Finding hope and strength
“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.”
Jessa Kathleen Marsden.