Home in Time for Mother’s Day

Twenty-eight weeks into her third pregnancy, Melissa Steinbrecher awoke in excrutiating pain. A February snowstorm raged outside as she and her husband, Cody, traveled from their home in Walton, NY to the nearest hospital in Cooperstown. Once they made it there, it quickly became clear that Melissa and her baby needed to get to Albany Medical Center. Thankfully, they arrived in Albany just before Melissa’s condition worsened, and she was taken into emergency surgery.

Tucker Steinbrecher was born at 11:30 a.m. on February 19 – eleven weeks before his May 7 due date. Melissa remained in surgery for several hours and spent the first days of Tucker’s life in the ICU. Cody was left reeling, with his wife and baby each in intensive care, and their two- and four-year-old sons, Sawyer and Jaxon, back home with family nearly two hours away.

Baby in NICU isolette

As soon as Melissa was discharged, she and Cody went home to get their boys and bring them back to Albany.

Two young boys laughing and playing on playground equipment

“Being away from them for just the four days I was in the hospital took a huge toll,” Melissa reflects. “As a stay-at-home mom, all they know is me, all day long. I can’t imagine if I had to be away from them every day for all this time. And now my infant child is in the hospital, and being two hours away from him would be terrible.”

Thanks to the Ronald McDonald House, Melissa and Cody could be with all three of their boys, and with each other, every single day.

“We both get to see and hold and feed Tucker every day, and we’re together for dinner and bedtime with Sawyer and Jaxon every night. This house has made a really terrible situation into a net positive, because we’re going to look back and have good memories. Our kids won’t have a single bad memory of this time. They’re just going to know this is how we brought Tucker home.”

After more than 50 nights at The House That Love Built, the Steinbrechers headed home as a happy and healthy family of five — just in time for Mother’s Day! They arrived in Albany with no idea what to expect and found a home full of people who really care. Now they hope their story will help generous friends like you appreciate how much your support means to families like theirs.

“The world isn’t full of many resources like this,” Cody explains. “You grow up thinking that you’re supposed to figure things out and fend for yourself, and then you run head first into a place like this and it’s breathtaking, humbling, life-changing.”

Collage of family ringing the "Good News Bell" at the Albany Ronald McDonald House with their healthy baby boy

This Mother’s Day, your gift to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region will help ensure families like the Steinbrechers receive all the resources they need to get through their most difficult days —together. Give now to honor a special woman in your life as you bring comfort and hope to mothers whose children are dealing with difficult health issues. On behalf of the hundreds of families we will serve this year with your support, thank you for your generosity!

Mom holding newborn baby on left; dad at right with two young sons in the middle