Question for NICU Mama's and NICU Grads.. - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-06-2008, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
Fyrestorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 3,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mama's, I would like some opinions and anecdotes. I am deciding whether to get involved with an organization that makes hand knitted and crocheted blankets, hats, booties and other assorted items for NICU's throughout the country. These are the items that your baby would use in the hospital and you would take home with you.

I was hoping you could let me know if your hospital provided these items and if they gave you any comfort while your DC was in the NICU. In other words, did it make or would it have made any difference to you if the items your babe was using were hand made with love by volunteers or if they were hospital issue?

I am considering doing charity knitting/crocheting for several organizations, this is one of them. I am also looking into a hospice program and a chemo cap program. I would like to go with the organization where it would give the most comfort, so any opinions would be most welcome.


TIA
Dee

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
Fyrestorm is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-06-2008, 01:46 AM
 
irangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,178
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our NICU did and it was so awesome because even before I had a chance to bring things up there they both had hand made things. Some of the women would knit hats out of the big university colors here and htat was pretty cool. Once I walked in and my baby was wearing a hat with my school colors on it and it just made the whole experience more personal knowing that htye wouldn't be stuck in those stupid pink and blue striped hats. I still have all the blankets and quilts that we got from the volunteers and every time I see them I get all warm and squishy inside (cheesy I know, but true).
irangel is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:01 AM
 
kands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My babes both got volunteer-knitted things and we still have them in a little box of rememberances. I loved getting the little hats and blankets and sweaters. Such a personal touch--meant a lot to us.
kands is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:05 AM
 
FancyD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I still have DS's cap, in his memory box.
FancyD is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:17 AM
 
VivC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Somewhere losing my grip...
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't read the other responses, but here's my thinking on the idea.

When Rivi died, we were given a memorial box. In it was a hand-crocheted blanket and various other things (a candle, a little prayer card, etc.). We wrapped him in the blanket while we were spending time with him after he passed.

I later made a nice memorial box of our own, decorated with little things that reminded me of our pregnancy. That blanket sits right on top of everything else in the box. It is still very comforting to me, on my hard days, to take out that blanket and snuggle it....it once held him, after all. If my house were ever to burn down and I had time to grab one thing, it would be that blanket.

I know that such blankets have blessed many mothers along the way.

ETA: Rivi's urn is displayed in a curio case in our living room, and a tiny blanket a friend made him is wrapped around him.

VivC

Mom to Dominici (5 years old)

http://mommywriting.com

VivC is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:19 AM
 
OGirlieMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Our hospital had volunteers who provided tons of stuff for the NICU. Hats, little sweaters, and blankets. Our nurses would raid the box looking for matching stuff for the girls. I still have everything. Their first tiny little hats. The little matching aqua-colored cardigans they were wearing when I came in on Valentine's Day. And their little blankets. They actually still have NICU blankets in their cribs today, at almost 2 years old. When I put them to bed, I cover them with a regular blanket, and cover their dolly with the little crocheted blanket. All of these items are incredibly special and I have vowed so many times that when I have more time on my hands, I will knit for the babies in our NICU.

I would love to know the name of the organization you are considering working with. I'll probably just donate directly to our NICU when the time comes, but you never know.

You can see some of the stuff here. I remember that pink hat on Lilly looked like a nipple and it always made me giggle. And those blankets are the ones in their cribs, along with a 3rd somewhere: http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/4...26109Qct2rVqyk

It's also fun to do a comparison with the hats. Here's Kate with her first hat the day after was she was born. http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/4...15109Qct2rVqyk

And 8 months later. http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/4...26109Qct2rVqyk


I don't think I can overstate how much the hand-knitted and crocheted items meant to me in the NICU. When I went into labor, I was 3/4 of the way through one of the blankets I had planned to knit for them (I was an avid knitter before they were born) and I was so sad not to finish it, but so happy they still had some handmade things.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
OGirlieMama is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:26 AM
 
preemiemamarach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post


That is one of the cutest pics I've ever seen!
preemiemamarach is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:28 AM
 
OGirlieMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by preemiemamarach View Post


That is one of the cutest pics I've ever seen!
Thanks! It is one of my favorites of her. I remember cracking up and crying all at once when I took it. She was so fat and happy and making such silly faces, and she had come so far!

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
OGirlieMama is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:39 AM
 
sparklett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 1,185
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Jack wore this little green knit cap with a giant ball on top... it was SO CUTE and I really appreciated that someone took the time and made the effort to make smething special for my baby. I really wish there was some way I could thank the person who knit that cap; it really made a difference. I have it in his memory box, and it is something I will always treasure. In nearly every NICU photo I have, he's wearing that little green cap.

I am just now geting into knitting and crochet, and once I sharpen my skills, I would love to be ble to do something like what you're doing. Could you share more information about the organization you're working with?

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
sparklett is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:43 AM
 
mamaverdi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,572
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My baby was very sick when born, and while not (allowed) in the NICU, he was still given a very special crocheted blanket that we have and love. We also have received handmade quilts that are still used.
mamaverdi is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:52 AM
 
preemiemamarach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 913
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
our hospital had knitted caps/blankets/booties that we weren't allowed to take home, but I absolutely loved putting the little booties on my son. He was huge for a preemie (5 lbs) but his feet were teeny tiny, and even the newborn socks fell off.

Most of us had no idea we would end up in the NICU with our babes until right when it happened, so it's rare for mamas to have anything suitable for a preemie to wear. It makes a HUGE difference to be able to put something handmade on your baby in the isolette.

When I worked in a PICU, one of our nurses made simple fleece blankets for the babies in the unit to cover the isolettes of those who needed a darker environment. She had been doing it for ten years, and kids in her neighborhood would come to her house once a month and help her sew the blankets. She made a personalized tag for every new child in the unit. Everyone- the neighborhood kids, the PICU parents, and the patients- got something meaningful out of it.

I think it's wonderful for you to do this. If my knitting gets good enough that I could actually complete a blanket, I'd like to do it someday too!
preemiemamarach is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:53 AM
 
OGirlieMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I mentioned this thread to my husband and his reaction was so emotional. He told me what a comfort all those knitted/crocheted items were to him, too, and how he loves that the blankets are still in their cribs today. I don't know that he and I have ever actually spoken about it, but you posting this really gave me some nice insight into some of his deeper feelings about their NICU time. So I figured I'd let you know that it's not just the mamas who appreciate the handmade stuff.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
OGirlieMama is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
Fyrestorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 3,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all your input and stories...I've got tears in my eyes and DH is looking at me funny!!

We were only in the NICU for a very short time and it was all a blur to me...the one thing I do remember is the yellow and white granny square blanket they used. At the time I did not knit or crochet, but my mother who had recently passed did and unfortunately, she passed before I became pregnant and never had a chance to knit anything for my DD. That blanket was one bright spot in my awful ordeal. I think it was that blanket that made me decide to finally learn.

It's wonderful to read how much they meant to all of you as well. I think this is the direction I am going to go.

I think I will be working through Carewear. They have affiliates all over the country. In my case, I will be donating through my local March of Dimes. They provide grief packages with burial gowns and layettes and blankets as well as items for premies.

Keep the stories coming...They will help keep me motivated!!

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
Fyrestorm is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 03:21 AM
 
lilgsmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,905
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In our NICU they only had the following handmade items:

Little quilts that were used to cover the tops of the incubators to keep out the bright lights, and provide some privacy. We were supposed to get both of them from the twins, but one of the nurses accidently threw one of them away when they transfered the twins to an open crib. I still look at it from time to time.

When they were first born there was these cradle/pocket looking little things that kinda snuggled them:

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i171/lilgsfamily/Kolton16.jpg
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i1...y/Hunter16.jpg

Bad pics but you can kinda tell what I am talking about.


I would have loved to have gotton a knitted hat or blanket. As for hats, all they had was the NB hospital ones, or ones we brought in.
lilgsmommy is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 04:20 AM
 
homewithtwinsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by VivC View Post
I haven't read the other responses, but here's my thinking on the idea.

When Rivi died, we were given a memorial box. In it was a hand-crocheted blanket and various other things (a candle, a little prayer card, etc.). We wrapped him in the blanket while we were spending time with him after he passed.

I later made a nice memorial box of our own, decorated with little things that reminded me of our pregnancy. That blanket sits right on top of everything else in the box. It is still very comforting to me, on my hard days, to take out that blanket and snuggle it....it once held him, after all. If my house were ever to burn down and I had time to grab one thing, it would be that blanket.

I know that such blankets have blessed many mothers along the way.
I too, was given the beautiful knitted blanket that my daughter was wrapped in after she died and before they took her to the morgue. I held it a lot for the first few months and I still like to hold it occasionally, though it makes me cry. I plan to give it to my surviving twin daughter someday when she has her own baby. They gave me another one for my twin who survived the day we went home. That one didn't mean so much, but the quilt she was in in her crib the last couple weeks there(that normally they don't send home with you, it goes to the laundry and they use them again) is something I do cherish. I think because I had such an awful time in that NICU with the nurses that a couple of my favorite nurses decided to give it to me (they even went to their nurse manager to complain about how their colleagues were treating me, which doesn't happen).
homewithtwinsmama is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 04:42 AM
 
sasayaki's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our NICU had this big box of knitted hats, and every baby got a hat (or several hats, as they outgrew them..). The first one DS wore is one of my most treasured items, because it serves as a visual reminder of how small he used to be. Here is a picture of it compared to the hat he wore at 2 years old.

Also, each incubator had a quilt covering it. We got to take the quilt with us when we went home.

one tired mama chasing after a spirited little boy (10/04)
sasayaki is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 02:05 PM
 
meesa143's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Utah
Posts: 745
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We received a handmade fleece blanket when we went home. It was nice, they even gave dd one. I wish someone would have given us a hat for his tiny head, that would have been wonderful.
meesa143 is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 06:01 PM
 
Amys1st's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,322
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OH yes, please do do these!! I still have the caps and some of the afgans MAggie had on her in her isolette. We still have the prayer blankets giving to her and she sleeps with them. IT made things so much nicer to have them wrapped in these things.

Also, in our nicu the parents were responsible for washing the clothing and blankets etc and bringing back. the first time it was giving to us, we brought it home and slept with it to get her scent on us because we hated leaving her each and everyday. I noticed I would pump better when I had this with me too.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
Amys1st is offline  
Old 01-06-2008, 07:04 PM
 
LogansMama1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Downtown San Jose, Calif
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Logan spent the first two weeks of life in the NICU, and I, too, still have the knitted caps he wore when he was in the hospital. In almost all of the pictures we took of him in the NICU, it was either the blue or yellow hat someone took the time and effort to make just for someone's little love. I knit hats and have considered making NICU donations. I have many knitting friends as well, and I think we will be starting some projects to donate to make someone else some wonderful memories in hard times. Thank you for your beautiful stories. There are many strong, wonderful mommies on here!
LogansMama1979 is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 12:24 AM
 
mama2alexa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: around here, somewhere
Posts: 130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dd2 has a blankie crocheted by a volunteer that is her lovie. She's only 2.5 months (6 weeks adjusted), but she seems to settle immediately when we snuggle her in it. She also had crocheted hats...2 to match her outfits. We were/are so grateful to the volunteers because we didn't have anything "special" ready for her. I was planning on making her a blankie, but she surprised us by coming a bit early and I started the soakers and never got to make her a blanket...dd1 had several crocheted blankies from friends and relatives.
mama2alexa is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 07:33 AM
 
susienjay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: MD
Posts: 580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The hospital my twins were in got in lots of donations. Every baby got their very own homemade quilt to go over the isolette. We got to take these home but we somehow wound up with 5 so I donated 3 of them back later. They also had tons of cute hats and they tried to go with themes. My twins were in NICU over 4th of July and all of the babies had Firecracker hats.

The hospital my 1yo was at had a few donations but not many. There were fleece blankets over the isolettes but they were reused and you didn't get to take them home with you. Dd wasn't given any hats but I saw other babies with some. I knit her first hat while I was on hospital bedrest and it wound up fittng just about perfect after she was born. I made a couple more after that so she didn't really need donated hats. With my twins I had such a hard time recouperating from the c-section and weeks of total bedrest that I didn't make anything for them so the donations were wonderful. One of my favorite items I got for them were hat/booties sets. The hospital had just gotten a bunch of new ones in the day before they went home and I picked out a pink and blue set that they wore home. They are in my keepsake box along with thier little firecracker hats.

Sometime down the road when I have more time I'm planning to do more knitting for charity. I think I'd do more than just NICU stuff since I was under the impression that NICU usually gets more donations than other areas of the hospital like Children's.

mama to six ('98, '00, '04, '04, '06, '08)
susienjay is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 03:07 PM
 
justmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: beginning anew
Posts: 5,727
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
our nicu doesn't do this and it makes me so sad. So I am personally making a knit hat for each of the babies in her bay right now. I already made one for Grace and it's on her as we speak and I'm making one for the 26weeker in the next isolette over now. Her mama was very grateful when I approached her about it and she said that she would love to have a remembrance of how small her daughter is now.

treehugger.gifjog.gifgreenthumb.gifknit.gifnamaste.gif

justmama is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 03:21 PM
 
Knittin' in the Shade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: near Philly, PA
Posts: 4,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I adored the handcrafted items we got in the NICU. I donate hats now to my NICU. Greg was in there over christmas, so I did a little santa hat for him that all the nurses fell in LOVE with. And then when Rusty was in it was near Halloween so I did a pumpkin hat for him (and one for each of the babes that were his "roomates") Now, I do santa hats, pumpkins, little striped pastel egg-like ones near Easter, and red with hearts at valentine's day.
Knittin' in the Shade is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 05:01 PM
 
veganone's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: California
Posts: 3,497
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Like you, we were lucky enough that DD was only in the NICU for a short time. They didn't even give us her hat when she was there, but gave it to us when she was in our room with us. But, it was the ONLY little hat she had other than the hospital one and I loved (and still do) that hat. It was soft and pretty and fit her so much better than the hospital one. She had NO clothes (just the enormous hospital t-shirts) and was in hospital blankets because we hadn't bought our layette yet. So, that one little hat was the only personal thing she had and it meant a lot to us.

Here are pictures of her in it at the hospital and after she came home.
http://s191.photobucket.com/albums/z...current=29.jpg

http://s191.photobucket.com/albums/z...t=IMGP1689.jpg
veganone is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 05:46 PM
 
felix23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: on a peaceful pond
Posts: 1,254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We love our blankets, hats and booties from the NICU. I'm still amazed at how tiny they are. The neat thing about all of the blankets was that on the back it had "made by (name of person who made it). I took pictures of Lilly with her blankets and sent it with a thank you card and gave it to the lady who was in charge of donations. She said that the senior group that made them was thrilled to get to see who got their blankets.

Here is the only picture I have in my account. You can see the tiny hat and a little bit of one of the blankets.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u...l/100_1582.jpg

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker. - Linus
felix23 is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 08:07 PM
 
onyxravnos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 2,455
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we got a little hand knit cap in the NICU. it was way too small for ds beacuse he wasn't a premie -he had other issues - so ds never wore it but it was nice to get. i was in a hospital on the other side if the state, alone, with a NICU baby.
it was really nice to get something even if we never were able to use it.

transtichel.gifAk Hippie mama  ribbonpb.gifYamia  DSD '03 blahblah.gif  DS '07 ribboncesarean.gif  DS2 '09  hbac.gif & DS3  uc.jpg '12

homeschool.gifwinner.jpgfamilybed2.gifnovaxnocirc.gifcd.gifgd.gif

 

onyxravnos is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 08:12 PM
 
MamaPam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 1,488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
They didn't do this at either of the hospitals my girls were at but it would have been a wonderful, personal touch.
MamaPam is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
Fyrestorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 3,766
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got my first set done for carewear. The color ( it's deep violet) didn't photograph well...actually the pics are pretty bad, but here they are:

Booties and Hat

Set with Blanket

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
Fyrestorm is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 11:12 PM
 
irangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,178
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
I got my first set done for carewear. The color ( it's deep violet) didn't photograph well...actually the pics are pretty bad, but here they are:

Booties and Hat

Set with Blanket
That looks great! You're going to make some mama so happy.
irangel is offline  
Old 01-10-2008, 01:52 AM
 
OGirlieMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Those are so pretty, Fyrestorm! It's always nice to see stuff that's not superpastel in the NICU.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
OGirlieMama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off