We originally created #LoveNotesforNicholas as a vessel for our friends & family to stay in touch with our NICU journey. After Nicholas graduated from the NICU (because let’s face it: babies don’t just get to leave the NICU – they work harder than most at a chance for life so “graduate” is the only appropriate word), we wanted his love story to be more than just about him. And we didn’t want to ignore our family’s roots, which started delicately growing inside the NICU walls.
So, on his 1st birthday we began collecting books & blankets (our “love notes”) for donation to NICU families. On his 1st birthday we collected 165 blankets & 70 books. As we promised we would, we packed them up, shipped them to Florida & took them to our NICU for the families there.
My hope is that they’ve all made it home with other NICU graduates.
Truth be told, the whole process of collecting, sorting, & delivering books & blankets has been nothing short of cathartic. So much so that I’m still not done with the process. I’m not over ityet & I probably won’t ever be. This one thing I ain’t letting go of anytime soon – and I’m OK with that.
A few weeks ago I started the next phase of love notes: this time with my own hands. I’m channeling the McIntosh women in my family (namely my grandmother & great-grandmother) who crocheted to now crochet baby blankets for NICU families. (I hope my work makes them proud.)
In the past week we’ve been able to give love note blankets to 2 NICU families: 1 family I know & have written about here & 1 family whom I’ve never met but feel connected to since both our pregnancies came to a premature end due to HELLP syndrome.
We’re committed to more. Reaching more families. Giving more. Praying more. Loving more through what we know are vital items when you’re apart from your child in these often dire circumstances.
While we can’t offer the promise of happy endings, we can offer warmth through blankets, bonding through story times, & the knowledge that there are parents who have sat by those same incubators & prayed until they ran out of words, that now pray for you & your child every day.We hope that these blankets & books give comfort when needed & are a reminder that love is abundant – even in the smallest packages.
I’ve got blankets ready & more in progress. Do you know someone who is learning about life in the NICU walls and could use a love note? If so, I’d like to send them one. I’ve created a tab at the top of the page titled “Need A Love Note?” that will allow you to tell me about the family & how I might be able to send them a love note. That’s all I need. We can take care of the rest.
And, I feel like this should go without saying but in today’s “there must be a catch” mentality in the world: there are no strings attached. no shipping fees. no money needs to ever exchange hands. We are doing this because we can. Its that simple. If the situation ever changes or this gets too big for little ole’ me & my patient husband to handle, we’ll be open about it – in other words, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.