Find­ing hope and strength

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - Mark.squibb@thep­acket.ca

“You don’t have to worry about sup­per that night, it’s al­ready there for you,” she said. “You get up in the morn­ing and you’re ex­hausted and you go down­stairs, and you don’t need to worry be­cause there’s a bot­tle of wa­ter and a muf­fin right there you can just grab, and you’re lit­er­ally less than a five-minute walk from the hos­pi­tal.”

Ce­cilia ex­plained to The Packet how be­ing at Ron­ald McDon­ald House meant their fam­ily was able to bond with other fam­i­lies were who go­ing through sim­i­lar is­sues.

“We’re all stay­ing at Ron­ald McDon­ald House, we all have th­ese ba­bies over there, and we come home at the end of the night, and I might be at week two, and some­body is there that has been there for eight weeks, and I might say, ‘My lit­tle girl Jessa, she’s getting this test done to­mor­row.’ And then that par­ent can say, ‘Oh, well we went through that, and this is what you have to be con­cerned about and this is what you don’t have to be con­cerned about.’

“You be­came fam­i­lies.”

Days at the hos­pi­tal, were long, and tir­ing, and emo­tional.

“So you’d all get home at the end of your day, and es­pe­cially when your baby is still be­ing in­cu­bated and you can’t pick her up,” Ce­cilia ex­plained. “It’s a long day. You can’t not go, but you’re just sit­ting next to them… you can look in, and touch them, but you’re just sit­ting there.

“Even­tu­ally you get to the point where you can hold your baby, and the days don’t seem as long, but at the end of the day, even though you’ve been sit­ting all day long, you’re go­ing through the most stress­ful roller coaster ride of emo­tions, and try­ing to fig­ure things out, and lis­ten­ing to doc­tors, and just try­ing to fig­ure out ‘Where is this go­ing to go?’”

Ce­cilia says be­ing able to go to the Ron­ald McDon­ald House af­ter th­ese long, tir­ing, emo­tion­a­lydrain­ing days spent at the hos­pi­tal was a way to take some of the pres­sure off while still be­ing close to her baby.

“None of the rooms face the hos­pi­tal,” she noted.

“There is a room, the Quiet Room it’s called, on the sec­ond floor, that faces the hos­pi­tal. And I spent a lot of time there. You’d be home, and can’t sleep, you’re so close to your baby, but you can’t re­ally go over there, but you can go to that room and look over and know in your mind, ‘Ok, I am this close.’ But hav­ing your bed­room not fac­ing, you’re not bom­barded with the hos­pi­tal.”

Even­tu­ally, the stay at Ron­ald McDon­ald House would come to an end for the Mars­den fam­ily in a heart-break­ing man­ner.

Baby Jessa passed away on Sept. 17.

“Her lit­tle body just couldn’t fight it. She even­tu­ally got up to about five pounds, but a lot of that was fluid,” says Ce­cilia. “I was able to hold her a lot, and my hus­band held her, and my mother and my mother-in-law. It wasn’t all sad.

“Me and my hus­band al­ways knew in the back of our minds that we wouldn’t be bring­ing her home.”

CON­TRIB­UTED

Jessa Kath­leen Mars­den.

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