isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Monday, October 04, 2010

We Interrupt This Mantra Monday for the Preemie Project

As you may or may not know, I took on a new title 4 1/2 years ago, the title of "preemie mom."

It was a hard title to handle at first. I was not familiar with a NICU and had no idea what it would mean to have a premature baby. I was blindsided, like all moms to preemies are.

My little boy was born at 34 weeks after I developed preeclampsia and my water broke and I was introduced to what it feels like to leave the hospital without your baby, what it feels like to be helpless standing next to your tiny baby and what it feels like to feel like a failure as a mother for not being able to carry a fullterm pregnancy.

These are all normal, natural feelings that moms to preemies have and it took a long time for me to work through all of them. Soon after he was born, a good friend of mine also had a preemie and her little boy arrived at 30 weeks. He spent a much longer time in the NICU than my son did because every preemie who comes into this world travels a different path and each family goes on a different journey depending on what complications arise and there are many complications from growth to feeding to developmental issues.

Eventually, my friend and I both joined a group for preemie moms for support and it has been through that group that we have been able to not only support each other, but support other families in the community going through the same thing. It has grown so much since we joined the group and it is now a group of 40 women from all over our bay area.

One of the things so many preemie moms miss out on during their pregnancy is their rite of passage into motherhood: their baby shower.

So our group is bringing the baby showers to them!

This is the third year our group, Mommies Little Miracles, is working with the March of Dimes and our local "HUG" Program to bring baby showers to moms who have babies in our local NICUs. We are throwing showers at 6 hospitals in our area and if you do the math, that means upwards of 250 babies and their families in the NICU at any given moment!

That's a lot of families and every time I see that number it breaks my heart. The NICU is like a revolving door and behind that revolving door is a mommy who is blindsided by a premature labor and delivery and the long grueling hours of worry and walking through the first days of their babies' lives in a fog.

The showers are being thrown next month, as part of Prematurity Awareness Month and we are collecting items for the showers throughout this entire month of OCTOBER! There are lots of ways for you to help, (you will help, wont you???)

  • Listed below is a wish list of items we'd love to have for the showers from gift cards to baby items, nursing supplies, etc! If you purchase one or any of these items and wish to send them, please contact me for an address: christieo@averagemomswearcapes.com
  • We have even created a baby registry under "Mommies Little Miracles" if you wish to shop online at Babies R Us! They currently are holding shipping specials! The registry # is 46043398. You can also search by First name: Mommies Little Miracles; Last name: Tampa Bay.
  • You can donate directly to the project by using Pay Pal and clicking on the donation button on our Mommies Little Miracles blog located on the sidebar!
  • We welcome handmade baby quilts or baby hats from any sewing groups, so if you know of a sewing group looking for a project, please contact us: christieo@averagemomswearcapes.com
The following is the Baby Shower Wish List (all items must be new and unused, please no gently used items for health reasons):

• Bouncy Seats
• Baby Swings
• Pumping Supplies (Pump, accessories, breast pads, breast milk bottles and storage and bottle coolers)
• Strollers and Double Strollers
• Nursing Covers
• Baby Slings or Bjorns
• Diaper Bags
• Small rattles and baby toys
• Baby Monitors
• Clothing:
• Onesies (newborn, preemie size)
• Bottoms to go over the onesies (preemie, 0-3 months)
• Booties/Socks (preemie, 0-3 months)
• Infant Sleepers (preemie, newborn and 0-3 months)
• Infant towels and washcloths
• Preemie-sized hats
• Infant Mobiles
• Baby books
• Bottles
• Diapers (sizes preemie, 0 and 1) Baby Wipes (for sensitive skin and scent free)
• Bibs and burp cloths
• Gift Cards (i.e. from Wal-Mart, Target, Babies R Us, local restaurants for while the families are in the NICU, movie theaters, spas, etc)
• Picture frames
• Disposable cameras (to keep at the NICU while families are away, the nurses like to take pictures of the babies for the families)
• Homemade quilts, blankets, preemie-sized baby hats
• Food, Drinks or Desserts (We will be needing prepared food donations for the day of the events. Please contact us if you wish to donate a prepared or catered dish to the event as we will have several dates for the showers throughout November.)

You'll be hearing a lot more about this project in the coming weeks, this is so near and dear to my heart. The showers are such a wonderful, emotional event as the moms get a much-needed break from the stress of their everyday, but also get to reflect on their new baby’s arrival. Having walked in their shoes, we are also able to share our stories of support, lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on, and encourage them through this difficult time.

If you'd like to help us with this project, please please do! I have had so much support from my bloggy friends in the past, so for that, I THANK YOU!

Have a wonderful, wonderful Monday!

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psst. If you've made it this far, I have a giveaway going on RIGHTNOW. So go check it out.

2 comments:

imadramamama said...

Done and done.

Both Jake and Emma were full term, but my best friend's little girl was born at 20 weeks so preemies are near and dear to my heart.

You are a wonderful person, ChristieO. and I am blessed to know you.

Pubsgal said...

Shower time already?!? Eeek! Gotta get those pom-poms made for hat #3.

(And thanks so much for doing this. Another reason we love ya, IronHumanitarianHotMama! :-)

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