How can a simple blanket make a difference in a persons life as they experience the devastation of a premature and/or very sick baby in intensive care? It's just a blanket. Right?
As a former NICU parent both having experienced a successful NICU journey and neonatal loss, I can say it is not just a blanket. It's a symbol of hope, encouragement, love, and comfort. The blankets we received for our two babies we lost where the only things to touch our babies skin besides wire, tubes, needles, and doctors and nurses, before they passed away. They are treasured momentos that would be devastating to me if lost. They are nearly all I have left to remind me of my child that once was. For my son that survived, thrived and is now 14, the momentos we received during our journey are still treasured and will be passed on to him someday. The are reminders that we were not alone in our journey, reminders that there are loving, caring people around us.
I've heard from other NICU parents how a small gift like a blanket impacted their journey also. I've seen NICU parents smile and get excited when they receive a special delivery for their baby from a complete stranger. It means something. So much more than just a blanket!
Here are a few comments I've received from other NICU parents about the gifts they received while in the NICU. (Not necessarily gifts from project NICU, but gifts in general)
*My son was born at 32 weeks and in the wonderful NICU at St John he received two blankets and a hat and it was the neatest keepsake I have! It meant so much that someone spent their time to make it for him!
* My son although considered a full term baby was 3 weeks early and we spent a week in the nicu at St. Fran. He'll soon be driving but I still have the little crochet cap that someone made him while he was there.
*the nurses decorated his crib with homemade pillow cases that I still have and will always treasure as they were a symbol of normalcy in his tiny crib full of tubes and wires. God bless you for giving other families the comfort that I was afforded with those pillow cases
It's not just a blanket.......