The Fesig Family

On March 22, 2018 around 8:30 pm my water broke. I went into labor 6 weeks before my due date with my first child, my son, Caleb. He was born on the next day at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He weighed 5lbs 7 oz. He had some breathing problems at birth since his lungs were not fully developed and he developed some jaundice.

His biggest challenge to overcome was learning how to feed. He was being fed through an NG tube (a feeding tube) until he was able to learn to breastfeed. We knew he would be in the NICU for the first few weeks of his life. This was hard on my fiancé and I since we live 45 minutes away from the hospital. But then, a social worker told us about the Ronald McDonald House (RMH).

We had a room for the entire time our son was in the hospital – just shy of 3 weeks. We used the house for various things; a place where we could shower, take a break, grab a meal or some sleep if needed, and a place I could pump breastmilk. It was a home away from home, at no cost to us. This was a true blessing as it helped relieve some of the stress that came with our son’s hospital stay. Staying at the Ronald McDonald House gave us the ability to spend significantly more time with our son, without risking the long drive on little to no sleep. We were also able to meet up with family at the Hershey Lodge for Easter Dinner, something that may not have been possible had we not had a place to stay close to the hospital.

While RMH has a lot of amenities like the Guest Chef program where volunteers come in nightly to cook a dinner for House guests, a laundry room to wash clothes and various free services around the community like haircuts at the local Sport Clips, it wasn’t the services that were the most helpful. It was just having a place close to the hospital that we could stay close to Caleb.

To the donors and volunteers, THANK YOU!!! It warms my heart knowing there are still good, compassionate people with caring hearts in the world.

– Bekki Fesig