Sunday, December 9, 2012

NICU Care Package Delivery

The care packages have been dropped off!! Danny and I made the trek down to Seattle for the day to drop off the care packages to the NICU. We borrowed my mom's car and loaded it up with all the boxes of packages, blankets, hats, and trays of cookies for the staff. We had planned to take Cohen with us, but my mom offered to keep him and we figured that would probably be best all around. That way he didn't have to make the long car trip and we didn't have to try and occupy him while we were transporting and delivering the care packages. The car was so full that Danny couldn't move the seat back to fit in the car so me and my short legs got to drive.



We got to UW and went up to the NICU for reinforcements. We had two volunteers to help us and a few wagons. I have tried to warn the staff both last year and this year about just how much stuff there was. Nobody ever believes us. After the volunteers got to the car and saw that I was serious about the mass amount of boxes, they went back in to the hospital and got a few more helpers. We filled up 3 wagons and several wheelchairs with boxes. The wagon train of boxes going into the hospital was cracking me up and we made quite the scene going through the lobby.

 There was another parent who had arranged a pizza party for the NICU parents so it worked out well. We dropped the box of hats and blankets off for parents who were out visiting/eating. When we set the boxes down the parents were so excited to dig through and find the perfect hat and blanket for their babies. A tiny hat was the first thing we ever got to put on Cohen. It helped us feel more like he was our baby just by picking a little hat for him and putting it on him. We still have his little hats and booties in each size and it's so fun to look back and see how little his hats were and how much he has grown. So many of my memories of him in the NICU are associated with the tiny outfit or hat he was wearing. For a NICU parent, something as simple as a hat really is so much more than just a hat.
We also got to take a tour of the brand new NICU. They were building the NICU while we were in the hospital so we heard a lot about it so it was fun to actually get to see it. We missed the day before it opened that they were offering tours to the general public and I didn't think we would ever get to see it so it was a nice surprise to be offered a little tour. And let me say, it was amazing. While Cohen was in the NICU, we were in big open rooms with up to 6 other babies. Partway through our stay, Cohen earned us one of two private rooms with his mysterious skin infection and we got to stay there until he left. So we were actually some of the lucky ones. Our private room was nothing compared to these new rooms that every parent gets to have. 

{This was our "private" room}

Each parent has their own room, with their own recliner chair and even a bed if parents want to stay the night or rest in the same room as their baby. Each room is spacious and has it's own little blanket warmer and breast pump (awesome!!) and a door that closes. I hope that we never have to go back to the NICU, but I am excited that the parents will hopefully be a little more comfortable in the new setting. Here is the promotional video UW put out at the opening of the new NICU.


It was a wonderful day getting to see the parents excited to receive their little presents, to see the new NICU, and to get to see one of our best nurses on the tour. I can't thank you all enough for helping us out with this project. It was a little stressful, but it is all so worth it to help bring a little joy to parents walking the NICU journey. The staff was amazed when I told them that everything was donated. They kept asking me if I made all the blankets and hats and I kept telling them that I had LOTS of help and that really all I did was put the packages together. I have been completely overwhelmed both last year and this year by people's willingness to help out. This would not be possible without all of you!!

In the end we donated over 50 care packages, many, many blankets and hats, around 20 sets of hand crocheted booties, tops, and hats, 3 bags for moms on bedrest, and 6 bags of baby basics (diapers, wipes, clothes, lotion, books, and small toys) for families in need. My wonderful mom also made two huge trays of cookies for the staff, which they loved! 

5 comments:

  1. The pictures of Cohen with his little hats is truly amazing. Hard to remember that he was that small. Glad you guys made it to Seattle and back safely.

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  2. Thanks everybody for the help. Merry Christmas to the staff at the NICU!

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  3. You are amazing!!!! Now go take a nap :)

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