Having a specific due date for a newborn allows parents to prepare for baby’s arrival, organize work schedules and plan the best route to the hospital. When the baby arrives earlier than expected, all those plans are scratched. Katie and Dustin Schuett gave birth to their son 10 weeks early and weren’t certain how long their son was going to have to stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Schuett family live over an hour away from Cedar Rapid so Dustin stayed back home with their toddler August and Katie stayed at the Ronald McDonald Family Room to be close to Hudson. “Having the Family Room right down the hall from my son in the NICU was a huge blessing! We were provided with a hot meal every night for supper and a fully stocked kitchen for our snack needs.” said Katie. “Dustin and I were so overwhelmed physically, mentally, and emotionally. The Family Room took a lot of weight off of our shoulders and the private rooms were great for rest and to just get away from all the stress. ”
Hudson stayed at the NICU for nearly seven weeks and during that time, Katie was able to connect not only with the nurses and doctors who were treating her son, but also the Ronald McDonald Family Room staff and families. “I raved about the Ronald McDonald House Charities just as much as our NICU team! Everyone went above and beyond to care for my family. I loved meeting the other NICU moms and sharing a meal together. It was a great time to connect, talk, laugh and encourage each other during these tough times.”