Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving: A Time to Be Thankful, Even in the NICU

As promised, a link to the new article from the Type A Mom site, on Giving Thanks Even when Thanksgiving is in the NICU.

In the article you will find a number of ways that generous people are helping NICU parents to be able to give thanks, even in the NICU. I've shared a couple already in previous posts this week.

Some of my favorites are the creative ways that people are helping NICU Parents to cope.

Earlier this month, The Preemie Clothes Guide posted Patterns and Ideas for Thanksgiving Preemie Blankets with links to different blanket patterns plus with suggestions for ways to modify the patterns to create special Thanksgiving preemie blankets.

Respiratory Therapist, Glenna Muse post of the 2009 Official Thanksgiving Turkey Hat was my inspiration to find the many ways that people are helping NICU parents to give thanks. She knits out of love for these little babies and shares why she is Thankful this Thanksgiving.
Those babies and these hats make me joyous. It's that simple. Every time I hold a three pound baby and every time I plop one of my silly little hats onto one of those tiny little heads I see God in their eyes and for those moments I am a mountain of faith that the world is a wondrous place and we are blessed to be here, all connected as one big family on Earth.

On this Thanksgiving I am thankful for all of our little miracles and that I am so lucky to play a part, through respiratory therapy and by knitting hats, in their first days in this life.
I will be posting a blog next year about Glenna Muse's efforts on Knitting in the NICU.

A related article is on the Type-A Mom site under the NICU section of Mom Stages.


Dyer KA. 2009. Giving Thanks Even when Thanksgiving is in the NICU. Type A Mom.
Dyer KA. 2009. Encouraging Message: The Full, True Thanksgiving Comes from the Heart. NICU Parent Support Blog.
Dyer KA. 2009. Being Thankful at Thanksgiving in the NICU. NICU Parent Support Blog.

Image: Glenna Muse. 2009 Official NICU Thanksgiving Mascot Turkey Hat. Used with Permission.

Encouraging Message: The Full, True Thanksgiving Comes from the Heart

I discovered this clip on YouTube when searching for Thanksgiving in the NICU. It is quite silly, but a lot of fun. Most of all it demonstrates a lot of heart on the part of these NICU Nurses staging their own version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the NICU.

A Thanksgiving Parade in the NICU

To me, these NICU Nurses embody the full, the true meaning of Thanksgiving, giving from thanks from the heart.
He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.

J.A. Shedd
I've got a new article awaiting publishing on the Type-A Mom site on "Giving Thanks Even when Thanksgiving is in the NICU."

I'll publish the link when it is live.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Being Thankful at Thanksgiving in the NICU

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and expressing gratitude. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine still being grateful when your baby is in the NICU.

We were lucky with our NICU daughter that the only holiday we spent was Easter (she was actually transferred to a higher level of care NICU on Easter Sunday).

This YouTube Clip from Q13 Fox News Seattle shows how one hospital was making Thanksgiving a bit brighter for NICU parents.

For this Thanksgiving I'd like to share a quote on gratitude which may help NICU parents facing the chaos and confusion in the NICU:
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melodie Beattie

May you still be able to express gratitude this Thanksgiving, even if it is being spent in the NICU. I hope that you will find a sense of peace for today and a vision for tomorrow.


Dyer KA. Encouraging Message - Balancing on a Tight rope and Gratitude in the NICU? NICU Parent Support Blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gift Ideas for NICU Parents - A Custom Necklace or Bracelet

One special way of remembering NICU parents, particular a NICU mother is to have a custom Necklace or Bracelet created for her with the NICU baby's name on it. You can even have the baby's name added as part of a family necklace.

One of my favorite places to find custom handmade jewelry items is on Etsy. I have found many beautiful necklaces and bracelets offered by different talented jewelry artists that can be personalized with your baby's name and information.

This necklace featured from BabyCharmed is one that I ordered myself with my both of daughter's names as a beautiful custom mom's necklace.

Some of my favorites include (listed alphabetically):
These talented jewelry artists offer a variety of beautifully created handmade products. Just look around on Etsy until you find one that seems right as a NICU parent gift.

About Etsy

Etsy is the leading online website that allows Etsy hundreds of thousands of sellers to sell their handmade products directly to buyers.

The Etsy sellers featured all offer different types of necklaces and bracelets that can be personalized with your baby's name and information to become a reminder of your child when he or she is not with you.

More Gift Ideas
Dyer KA. 2009. Gift Ideas for NICU Parents and NICU Babies. NICU Parent Support Blog.
Dyer KA. 2009. Gift Ideas for NICU Parents.
Dyer KA. 2009. Gift Ideas for NICU Babies.

Image: BabyCharmed. Used With Permission.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17th – Unite, Fight and Write to Raise Awareness about Premature Birth

Each year nearly 13 million babies worldwide are born prematurely or born at less than 37 full weeks gestation. Of these more then one million die. More than one million infants die because they are born too soon.

In the past 25 years the rate of preterm birth in the United States has increased 36 percent. One out of eight babies in the U.S. are born prematurely.

On November 17th, Bloggers Unite and the March of Dimes are encouraging bloggers to unite, fight and write blog posts during Prematurity Awareness Month to increase awareness of prematurity around the world.

To learn more about prematurity, find out what you can do and give to the March of Dimes, visit their About Prematurity page.

More about the Fight for Preemies

Dyer KA. Bloggers Unite to Fight for Preemies on Nov. 17th. NICU Parent Support Blog.

Dyer KA. 2009. Coming This November...Prematurity Awareness Month for the March of Dimes. NICU Parent Support Blog.

More on the March of Dimes

Dyer KA. 2009. NICU Family Support from the March of Dimes. NICU Parent Support Blog.
Dyer KA. 2009. March of Dimes Supporting NICU Families with NICU Family Support. Type-A Mom.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kangaroo Care in the NICU Featured on Grey's Anatomy

The most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy (November 5) featured a story line about using Kangaroo Care in the NICU. Resident tough-guy Alex Karev is on a pediatric rotation and assigned to care for a fragile premature baby.

In this short clip new doctor Reed (Nora Zehetner) walks in on Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) who is still holding a premature baby in his arms providing Kangaroo Care. Their scene ends at 2:00.

You can read more about Kangaroo Care in the NICU at the article on Type-A Mom or in the resources included below.

Another good resource on Kangaroo Care is one of the classic, comprehensive books on the topic by Susan Ludington-Hoe, Kangaroo Care: The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm InfantGrey's Anatomy Features Using Kangaroo Care in the NICU that is available on Amazon.

A related article is on the Type-A Mom site under the NICU section of Mom Stages.

More on Kangaroo Care

March of Dimes. August 2009. Parenting in the NICU: Holding Your Baby Close: Kangaroo Care.

Cleveland Clinic. Kangaroo Care. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Understanding and Parenting Your Preemie: The Social Environment. Meriter Health.

Krisanne Larimer. 1999. Kangaroo Care Benefits.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign

During the month of November, or Prematurity Awareness Month, Medela today will be hosting a Virtual Human Milk (breastmilk) Collection Campaign. To participate in the Virtual Human Milk campaign, visit the Medela's Preemie Awareness Program website to register and vote for your favorite NICU.

According to the press release, the four NICU's that obtain the most votes will receive at least $5,000 each worth of Medela products or education services for their facility. One NICU will be selected one in each of four geographic regions. Medela has pledged to donate $20,000 in Neonatal Human Milk Support Products.

The campaign is being launched to honor the March of Dimes' National Prematurity Awareness Month and the thousands of dedicated Neonatal healthcare professionals nationwide.

In addition for voting for your favorite NICU, you can support the Medela company's efforts by purchasing
Medela Baby Productson Amazon.

More about the Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign

Medela. November 2, 2009. Medela Recognizes National Prematurity Awareness Month With Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign. Press Release.
Medela. November 2009. Preemie Awareness Month Program – Medela.