You may have not met me, but you have meant the world to me and my family. My husband Aaron and I are forever grateful for you. If you will, I would love the opportunity to share with you my family’s story, and how you have helped us through very difficult times.
Being pregnant with my first baby while working in a medium security male prison in Buena Vista brought both dreams of hope and complete nightmares. I dreamed of what my child would look like, what her future held and I had nightmares that if I had complications at work, the prison’s medical doctors would hold me there until help could arrive. Potentially, my daughter’s place of birth on her birth certificate could say “Buena Vista Correctional Facility.” It was a terrifying thought.
Luckily I was not at work when I went to my doctor after feeling like something “just wasn’t right.” My doctor immediately hospitalized me and had me on bedrest for a week. He then decided that it was best I was transported to a larger hospital. Frightened, it was my amazing doctor that gave me hope. He gave me hope that being in the Colorado Springs hospital would give my baby the best hopes of survival at 28 weeks pregnant.
Four weeks of hospitalization brought us the opportunity to meet our precious Serenity Aryn, born at 32 weeks and weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce. She was the baby we had dreamed about for 5 years! Whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Serenity spent the next 5 weeks in the hospital.
Our nurses that came alongside me during my bed rest and during Serenity’s hospitalization are givers of hope. They met me on some of my hardest days when we questioned why, and days where the poking, prodding, and tests seemed all too much. But the nurses kept us so full of hope, as we were the fortunate ones, and eventually we would take our baby home.
During our stay with Serenity in the hospital, thankfully one of our nurses suggested we stay at the Ronald McDonald House. Being greeted by volunteers when we walked into the House for the first time, we knew we were home. It is beautiful, warm and inviting, a house built with love and full of hopes and dreams: hopes and dreams that everything will be okay with our critically ill daughter. The House is where families come together and support each other and the community comes together and supports us with gifts of meals, hygiene
products, supplies, etc., allowing us to take care of ourselves. Being with other families that understood one another’s magnitude of emotion and stress, we stood together and gave hope to one another every time a family was able to go home with their baby, hope that we would be there soon. The Ronald McDonald House is a magical place that lifted and supported us during our most difficult times, and we are forever thankful.
A few years later we were expecting another baby, Sterling Michael. We went from having a 34-week healthy baby checkup on Friday to a baby shower on Saturday to devastating news on Sunday that our beautiful son would not be born alive. Going from having a dream that we would have a son to planning his funeral is nothing I would wish on anyone. The nurses who cared for me during this most horrific time when I would deliver and meet Sterling, and then have to say goodbye were also givers of hope. They gave me hope that I would survive, that the sun would shine again, that they will always remember me and my son’s name.
I was a Board Member for the Ronald McDonald House when Sterling passed. The Board came alongside us and wanted to plant a garden in Sterling’s name. With the amazing donations and support of volunteers, our dream of a beautiful garden to give families a moment of peace and a moment to remember their hopes and dreams again in serenity is what we accomplished. To a grieving parent, this gave me hope that Sterling would never be forgotten and his short life would bless other families wherever their journey was leading them.
Throughout our journey with Sterling, our nurses inspired us to dream and hope for a rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is the ultimate hope that you can love again after a loss, makes the sun shine again, and gives you hope that you can hold a baby again. For my husband Aaron and me, that person is our precious second daughter Addy Faith. Addy brings us so much hope and love to us each and every day. Together, she and Serenity gift us with countless smiles and we are forever blessed being their mom and dad.
Thank you for allowing me to share our journey thus far with you, our wonderful supporters. I remain on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado as this organization is so very near and dear to my heart. Without the support of our donors, volunteers and groups who come alongside our charity, so many families would never experience the love and hope that the Ronald McDonald House provides every single day of the year, and so many families would not be able to stay near their critically ill child, as the enormous cost to do so would be prohibitive. It is because of you the Ronald McDonald House made a difference for our family and will continue to make a difference for so many more families for many, many years to come. We appreciate you! – – – Treasure Davis