Jackie Archie and Vincent Richmond weren’t expecting to become first-time parents until one or two weeks before Christmas. Now, they’ll have a seven-week-old infant with them for Thanksgiving.
On October 5, the Davenport couple welcomed their first child, Paisleigh Jean Richmond, into the world. The mother, Archie, had to be given an emergency C-section only 30 weeks into her pregnancy, delivering Paisleigh 10 weeks early. The newborn weighed just two pounds, 12 ounces at birth, and measured only 15 inches long.
“I kept begging them, I’m like, ‘No, she’s too early, she’s not ready,'” said Archie, recalling the moments before her emergency C-section.
Archie said doctors at Genesis Medical Center- East Campus in Davenport had to keep Paisleigh in their care for five weeks to get her up to a healthy weight. Right before the doctors were ready to send Paisleigh home, they said she had to be transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City because they suddenly became concerned with her heart rate.
Paisleigh stayed at the University of Iowa Hospitals for one week before she finally went home with her parents.
During the entire six weeks Paisleigh was at the two hospitals, Archie and Richmond traveled back and forth from work to the hospitals to see their daughter. They tried to build up money for the impending bills.
“Trying to struggle with work and going to the hospital was awful,” Archie said. “I felt like a terrible mom because I couldn’t be there for her. So I don’t know what the [hospital] bill is going to be, but I’m pretty sure it’s probably going to be a little hefty.”
On top of the increased medical expense from Paisleigh’s extended hospital stay, Archie and Richmond are now down to living off just Richmond’s income because Archie is staying home to take care of newborn Paisleigh.
“It’s just a struggle for us, for sure, because now we don’t have two incomes, we only have one,” Archie said.
The couple now seeks income assistance, but typically makes too much annual income to qualify for any programs. Archie said the lack of available emergency resources has been frustrating.
“I work, I pay taxes, I do what I need to do to be a citizen, and then when I need the help it feels like it’s just not reachable,” Archie said.
However, they have been fortunate enough to get some help from family. Richmond’s mother, Lori Krabbenhoft, has bought them plenty of groceries, baby supplies, and more in the past few weeks. On top of that, Krabbenhoft’s cousin, Tabatha McFate, has set up a GoFundMe page for the couple, titled, “Help Paisleigh’s Family.” Visit the GoFundMe here.
“If we can try to save them some money and things that they would normally be spending their money on, they could save that money and actually pay their bills,” Krabbenhoft said.
With Paisleigh in their lives now, the couple has a new source of happiness. They hope they’ll be able to keep their living situation in order for her.
“I mean, I do have a roof over my head,” Archie said. “It’s just, I don’t want to lose that roof over my head.”