How could a group from the community support families in the NICU during the holidays? Any ideas?
post #1 of 15
12/22/08 at 3:11am
Hi again! (I just responded to your post on my thread about bedrest).
My 34-weeker was born on Christmas morning. We were given a Christmas blanket and some Santa hats that ladies in the community had sewn/knitted for the NICU babies, and they meant a lot. My son is about to be 2 and he still sleeps with his NICU Christmas blankie. (The hat no longer fits, of course!)
The baby next to my son (26-weeker) was the 7th child of a welfare mom and when we left, we left her a bag of clothes and a Target gift card. I would bet depending on the hospital (ours was a large regional inner-city trauma center), there would be lots of families that would just have basic needs, especially for siblings at home and so forth.
Also a little extended family education... my in-laws pressured me to come home from the hospital early and have Christmas dinner (I came home on the 26th even though I could have stayed until the 27th), and when I was sitting at the dinner table, after dinner, I excused myself to lie down on the couch, and my mil said "feeling antisocial, are you?" No, how about feeling the stitches from the tear in my vagina! I did just give birth yesterday!! Ah well, I guess a community group couldn't help much there...
Nice idea, though!
Wow, really didn't mean to offend people with that one. Very sorry.
Yes, she did tell me that she was on welfare. And I have been on public assistance, too (WIC). All I meant was "a mom who was on welfare" and I made that slightly shorter by putting the word welfare in front of the word mom. Didn't mean anything by it. Didn't want to imply anything about who she was, her style of parenting... did I mention any of those things? She was a great person and obviously cared a lot about her kids. We talked quite a bit while we were in there together. But, she was on welfare, so obviously she had some financial needs. And I hope she was able to use the gift we left for her.
The NICU dd was in had a wonderful coffee station every day. It was supported through private donations and community groups. I really looked forward to some coffee, juice and fruit on most mornings! It was one of those little things that make it more bearable.
As far as the holidays... I would have loved to hear about the donation of more glider/rockers! They were always in short supply but so needed and loved by the parents for Kangarooing and just for sitting all day near the babies.
Another thought is to volunteer a team at the Ronald McDonald House to make a meal or a few for the families staying there. I didn't have to use their facilities but I hear a lot of great things from other NICU mamas about them.
Also, my social worker made me aware of a fund that ws started by a previous NICU family to help support current NICU familes by paying some costs for them. It was a small stipend per family- $100, I think- but it could be used for anything other than medical bills. It could have been used for gas, utilities, rent, mortgage, food, whatever! You only had to provide a receipt that you paid and they would reimburse $100. It was very thoughtful and welcome.
Or parking... maybe the group could pay for parking for the NICU families for Christmas Day or any length of time. Our NICU was $3/day to park but that really adds up. It would have felt like a true blessing to find out my parking was free for even one day.