so darn it enough, we only had her the one day. She has this spark that makes you smile and laugh as you sit by your child's crib that makes you forget that you are sitting in NICU. It was a joy to get to know her and also laugh with her just that one day. I wish we would have gotten to know her better, but thankful our journey came to an end with her in it.

I am very thankful for the Ronald McDonald House where we lived for the 6 weeks Greyson was in the NICU. I had heard of the RMH, but truly seen a place of hope after staying there each week. It cost us $15 a day with a nice fresh hot dinner each night provided by either a church group, family, business or some organization. It is amazing that these people took time to give us families a since of normal life just by cooking us dinner or providing lunch sacks we could take to the hospital. One way that the cost of the RMH is kept so low is by donating pop can tabs, which is something I will explain later in time.

There are so many people who have supported us just by keeping us in their thoughts and prayers, which means so much to us. We also would like to express our thanks to the Church of Christ and our friends Greg and Melissa.