Not really sure what to title this, but PLEASE please read!

Ashley - posted on 02/03/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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When my twin boys were born, they were sent to the NICU. They had minimal problems, needed feeding assistance and some oxygen, and were released after 8 & 9 days. They are almost 6 weeks old now and not a day has gone by that I havent been nearly brought to tears thinking about how lucky I am. While I was in the NICU everyday visiting my boys I witnessed things that as a parent were utterly unbearable. My heart bleeds for the mothers that are unable to hold their child or children and have to look at them struggling to survive. I was overwhelmed with guilt the day I left the NICU for good, how unfair it was that I was able to leave when so many others had to stay.



I remember the first day I was able to dress my babies in ACTUAL clothes, not those generic white shirts and diapers. It was probably one of the best days I had in the NICU, because even with all of the monitors and cords and such, my babies looked like babies, just like they would if they had been home with me. It didn't change the fact that I was still sad they were there, but it did make me feel like more of a mother as silly as that sounds.



My boys did not fit in their premie clothes for very long, by the time they came home they were too long to fit in them. Unfortunately, almost everyone that bought me clothes bought premie sizes. Luckily I have a 1 y/o son and the boys can wear his old clothes. Since I have all of these clothes and TONS of recieving blankets and such, I plan on putting together a bag and taking it to the NICU that my boys were at. I figure if I can give a few mothers that same feeling that I had when I got to dress my boys, maybe I will feel a little less guilty about being able to leave when they couldnt.



As I thought more about this, I realized that there are THREE level 3 NICUs in my area (Cleveland, Ohio). The city in itself is full of poverty, and alot of people simply do not have cute comfy clothes to put their premature babies in. So I got to thinking, and even though this may not work out the way I am hoping it will, I figure it can't hurt to ask or try.



I was wondering if there are any mom's out there that would be willing to give up their premie clothes. I would absolutely love to put together something to where I could take clothes and recieving blankets and things to the other 2 NICUs in my area for those mothers who can't afford it. Like I said I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I would be willing to pay for shipping and handleing for anyone that would be willing to donate their clothes or anything else they feel they dont need. I know it's alot to ask, but I figured it would be worth a try.



I will still be taking my collection to my NICU, and maybe those of you that live farther away could do the same with your local NICU, I really believe it will help. Message me in private if you wish to help and I'll send you an address. Thank you :)

13 Comments

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Shelbra - posted on 02/27/2010

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Hi Ashley, that is a great idea. I left the NICU a month ago with my daughter who was a 26 weeker. She stayed in the NICU for 54 days. In the beginning it was tough not to be able to hold her., but she progressed quickly and it was the happiest day of my life when I was able to take her home. She would dress in her preemie clothes while in the hospital. Now that she is home, she grew out of them pretty fast! I will contact the NICU here in California to see if I can arrange to take clothes there, if not I would gladly send them to you.

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For several years, my mom, cousin and friends have knitted preemie sized hats and booties and we bring them to the NICU where my daughter stayed for 82 days - she was a 24 weeker and weighed 1 lb 11 oz. Last year, for her Bat Mitzvah, we purchased over $1000 worth of preemie clothes and positioning aids and made booklets about early intervention services, and donated them all to the NICU. It is wonderful thing to help NICU families, and I'm so glad you are doing this.

Melissa - posted on 02/21/2010

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I donated all of my preemie clothes to my NICU as soon as Braden grew out of them. I loved being able to dress him while we were in there also. His nurses let me bring all of my own clothes to dress him in and it really did help make it just a little bit easier. They were always calling him the best dressed baby in the NICU... so naturally I thought I'd share that with other NICU mothers. I think it's great that you are also doing this. Good luck!

Erin - posted on 02/18/2010

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I think that is such a fantastic idea. My son was born at 30 weeks, and spent the first couple of weeks on a ventilator, wearing only a diaper. It was definitely an exciting day when he could start wearing clothes. Getting him dressed was one of the few things we could do to care for him while he was in the hospital. Being able to dress them in baby clothes provides some little sense of normalcy, too, I think. Fortunately, we had family nearby who bought several preemie outfits for us, but many people may not have family so close. Whether you're well off or struggling, it can simply be difficult to find the time to go shopping for preemie outfits, when you're sleep deprived, trying to spend as much time in the NICU as you can, and pumping around the clock. I know our time for shopping was very very short, and usually had to be used for necessities like groceries and toiletries. I'm at 31 weeks and on bedrest with my second boy, so I may yet need to use my preemie clothes again, but I'll certainly plan to donate the clothes to one of the hospitals where my sons were born, once I'm done with them.

Lora - posted on 02/18/2010

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This post brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful idea! I will have to look and see if I still have my two year-old's preemie clothes. However, I do remember that even the preemie clothes were too big on him (he weighed 3lb 7oz). But, you're right, seeing him in clothes, even though they were huge on him, made me breathe a bit easier!

Victoria - posted on 02/17/2010

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My twins were born at 29 weeks 6 days gestation and were in the NICU ( at seperate hospitals BTW) for 56 and 62 days respectively. The boys were 3 lbs 2 oz and 2 lbs 9 oz at birth with many struggles to breathe, feeding issues, Bradychardic episodes...etc. They are now 5 years old and thriving...you would never know they were preemies by looking at them. I did not buy preemie clothes right away..I hadn't planned on having them that early...After they came home is when i got the preemie outfits and such. I donated all of their preemie stuff to local churches and friends who needed the stuff.

Patricia - posted on 02/16/2010

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My son was born at 24 weeks. Each year on his birthday, I return to the NICU where he was cared for and donate preemie clothing to a 24-weeker (if there is one).

Alda - posted on 02/13/2010

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My twins were born at 28 weeks and spent 3 and 4 months in NICU respectively, and I gave all my preemie clothes to the NICU when my girls had outgrown them. I now give their clothes, as they outgrow them, to the Salvation Army (I'm in the UK) on condition they give them to needy families and not sell them in their shop.

Ashley - posted on 02/10/2010

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I went out and bought preemie clothes, I knew my babies were going to be premature, they're twins.

Lindsay - posted on 02/10/2010

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My preemie parent group, made care packages for parents in the NICU back in November which included some outfits. My daughter spent 66 days in the NICU (I'm in Canton, OH by the way), and I know how much little gestures even from people I didn't know meant to us. I have been trying to figure out a way to make our care packages available year round, not just during prematurity awareness month. I would even inquire at businesses, many are very willing to make monetary donations that you could then buy clothes with. Good luck with your collection!

Tina - posted on 02/10/2010

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I'll be taking mine back to the NICU at the hospital she was born at. It was nice when I finally got to see her, she was in cute little bitty clothes.
Oh, and BTW......not most babies are in there because their families are poor and had little prenatal care. Not to mention, no one PLANS on having a preemie. No one goes out and buys preemie clothes "just in case".
But what you are doing is good.

Courtney - posted on 02/03/2010

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I think it is great what you are doing!! My son was born at 25 weeks and 5 days and we were in the NICU for 68 days, we had many up and downs but over all it was not as bad as it could have been. I was very grateful that I had such a supportive family that was willing to help and buy lots of preemie clothes that I am also giving to the NICU he stayed at. Being able to dress my son in clothes for the first time was such an amazing feeling. It is such a small thing and lots of parents don't understand how big of a deal it is to have your baby wear clothes for the first time but it.

Pamela - posted on 02/03/2010

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Ashley,



I was one of those you left behind. My 30 weeker was 2 lbs 6 oz and had to stay 38 days in the NICU. Yes, dressing her finally made me think she was a real baby. She is now 15 months and doing great. But I also took all my premie clothes to the NICU where we were in FL. I think you you title your conversation, give you premie clothes to youe NICU. You are right many people in the NICU do not have a lot of money, maybe had poor prenatal care and that's what they are there. Maybe your NICU would let you start a program where they can give all patients leaving a flyer from you and you could pick up or arrange for them to give their clothes back. There was a couple next to us that was living in a one room apt, and I could tell were struggleing for money ( they were the best parents I'v ever met). My second was a girl, so I went home and put togther a few bags of my biy clothes and brought it into them. Other things, like breast pumps would also help if the hospital would take them. Good Luck.

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