My perfect pregnancy was interrupted with preeclampsia and I was admitted to the hospital. Our son was born at 29 weeks and 3 days, which made him about 11 weeks early. He was a tiny 2 pounds and 8 ounces and has spent over 77 days in the hospital so far and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. Those gifts of love you created and donated made a huge difference.
To the person who made the first thing I saw when I walked into his room in the hospital, a beautiful blue and yellow handmade quilt – THANK YOU. That quilt has followed him throughout this journey. It has covered his isolette and guarded his tender eyes from harsh light when he needed to rest and was uncomfortable. It shielded him from noise and too much stimulation – something that also causes discomfort in preemies. It also provided a bright and colorful spot in his room to cheer his daddy and I and it made me smile how it had frogs all over it, because my nickname for him while I was carrying him was frog. When he graduated to a crib, the quilt was put under his other bedding on his bed, like a sheet. It makes the room seem more like home and is a comfort to all of us.
To the people who made his little hats – THANK YOU. They kept his head warm when he was taken out of the isolette – a vital thing in such a tiny baby who can’t regulate his own body temperature. It also covered his fragile little skin and gave us a feeling of safety as well as helping us to feel “normal” when we held him, because hats are often the only thing preemies are allowed to wear and it gave him color. It was something I wasn’t able to do for him at the time and I’m so thankful that you did.
To the person who made the little sweater in pastels with the green buttons – THANK YOU. I know how delicate those knit stitches are and how long it took you to make this. It’s given me something special to dress him in when we have the rare visitor, now that he can wear clothes.
To the person who made the little blue booties that are tied with matching ribbon – THANK YOU. The nurse had them in the isolette when we arrived one day and they really brightened my day. I saw them also on the little girl next door’s feet in an adorable pink. They helped to make the NICU feel more like a nursery and kept his little feet warm.
To the people who made the “mommy cloths” – THANK YOU. My husband and I wore them in our shirt and it gave us immense comfort knowing we’d be able to leave our scent for our little one when we weren’t there because of your gift. The larger ones were put under his head and the smaller ones were poked through his pacifier so he could smell them and made it easier for him to hold one of the few things that could give him comfort. They helped us to feel like we could do something to comfort him.
To the people who donated scrap booking materials to the hospital art therapy project – THANK YOU. Your gifts helped many of us to make a memory book for our little babies to record their NICU journey. When we felt powerless to do anything to help our little ones, you gave us a way to feel like we were doing something for their future, which gave us hope. It was also a much needed distraction in this roller coaster experience and a chance at fellowship. One of the ladies in our group’s daughter was born with serious brain damage, one had no family in the area, one had just beaten cancer a short time prior and most of us were far, far away from home. Many of us had been there over a month. These are just a few of the many stories that go through NICU every day.
Many of us never had a baby shower because our pregnancy was unexpectedly whisked away. I have kept every single one of these precious pieces and treasure them.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your thoughtfulness. It meant more than you could ever know.