Last year, my cousin J. and his partner, N., became pregnant with their first child. My Cousin J. is the kind of guy that everyone knew would make the best, most devoted dad, but it just never seemed like it would happen. So, when he and N. (both in their early 40’s) got pregnant we were all ecstatic! When N. was ~20 weeks along, she started having pre-term labor complications. After a few grueling weeks of bed rest and discussing options with doctors, viability, likelihood of complications, etc, N. was admitted to a high risk hospital. For the next few weeks, they did everything they could to try to ensure a good outcome for their baby, and they prayed their hearts out! I believe she was ~27 weeks gestation when baby P. was born. From working in Labor and Delivery, I can tell you that many babies born this early, if they make it out of intensive care, may be blind, deaf, mentally disabled, or other complications. Baby P. came out breathing on her own, and doing very well, but she was still only a little over one pound. For the next many months, J. and N. stayed by the side of baby P. Because the hospital was so far from home, they were unable to work. They were given a place to stay at the Ronald McDonald house by the hospital, where they had a room, shared kitchen, and the friendship of other parents whose children were in the intensive care. Baby P. was given excellent care and is now almost 8 months old and thriving. She has no long term complications and is the light of my cousins life.
To give a little back, Cousin J. is running a race to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house where they stayed while Baby P. was in the hospital. If you are financially able, it is a wonderful cause! You can check it out here.