Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Our House was their first home.

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(pensive music)

Elijah: We were excited when we found out

that we were having twins.

The complications came really quickly.

We literally went in for a check up

then an ultrasound, a regular weekly check up

and things had gotten so bad so fast

that within two hours we were on the road

up to Cincinnati.

They were a pound-five and a pound-seven

when they were born.

So you could place your hands on them.

You couldn't really touch their skin directly

because it was still very sensitive.

They had a lot of lung issues,

which ultimately led to Margot getting a trach.

So we had to wait for lung development.

They were intubated for about four months.

But, being at Cincinnati Children's,

they have such an exceptional program.

It's exactly what the girls needed.

I think it was maybe two weeks after they were first born,

that I got to hold them both at the same time.

And they were about the length of a standard pencil.

And they just fit, right.

Traci: They were 'mono mono twins.'

So that means they shared the same placenta

and the same inner sac.

And only about 50% of mono mono twins actually make it.

So at 25 weeks, actually, they pretty much told us

to choose which baby we wanted to save.

And we decided to wait to give both of them their best chance.

Which then brought us to Cincinnati.

It was two days after they were born,

on December 23rd was the first time

I got to go over and see Kinzie.

Then we got a phone call from Kylie's doctor

saying we needed to get back to the hospital for her.

[baby coughs]

So we went back and they told us

that there was nothing else they could do for her.

They had done everything they could.

So, we went ahead and had her baptized that night.

And just kept praying over her.

And they did a blood draw real quick

and her oxygen started going up.

Just kept coming through.

Kept getting better and better

and then we knew that she was stable enough

that everything was gonna be okay.

When I first was

in the hospital

and we were talking

to the nurses

about where I was going to stay

after the girls were

transferred to the NICU

and I was discharged.

They kept mentioning the

Ronald McDonald House.

And I had heard of the Ronald McDonald House before

but I had never been to one.

It's such a steep learning curve

when you have babies in the NICU.

You have to learn everything from heart rates

to pulse oximeters.

You have to learn all these different medical things

and make these decisions at a very fast pace.

You don't really have time to think about,

what am I gonna make for dinner tonight?

Or, you know, is there a place down the road

where I can do laundry?

The million things that you would never think about needing

when your kids are in the NICU for a long time.

There's somebody here who's thought about it

for thousands of families, and thousands of babies

that have been through something like this before.

Being so close to the hospital

makes leaving your babies there a little bit easier,

knowing you can come back.

Just to be right across the street

if the doctor would call, you know,

you can be there in 30 seconds, if you need to.

Gives you a big peace of mind.

I was leaving the

NICU and I noticed

Traci across in another pod.

And I thought she looks really familiar.

And then later that night I saw her and Adam

coming in to the Ronald McDonald House

and on a spur I just went up to them

and said, "Do you have a baby in the NICU?

Because I have two girls in there, too

and I just wanted to say 'hi' and give you a hug."

And she said, "We actually have two girls in the NICU, too."

And so, we kind of bonded over having

premature, identical twin girls.

It was just, it was amazing to hear

the similarities in stories

and how close they were in age, even.

So we, we started hanging out with them

a little bit more, and talking more.

And we've become great friends with them.

There were several nights

that I would come

back from the hospital

and I would be so

tempted to just go

sit in my room and go

to bed, or read a book

or be by myself and be sad

and be thinking about everything that was going on.

And I would walk to the kitchen and there would be

volunteers making dinner.

There would be people doing crafts and they would say,

"Hey, come join us. Come sit with us."

I think it helped Elijah not have to worry about me

holing myself up in the room

and becoming depressed, knowing that I had somebody

who was saying, "Hey, let's go for a walk together.

Let's eat dinner together.

Let's talk about everything that's gone on today together,

and process things."

Going through the same thing as she was.

Nothing is more difficult than seeing

your child hooked up to a machine

that's keeping them breathing.

You're helping families keep their sanity

in the most difficult period of life

that they're ever gonna go through.

If it weren't for the Ronald McDonald House,

our emotional, financial stress would be through the roof.

But because of the House, everything is manageable.

Every diagnosis that we hit,

every roadblock, every, every stepping stone

was made possible because of the Ronald McDonald House.

The Description of Our House was their first home.