This month there is a "special delivery" at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and it is the opening of our new Mother Baby Center, a collaboration between Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Children’s. In celebration, it seems fitting to share a story that will illustrate why moms, dads and babies will be overjoyed to be together, under one shiny new roof. Here is one family’s story . . .

Nina Riesen at 14 years old.

Our daughter Nina was born at Abbott Northwestern Hospital eight weeks early on April 25, 1994. She was immediately given a breathing tube and taken from Abbott, through the dark and dingy underground tunnel, over to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children's in Minneapolis. It really helped me to know that Nina could be over at Children’s with her dad, Dean. After a few hours, Dean was given the okay to push me in a wheelchair through the tunnel so I could see our daughter.

I received constant updates as Nina did well with breathing. Within six or seven hours her tube was removed. The helpful NICU staff encouraged Dean and me to hold and touch Nina almost immediately and shared how important it was for her to have the love and comfort from our physical touch.

I was released from Abbott after three days and 10 days later, Nina was ready to come homeā€¦just in time for Mother's Day weekend! Today Nina is a college freshman who enjoys playing sports, reading and playing the piano. She has trained as a wilderness EMT and recent mission trips to Tanzania and several American Indian reservations have sparked an interest in a career in public health.

Our family likes to reminisce about Nina's birth and how special Children’s is to our family. We’re thankful for the new Mother Baby Center that will allow families to be together throughout the entire birthing process. Moms will no longer have to be separated from their babies who require extra care by a long tunnel, but instead can share a room and the entire family can be together.

2013 Wilbur Cares Dance
Party at the Calhoun Square
location in Minneapolis.

We’re proud to continue to support Children’s through Dean’s position as Chairman of Famous Dave’s. The restaurant partners with Children’s through the Wilbur Cares program. The mission of Wilbur Cares is to enrich the lives of children dealing with life-threatening illnesses by providing meals, donations and friendly faces. One way Wilbur Cares supports Children’s is through their Wilbur Cares Dance Party that features live music, a silent auction, games, great BBQ and fun for the whole family! Find out more about Famous Dave's partnership with Children's.