When we got to Alderhey the nurses were rushing around trying to sort us out a room at The Ronald McDonald House, or Mac house as they call it.
We were pretty nonplussed about this.
We knew Lauren was poorly and would be in hospital for a few days, but then she'd be home. Mac house was for families with really ill children.
Undeterred the nurses found us a room and told us we needed to go & check in now. So we did, feeling like frauds, and wondering if we'd ever actually use it.
Mac House was an absolute godsend.
It quickly became apparent to me that having a sick child in one place, and 2 worried younger siblings in another, was no good for anyone. I strongly felt that the family should be together and get through this together. So we packed up a few days worth of clothes, decided the kids could miss what we thought would be a few days of school, and moved into Mac House.
Despite the obvious disappointment that Mac House did not actually have a McDonald's, the kids enjoyed the adventure of it all. It gave us the opportunity to be there for Lauren and for each other. I'm not sure how I would have explained the process to them, or whether they would have understood it, if they hadn't been there.
Everyone deals with things differently and it's hard to know what's right or wrong, or even if there is a right or wrong. But for me, involving the younger children was definitely the right thing to do. I believe it will help their grieving process and make us stronger as a family. Without Mac House that would not have been possible.