baby girl sleeping

Catie came to our House before her daughter, Molly, was even born. After living in our House for 92 nights, Catie was able to take her baby girl home to Springfield, Ohio. Catie shares her experience:

Dear RMH Staff,

A few weeks ago, I became a mother. My daughter Molly was born on March 9th – three weeks before her scheduled arrival and six weeks before her original due date. She has spina bifida, a neural tube defect that affects movement below her waist and comes with some complications for her brain as well. Together, she and I underwent fetal surgery in early January at Cincinnati Children’s to close the opening in her spine, giving her time to heal during the rest of my pregnancy. Despite her surprise arrival, she is perfect in every way, and I feel so lucky to be her mom.

My stay at the House started on January 8th – the day I got released from the hospital after our fetal surgery. It was an emotional day in an unfamiliar city. My mom and I were greeted with so much kindness when we walked through RMH’s door. In minutes, I was sitting down with a snack and a bag of essentials for our first night’s stay while friendly staff explained what we needed to know without overwhelming us.

For the last three months, I’ve gotten to know the House very well. Its occupants, its volunteers, and the dedicated staff who have made our stay so comfortable. During the rest of my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time putting together puzzles in the library and playing Scrabble with my mom in the different family rooms. We got to know our fellow guests in the kitchen, where we shared meals and our experiences with the special little ones that brought us all to this house. When I had Molly, these friendships became even more important to me as I already had a group of people who understood what it means to have a child in the hospital.

I have tremendous appreciation for all the groups of volunteers who have come in to prepare our meals. The food has always been delicious and I’ve appreciated the variety and all the healthy options. I have definitely eaten better here than I ever would have at home. It’s also clear from the comradery of the groups that they enjoy the experience of coming to the House as well, and that’s just a nice thing to witness over and over again.

It’s been really hard being away from home these last three months, but staying at the Ronald McDonald House has eased a lot of the stress associated with our relocation. We’ve been able to spend the time we need to with our daughter without worrying about preparing our next meal or getting a good night’s sleep. Despite her hospital stay, I’ve been able to find a lot of joy in these first few weeks of parenthood, and I want to thank you so much for making that possible.

I will forever be grateful for all that the Ronald McDonald House has done for my family and me. Thank you again.

-Catie Maher

Your support helped keep Catie close to critical medical care and to her newborn daughter during the most difficult time in her life. Thank you!