A while back (on October 3rd to be exact) we celebrated Nicholas’ 1st birthday. It was a dreary day with lots of rain – so much so that we moved our county fair theme shindig inside. (& Andy begrudgingly took apart the sofa, dining room table, and chairs so we would have room for everyone who was headed our way – he’s such a good man).
Instead of gifts for Nicholas (because, really – how many 1 year olds NEED loads of birthday presents on their 1st birthday? None. Not one single kid. That’s how many.) we asked people who wanted to celebrate with a gift do so by bringing baby books or blankets for donation to Golisano Children’s Hospital – the hospital that delivered Nicholas and saw us through the scariest time of our lives.
The NICU at Golisano houses up to 64 NICU babies on any given day. Our goal was to recieve 64 blankets & 64 books for us to donate so each baby would get a book or blanket during their stay.
We didn’t get 64……we received 162 baby blankets and 70 books. I am still blown away.
I’ve been packing them up this week as we prepare to fly south for Christmas and to deliver the donations and I am overwhelmed by the generosity.
As the proud mama of a NICU graduate I can’t begin to tell you how much books & blankets saved me some days in the NICU. Each night I would pull out a new set of baby blankets and Andy & I would sleep with them. They would (hopefully) smell like us in the morning & we’d carry them to the NICU for Nicholas’ incubator as bedding. When I couldn’t hold him & bond with him knowing he was at least able to smell who we were was comforting.
So were books. When Nicholas was 1st born he was too small & weak to be held for long periods of time. So when he was having a bad day or I wanted to hold him but I couldn’t, I read to him. Books like Pat The Bunny & Goodnight Moon are good reads for baby but they go by way too fast when you’ve been sitting by your child’s incubator for 4 hours and if you read Goodnight Moon one more time you (or he) might scream.
So, we read Curious George. And Winnie The Pooh. And The Velveteen Rabbit. I read for hours & hours & hours. It made the time (which stands still when you’re standing by an incubator) inch by a bit quicker.
Knowing that these items helped me so much it’s our hope that they’ll help other families going through what we went through.
Next week the books & blankets will make their way down to FL – & we won’t be far behind them. After Christmas we’ll take a day & go visit the NICU and drop off the donations. I’ll be sure to share that day once it occurs.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos snapped by our gorgeous, talented, patient, hilarious friend & photographer Jen Chaconas. We are thankful for her friendship & that she chooses to share her talent with us & let us be a small part of her life.