What can I do for neighbor who's newborn is in the NICU? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-02-2009, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just moved to this neighborhood in May. The neighbor that lives across the street was due on July 28th. We have talked to them a few times, but aren't really close with them or anything. They already have three teenagers between the two of them, from previous marriages and this is their first baby together and their youngest is 18.

I had planned on bringing a nice dinner over for them one day this week when they arrived home from the hospital with their new little son, BUT I heard on the 29th that the baby is in the NICU. This is ALL that I know about the situation, nothing more. I don't know how serious it is, and I don't even really know if the mom is home or not. I've seen their car home, but only for very short periods of time before it leaves again (I'm assuming they're back at the hospital visiting their baby).

I would still like to do something nice for them, but a meal just doesn't seem right anymore, especially since I don't know when they are or aren't home, etc. I was thinking about maybe leaving a small baby gift on their doorstep. Would this be wierd? What should I do? Maybe I shouldn't do anything? For those of you who have been through this what would you have wanted a neighbor to do, or not do????

belly.gifMandy Mom to Hayden (9),  Ellie (7),  Jordyn (4),  Evan (10/07/09 - 01/11/12),  

and our rainbow1284.gif baby due January 29th!  

 

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Old 08-02-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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Tough call, but very sweet of you to be thinking of them at this time!

A meal seems like a great choice. Maybe a veggie and fruit snack pack that's ready to be toted to the hospital? Or, if you felt like doing something more personal, you could make a small baby blanket or hire an infant photographer for them. I know that I would have loved some NICU pics, but we were just too exhausted to seek out someone on our own.

Or, maybe a handmade cap/hat? On Etsy there are some awesomely cute hats called "pixie caps" that would be gorgeous in the new babe's pics when he or she gets home.

Anyway, these are just my probably not-so-helpful thoughts! :-)

Good luck to your neighbors, and kudos to you in advance for your efforts.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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If I had a newborn in the NICU, I would be at the hospital most of the time. A gesture that I would appreciate would be something like mowing and watering the lawn, caring for any pets, etc.

That may be an odd thing to do, especially if you don't know them well, but that's what I got

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Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
We just moved to this neighborhood in May. The neighbor that lives across the street was due on July 28th. We have talked to them a few times, but aren't really close with them or anything. They already have three teenagers between the two of them, from previous marriages and this is their first baby together and their youngest is 18.

I had planned on bringing a nice dinner over for them one day this week when they arrived home from the hospital with their new little son, BUT I heard on the 29th that the baby is in the NICU. This is ALL that I know about the situation, nothing more. I don't know how serious it is, and I don't even really know if the mom is home or not. I've seen their car home, but only for very short periods of time before it leaves again (I'm assuming they're back at the hospital visiting their baby).

I would still like to do something nice for them, but a meal just doesn't seem right anymore, especially since I don't know when they are or aren't home, etc. I was thinking about maybe leaving a small baby gift on their doorstep. Would this be wierd? What should I do? Maybe I shouldn't do anything? For those of you who have been through this what would you have wanted a neighbor to do, or not do????
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Finally some responses! Thank you! You both had some great ideas. I know that the neighbor who told us the baby is in the NICU is already taking care of mowing and all of that (plus their three adult teenagers are there all day too). I am a photographer though, and it hadn't even occured to me to offer a photo session. Would it be too intrusive? Maybe I could leave a card on their doorstep or with one of their kids and offer it in the card?

belly.gifMandy Mom to Hayden (9),  Ellie (7),  Jordyn (4),  Evan (10/07/09 - 01/11/12),  

and our rainbow1284.gif baby due January 29th!  

 

homebirth.jpg   waterbirth.jpg   redbluerib.gif   novaxnocirc.gif

                         candleflicker2.gif www.facebook.com/healingevan                

 

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Old 08-03-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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A gift card for a restaurant or coffee shop near the hospital would be nice...but I also love the photo idea. My husband is a great photographer and even then, I wish we had A LOT more pictures of my son when he was in the NICU and when he was first at home. That time is so confusing, but precious in another way, I just wish I had more memories on film.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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The photo idea is great. Maybe you could leave a note asking them to let you know if there is anything you can do and offering to take some pictures, either at the hospital or when they bring their baby home.

Just knowing that you are willing to help is a very nice gift. I wish I had had a neighbor like you when our daughter was in the NICU for five weeks 80 miles from home.

Married to an Ogre, Mother of Danora Rose 12/31/2008 and missing Evan Michael 12/31/2008 Expecting someone new 7/11/2011
 
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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Aside from help around the house (which is seems like they have covered), a meal is still a good idea. Maybe you could watch the cars in the drive and try to note when they get back, then make a meal for them. For me, the day I brought my daughter home was like the day she was born--getting used to life together in our house instead of the NICU. To make it easier all around, you could sneak something in to their freezer with a note while they're away (with the help of your other neighbor, maybe). Then they can have the meal whenever.

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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I hope you were able to find some way to help out. If I were in your shoes, I think I would send gift cards. It is distant enough to not feel like you are intruding on people that you don't know well enough to know what they need, yet personal enough to really help out. Gift cards to restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations (if the baby will be in the NICU a while, the gas may be pricey for them), or a baby supply store would all be possibilities.

Paula

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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I think a photo session would be nice. I had a friend come for free when Georgie was just home. It was awesome to have some nice pix when I couldn't take him out!
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:31 PM
 
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I'm in a similar situation as OP, except I know the family pretty well so I kind of do want more personal-type gifts. Looking for more ideas...

I already plan on making some freezer meals for them.
I don't want to do gift cards because they have more money than we do...and they know it and would not feel comfortable accepting money from us.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I was going to say the lawn and gift cards. I know I appreciated the cards to restaurants bc we were at the NICU 2xday for 7 weeks. I also had frozen dinners delivered in throw away packaging. just brought to my door, in to my kitchen, and a quick "thinking of ya, BYE" bc she knew we were rifght back out the door.

i especially aapreciate my mom doing laundry and dishes- might be too close for someon eyou don't know.

sorry- PAK

It is very considerate of you.

Maybe you could get a pizza delivered to their teens?

Married to my best friend, expecting #1 6/09. Little angel came early- 4/10/09, 2lbs 5oz. Lilah Grace:
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:30 AM
 
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Food is always good. If you are comfortable enough with these people, you could arrange to bring a meal so they can step in to the waiting room or lobby long enough to sit down and have a meal together. But something they can really appreciate while they are working, so to speak. From a personal experience, I know my husband and family would have appreciated that when I was in the CICU for months on end. They got hungry and only took a break on every 6-8 hours. It is exhausting work. Likewise, one of th emost comforting things people did was little things around the house, like hemming curtains, and most importantly, checking on our house. The mail, the plants, lights on, making sure everything was safe. Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:14 AM
 
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I'm looking for the same info, except it's for a relative in another state.

In the sticky thread someone suggested tabloid magazines, a shawl, preemie clothes. Since a meal or household help isn't really an option, do those seem ok?
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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IF it were my neighbor I would organize a meals on wheels thing. Having BTDT, the meals organized by the parent board at the preschool was the best thing ever. And ever better, my LLL group also organized one so we had 8 meals weekly it seemd! In the end it was 44 meals total. Almost 4 years later, this brings tears to my eyes because it helped us so much.

Now whenever a meal request comes up, we do 2-4 meals because we say we are paying it forward- all 44 meals. We think we might have about 10 left to go...

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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