Gift ideas for parents of micro-preemie? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband's nephew and his wife just had a little boy at 25 wks gestational age.

I did see another similar thread, but was wondering if anyone had additional suggestions as to gifts.

I've just ordered some IV/NICU friendly tees and hats from preemietees.com, and will get a little stuffed animal, socks, some receiving blankets, so I think I've got that under control.

I'd like to however send a gift box for his parents, and wonder if anyone who has been there had any suggestions as to what they might appreciate at this time. We do not know them extremely well, have visited on a few occassions, so I don't think I'd want to send any advice books, or anything of that nature. Maybe snacks (like bags of trail mix, dried fruit, chocolate), reading material (have no idea what to choose), a baby scrap book?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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One thing I used a ton of was serious hand cream. Scrubbing in and Purelling all the time nearly killed my poor hands! Bliss Spa makes a great one, I can't recall the name, though.

Another thing that's helpful are gift cards for eating places. I don't mean sit-down restaurants, but places you can take out from. We didn't have the heart for real dinners out, but stopping at places like Boston Market, etc. on the way home from the NICU was much easier than cooking.

Best wishes to your husband's nephew's family!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#3 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 05:47 AM
 
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DD wasn't a micro so we were oly in NICU for 2 weeks. However things which we really appreciated were snack and drinks that we could leave there (cereal bars, juice boxes etc. It was too hot for chocolate though). Fruit, since we were stopping at takeaways on the way home most nights we never got round to shopping for fresh food.

IF you're close by inviting them round for a meal would be nice, I really appreciated turning up at friends, eating and then leaving. They understood htat we were nto really up for company yet.

I think it would have been nice to have a disposable camera which we could have left there, we kept forgetting to bring ours with us. I think I'd go with a nice photo album rather than one of the ready made scrap books, the "milestones" in those seemed unreachable when she was still on CPAP and not yet feeding.
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#4 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 07:55 AM
 
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The main thing that saved us was food. I was staying in the city with the hospital, and DH was at home and works 70-80 hrs/wk, so cooking wasn't an option for him. If it wasn't for the meals we got, he would have lived on pb&j. Plus, when I came home one or two days a week, it enabled me to have a fast, healthy dinner.

The site that my ILs ordered meals from is called A La Zing. They make gourmet frozen dinners. They really are fabulous.

Here's their site

Not sure what your budget is like, but you can order a week's worth of meals for two for less than groceries would be. Just a thought!

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#5 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 08:03 AM
 
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A good friend of mine had a micropremie, also 25 wks gestation.

The hardest part (financially) was the gas, driving back and forth from their home to the hospital all the time.

I think that I would give a gift certificate to a local gas station, especially with current prices. It would be horrible to be in the position of needing, wanting, to see your baby, and not being able to afford the gas, IMO.
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#6 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sehbub
The site that my ILs ordered meals from is called A La Zing. They make gourmet frozen dinners. They really are fabulous.

Here's their site
I wish I knew about that site 4 weeks ago when I was on bedrest and dh was in charge of feeding me. It would have saved us a lot of frustration (poor man cannot cook).

As for gifts, I would say gift cards for gas, food, and maybe even for a clothing place. Disposable camera is a great idea I would also suggest giving a gist certificate for place that develops photos as well. If you are close to these families members, find out if they would like you to come visit/talk. That is the greatest things family members did for me. I love talking about ds and having people see him, made the situation less stressful for me.
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#7 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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Having a 25 weeker myself I know what its like to hit the nicu every single day for 93 days.

It cost us $3 a day to park cash. When someone was with us and offered to pay, it helped!! Actaully MAggie's godfather gave us for the month of April an envelope with every date on it. Inside was $3 for each day. A lifesaver!

DH's work gave us a $100 gift certifcate to a local eating place that is eat in or take out pizza and italian. We ate there w dd1 at least 5 times before or after a nicu trip. It helped

We recieved a little photo book that fit in a pocket or my purse. It was great to show Maggie's pictures if we ran into someone or to dh's patients who heard about MAggie all the time.

MEals meals meals. We received 40 plus hot/frozen dinners. I still get teary eyed because of it. here I go....

We have said on more than one occasion this summer, thank god MAggie is home because these gas prices would send us to the poor house. a gas card would help- also the milage adds up, oil changes would be great too!

If in town or close, drop off groceries, run errands, drive older children or babysit.

DONT
send any sort of thoughts and prayers card. That sucked

call all the time. Ask direct questions in front of others, maybe they dont want to share and cannot call you back.


and...
Good luck to the new baby and remember congrats to the parents on their new baby!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#8 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much mama for all of your wonderful and very practical suggestions. It looks like food/meals is really a consensus. I also like the gas card idea (I'll call the hospital about the parking situation too).

I'm thinking of going with a gift certificate to A La Zing, since I have no idea of their tastes and would rather they choose things they would like.

I wish we could be there in person to support them, but we are in Minnesota and they are in Arizona, so that is not possible.

I hope others find this thread who may be in my position, looking to support parents in this situation and not sure how to do it.

Thanks again.

PS: I wanted to post the link to the preemietees website that I ordered from. Debbie, the owner, makes the clothes herself and who is the mother of a micro-preemie has been incredibly helpful. Their fabric choices are fantastic.
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#9 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 07:40 PM
 
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Definately assistance with parking is helpful depending on the hospital parking options. My dd spent 11 weeks in the hospital, validated hospital parking was either $8 or $16 a day depending on how long you stayed. It literally turned out each month to be as much as my car payment. The NICU nurses were constantly appalled that parents even have to pay for parking there.
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#10 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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I agree about the parking.

I always tell the Drs that when we come into money, the first thing we donate is the MAggie LeBeau parking for parents and staff. But of course not to hold your breath since we will not be coming into money for a while.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#11 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 08:27 PM
 
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dd wasn't a micro but was early enough to do some time in the NICU

hand creme but you might want to call the nurses for suggestions. you don't want anything with a strong scent. but yeah, after about a week most peoples hands are bleeding from all th scrubbing. things might be a little beter now with the acceptance of hand sanitizer (that was right after madeline was born) but we had to scrub in, with a stiff brush, for 3 full minutes (they set a timer) every single time i went in or out, went to the bathroom etc. it sucked.

snacks. oh my gosh. easy, nutrient dence snacks. nuts, dried fruits, seseme sticks, trail mix, jerky, maybe toss in some emergen-C mix for a quick boost. i wuold skip meals so that I didn't have to leave my baby or scrub in again.

gift certificates for food. again I never ate because I wasn't going to hang around the house eating when i could be with my baby. but swinging in somewhere and eating on the way would have been an oprtion and not having to worry about the money would have been lovely.

do they live near the hospital? do they have to drive in? a gas card might be nice. again one less things you don't have to worry about.

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#12 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ella'smommy
Definately assistance with parking is helpful depending on the hospital parking options. My dd spent 11 weeks in the hospital, validated hospital parking was either $8 or $16 a day depending on how long you stayed. It literally turned out each month to be as much as my car payment. The NICU nurses were constantly appalled that parents even have to pay for parking there.
:

holy crap. that is freaking insane. everything we needed at the hospital was added to our bill (and therefore covered by insurance or at least payable through thier financing. . . .) parking however was free. valet at that. That is appalling that they would put such a road block to parents visiting thier babies. we simply wouldn't have been able to afford that.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#13 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 08:32 PM
 
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before you provided the link to the preemietees site, i was going to suggest you reconsider giving "preemie" clothes to a 25 weeker. my mil went out shopping for some preemie stuff when ds was probably no bigger than 2 pounds-something and it just hung in the closet of the hotel room where we were staying, right next to the sink, mocking me because it was so big, meant more for 5-6 pounders than for my 26 weeker. she meant well, but at the time i wasn't sure that ds would make it to 5-6 pounds, so i couldn't enjoy the clothes.

that said, the clothes that you bought are from somebody who's in the know and could actually fit an itty bitty baby, so i think that might be a really thoughtful gift.

i also agree that gas cards, parking money, and food gift cards are what they could probably use right now. i personally liked getting flowers because i was in a hotel room for so long, and i'd just had a baby, but can see where somebody might not.
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#14 of 19 Old 08-31-2006, 10:38 PM
 
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When Dominic was in the hospital for his plyoric stenosis surgery it was $8 a day to park. There was a mother in there who dd had been there for 5 months and she couldn't come to see her everyday $$ being one of the reasons

D&A weren't micro preemies and spent 11&17 days in the nicu but the gas cards and food cards sound good to me. We spent alot of $$ on gas going back and forth

mum to Christopher (6/98) Elizabeth (2/05) twins Aaron and Dominic (7/10/06) and new baby Eden (4-18-09)
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#15 of 19 Old 09-03-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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Hi,

Not sure if this applies but if the family has other kids and you are able to baby-sit that may be one of the best gifts you can give!! My micro-preemie was in the NICU for 11 weeks. We have 2 other kids and the hospital was an hr away. I felt tremendous guilt for not being there more for my littlest one...I felt as though I was abandoning her to go home to my other kids. I wish I'd had someone who could have watched them for a couple of hrs a day.

mum to 3, 8 yo dd: 6yo ds and 4yo dd
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#16 of 19 Old 09-03-2006, 12:47 PM
 
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It kills me that your hospitals made you pay for parking to visit your babes! Our NICU validated our parking for the 1st 2 weeks, and then after that it's a hospital rule that any patient in for more than 14 consecutive days is entitled to 2 free parking passes for their immediate family. We got one and we got one for my parents. I cannot imagine having to pay every day (and multiple times if you leave and return). I am so sorry you guys had to do that!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#17 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone again for all the great suggestions, and let everyone know that our nephew's baby is doing pretty well, after some ups and downs. He had a rough couple of days after surgery to close a hole in his heart. He has had trouble maintaining his oxygen levels and has been on and off a respirator, but has been improving the last couple of days.

I wanted to let everyone know that I received my order from preemietees.com and everything was beautiful. The fabric choices are amazing and everything is custom made. The clothes I chose are made to accomidate the IVs and the NICU. The owner's daughter had a micro-preemie, and when she tried to purchase clothes for her grandson she found there was very little available for such tiny babies, and everything was very expensive. As a seamstress, she decided to make these clothes at reasonable prices. I thought it was a nice story when I read it on her website, and wanted to pass it along. She has been amazingly helpful.

Mom and Dad were thrilled with the clothes. We sent a couple of outfits to fit now (1-2 lb size) and three more for (3-4 lb size). I know he'll probably only be able to wear the small size for a couple of weeks, but based on some of the comments in this thread, I wanted some of the clothes to fit now, and not be too big.

I also took sehbub's suggestion and sent a gift certificate to A la zing. Since we are in MN and they are in AZ it seemed like the perfect solution since we don't which restaurants are around them.

Anyway, great ideas and much appreciated.
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#18 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 09:29 AM
 
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I'm so glad to hear he's doing well!

And if you ever have some extra money laying around and don't feel like cooking, an A La Zing meal in your freezer is a really nice thing to come home to! Even a romantic night in for you and your DH!

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#19 of 19 Old 09-14-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Wow. That's so great! I'm sure they were just THRILLED!
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