When I was scheduled for induction with our son at 39 weeks, we never thought anything of it. I had a completely normal, healthy pregnancy & the doctor was only trying to save me from having a c-section. Even with all the inducing my son remained stubborn and I wound up having a c-section anyways. At 8:19 p.m. on August 23, 2013, Gunner was born weighing 8 lbs. 9 oz. and measuring 21 inches. It was the best day of our lives. The next day, the pedicatrician on duty advised me that he had an ashen spell and that I would need to watch him while he was with me. Okay, no problem. On Sunday evening, an hour before we were to be discharged, he turned ashen. 

I paged the nursery, who came and got him. A little while later, the neonatologist on duty came to speak to us. They said Gunner was having apnea spells and that they would need to keep him. This broke my heart. The best day of my life just turned into a nightmare. The hospital told me that I would be discharged, but, could stay in my room on hospitality as long as they had availability. That was the end of Gunner getting to come to my room. From then on we had to go see him in the nursery. On Tuesday morning, they decided since he was not improving and had trouble breathing, he would be moved to TC Thompson. I just thought my heart was broken. Seeing him buckled in the incubator ready for transport broke my heart completely.  The ride down there was quiet. My husband and I didn't say much. I couldn't do anything but cry. When we arrived and got to see him, reality set in - I wasn't leaving without my baby. 

We lived 40 miles away. That was way too far for me to be. We were then assigned a case worker. At first, there were no rooms available at the Ronald McDonald House. I still wasn't leaving. I would sleep in the waiting room floor if I had to. Then, a couple hours later we got the call. Our case worker told us to go over immediately - there was a room! Talk about a burden being lifted!! I spent every moment that I could with my baby in the NICU, but it was taking a toll on my body. I had just had a c-section, trying to breast feed, and I was exhausted. When my husband finally talked me into going over to our room, I crashed. The Ronald McDonald House was just what we needed. We were able to get some rest, eat, and experience normalcy. Our parents were able to bring us what we needed. A week later, our son got to go home. His apnea and bradycardia spells finally resolved. 

He is a completely healthy, happy 16-month-old and we think about the Ronald McDonald House regularly and pray for their guests. The whole experience was very humbling. We didn't want to take advantage of this wonderful gift because we felt there were others that needed it so much more than we did. I am so glad that our case worker and the staff at Ronald McDonald House convinced us otherwise. They really are a lifesaver in so many ways. Everyone there, staff and guests alike, consoled us in our grief and celebrated in our joy. Thank you Ronald McDonald House!

Written by: Brandon & Rachael Gregory (dad & mom)

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