Tuesday, June 27, 2017

NICU Update 6/27/2017

Thirty-six years ago today, I lost my first baby of a set of twins. This was before doctors used ultrasound on a regular basis, so I didn't know that I still carried a second baby. On July 27th I would lose that little boy. Although I have often thought of those babies over the years, I didn't do anything to honor their lives until fall of 2014 when I read a book that a student's mother had written about pregnancy loss. She recommended doing something to honor the baby or babies you had lost.

Because I am a reading and English teacher, I decided that to honor my babies, I would gather books for a year and make a one time donation to the NICU in packets of five books each for the parents to read to their babies. I was able to get good deals on books because I was a teacher, so the the Scholastic book order helped immensely with this project as they generally have a one dollar book each month. At the end of the year, I had purchased 150 books for the NICU through Scholastic and other places. I miss those dollar sales now that I am out of the classroom.

I found that I couldn't stop gathering books for this project. My neighbor, Michelle, started gathering books for it as well. Several of my friends and friends of the NICU started sending books, and of course, I kept on purchasing books.

Recently, a NICU mom posted a link to my blog and many of her friends and family sent books. Today, on this anniversary of the loss of my babies, I received a package of books from her mother, Gail.

Thank you, Gail. You made my day. You didn't know that today had any significance to me, but I found it a tender mercy to receive these books today. I love touch and feel books for babies, and Mo Willems is awesome!

My friend, Michelle, brought me a Spanish book last night, which we always need.

  • In 2015 we sent 73 packets but not every baby received one.
  • In 2016 we sent 224 packets and most babies received one. 
  • So far in 2017, we have sent 149 packets, and I have 30 more to send. I love that there are enough for every baby in our NICU to get a packet of books. 
Reading to your child everyday is one of the best gifts you can give them. Thank you to everyone who helps keep this project going. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit.

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