Monday, March 31, 2014

Bryan College Station NICU Support and Sewing Meeting

This Thursday, April 3rd, from 6:15 - 8:00 pm please join us at The College Station Medical Center for our monthly local Preemie Prints Sew & Craft Meeting! We will be working on our NICU positioning devices, stuffing and hand sewing lots of keepsake giraffes, sewing burp cloths, preemie outfits, and cuddlers. Although the main focus of these meetings is sewing & crafting, many of us are past NICU moms, so we're available to visit with current NICU moms and dads of College Station to offer support. Regardless of what NICU your child is in please know that you are invited to attend our NICU sewing support meeting. Many parents work on scrapbooks and baby books during their baby's NICU stay and our local sew & craft meetings are a wonderful place to do things like that and visit about your baby's NICU journey with other moms who have been there.

Each month our sewing meeting rotates to a different hospital. Next month our NICU sewing meeting will be in Bryan, TX at St. Joseph's Regional Health Center. The following month we will be at Scott & White in College Station. It's always the 1st Thursday of the month from 6:15-8pm. We hope to see you at an upcoming Preemie Prints Sew & Craft Meeting.

Our meetings always end with our donation drop off for that month! Everyone in attendance is invited to walk down to the NICU and be a part of the donation drop off. Looking forward to dropping off our Preemie Prints donation to The College Station Medical Center NICU this Thursday.





Welcome Preemie Prints Photography Volunteer, Bobbie!

Please help us welcome volunteer photographer, Bobbie! Bobbie will be helping give the gift of photography to preemie and NICU families in Oklahoma!! 

Jealous Melon Photography

Service Area: Tulsa Metro Area
HospitalsSt. Francis, St. Johns, Hillcrest, Hillcrest South

About Bobbie:
"I am a mother of 2 who has always loved photography and love the raw, authentic emotion that comes from film photography; therefore I document my sessions with a filmic approach."





Christopher's Preemie Prints NICU Grad Photo Shoot

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Preemie Prints support programs include NICU photography and NICU graduate photography (the gift of photography at no charge for a NICU family), the gift of handmade items, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 

We pray these special memories will help families remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

"Christopher was born with gastroschisis, meaning all of his bowels were on the outside of his body. Our little man was a trooper, being placed on a vent and having surgery at 4 days old to close his belly. He started getting tube feedings through the tube in his nose at about 1 week old, getting 5ml every 3 hours. He was about 10 days old when we got to hold him for the 1st time. By the time he went home he was eating almost a full 2 ounces. We were very fortunate to only have a few minor setbacks, but regardless it was a tough time for the whole family. My husband and I also had a 15 month old, who could not go into the NICU. My biggest advice it to ALWAYS try to stay positive. Keep your mind on the progress you LO (little one) has made, not the step-backs - because they WILL happen. And know that every day is a new day, and a day closer to your LO recovery."


Preemie Prints Volunteer Photographer:
Lisa King - Kansas City, MO

A note from Lisa:
"This family was adorable and I loved watching the interactions between them. Christopher surprised me and was not interested in the balloons or cupcake that I brought at all but wanted to explore everything, and boy could he move fast.  Never wanted to stop for a second which made capturing him on camera a definite challenge.  :) "







Friday, March 28, 2014

Houston, TX Preemie Prints Sew & Craft Meeting!


We had such a good turn out for our sewing meeting. The pavement has been pounded in a matter of speaking. Every group where mother's are in the area, preemie related, even some national places where there's a possibility of connecting with someone: a message about our event was posted on their Facebook page. Efforts were not in vain I am glad to say. I have had a tremendous amount of inquires and down poor of best wishes, as well as others wanting to send us items they make at home, and a new volunteer family that made a huge impact on tonight's meeting. We were a bit scattered at first which led to not accomplishing exactly what was planned but in a good way. We have 7 machines available to use and they were unthreaded and in boxes. We set a few of them up and got to work on a few things.

We had a small group on one couch teaching and learning in both directions, one to crochet and the other to knit. 
It was fun watching the teacher become the student!

We had a father son duo working on giraffes as well as other small projects. While mom and little sister worked on cutting what was thought to be positioners. (slight miscalculation on my end and turned out double the thickness...... of course it wasn't realized until one was completed. ... but we had a good laugh at watching a toy tea set be used in place of a funnel!

The goal of our next meeting will be to make a few snakes and finish up some giraffes, so we can take a bundle up to Tomball Regional. Please join us at our next meeting!







Thursday, March 27, 2014

Welcome Norfolk, VA Preemie Prints Photography Volunteer, Katherine!

Please help us welcome volunteer Preemie Prints volunteer photographer, Katherine! Katherine will be helping give the gift of photography to preemie and NICU families in Norfolk, VA!! 

Glimpse In Time

Service Area: Norfolk, VA
Hospitals: Norfold General, Bon Seccours DePaul Medical Center, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Naval Medical Center Portsmouths

About Katherine:
"I've always loved photography and I'll be starting school at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach in April. I recently had my little girl who was born at 33 weeks in January. I understand the stress of having a child in the NICU and I wanted to give back to other families going through this. I look forward working with the families and their babies."


"I just wanted to share with you a few pictures of Layla, my daughter.  I also wanted to send you a picture of me since I figured it would be best so people would have a face to my name. These pictures were taken with my cell phone at the time.  It baffles me why I didn't bring my camera with me every time I went to visit Layla in the NICU. I'm so excited I'm going to be able to do this for other mothers and families. It killed me having to leave her there every night and not bring her home with me.  It was always the pictures that would help bring my mind at ease and help me sleep at night."





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No Touching Preemie On Board Sign - Free Printables

So we shared a photo recently of a little sign attached to a carrier that reads "No Touching your germs are too BIG for me" it was made to look like a caution sign and super cute! We got lots of likes and feedback from moms and dads who wanted one. So here it is! You are free to print these signs and use to politely tell others not to touch your baby. It's amazing that we have to do this, but you know how many people like to touch little babies (even in situations we'd never expect!!). Having preemies and NICU babies we just can't take the risk! There are 4 caution sign designs to choose from. Directions and free preemie printables are below. Enjoy!


Directions

1. Click this link

2. Print the file - it would be best to print on cardstock

3. Laminate

4. Trim

5. Punch a hole (make sure it's big enough) so that you can use one of those toy rings to slip through it!

6. Hang wherever you like and protect your baby from germs


Monday, March 24, 2014

Welcome New Preemie Prints Photographer, Mary!

Please help us welcome volunteer photographer, Mary! Mary will be helping give the gift of photography to preemie and NICU families in Manassas Park, VA!! 

Goe Photography

Service Area: Prince William & Fairfax Counties, Manassas
Hospitals: Inova Fair Oaks, Inova Fairfax, Reston Hospital, Novant Health Prince William


About Mary:
"I have been a professional photographer since 2012 and an amateur for many years. I spent 6 years working with children with special needs and their families, and love helping families in any way I can. I am thrilled to volunteer with Preemie Prints and help families create beautiful memories of a difficult time."


Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome New Preemie Prints Volunteer, Dr. Z!!

Please help us welcome volunteer photographer, Dr. Z! Dr. Z will be helping give the gift of photography to preemie and NICU families in Northeastern Ohio!! 

Dr. Z Photography

Service Area: Youngstown, Warren
Hospitals: Akron Children's in Youngstown & Warren, St. Elizabeth's in Boardman, OH


About Dr. Z:
"I became a professional photographer when I was 40. After completing a PhD from Harvard, I realized that what I love most is helping people make memories. I'm excited to work with Preemie PRints to give the gift of photographs and memories to more families."


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Untouchable Mother Sculpture Series By The Midnight Orange

There are many memorabilia type items for parents of premature babies and for parents who have experienced an infant loss, angel parents as we call them. We are always searching for information to share with Preemie Prints and the NICU community of families. The other night I was researching online and stumbled upon probably one of the most beautiful memory items for mothers of NICU babies that I have seen to date. It is called "The Untouchable Mother" and it's a sculpture of a mother sitting by an isolette peering in, longing for, her tiny premature baby. The emotion, the vivid memories, the pain, and the joy of my time in the NICU came rushing back when I saw the sculpture. Tears came and I was moved. That is what the purpose of art is and D. Antonia Truesdale of The Midnight Orange beautifully captures the essence of a NICU mom in her artwork.

I reached out to the artist, because I really wanted to share the work with you - our Preemie Prints community. After we visited, she decided to work on expanding her line to include a series of sculptures, not only for NICU moms, but for the whole family. Through Preemie Prints and this blog post she is reintroducing her beautiful series to you. She shared a few words with us about why she sculpts for parents of premature babies, NICU families, and angel families. Here is what she had to say:

"I have had the extreme privilege of working with parents on all walks of life, and one group I've been really touched by is families of premature babies. To see photos of their little ones so close yet out of reach plays a bittersweet lullaby on the heartstrings. This sculpture series was inspired by the desperate longings preemie parents have shared with me, and I am very happy to be able to reintroduce this into my collection of available sculptures.

This specific design is not only customizable to your family portrait, but once you have it home with you you are able to customize it further by adding your own special keepsakes to the bottom display case. The bottom comes empty with a mirrored base and then you can add in any tiny mementos, as you'll see in some examples in the photos. I think it would be perfect for a little hospital bracelet, perhaps flowers from a baby bouquet or even a handwritten poem tied into a scroll. There are so many ways for this design to be personalized and I am just completely touched and humbled to have my artwork be a part of your preemie's mighty journey."

Now we will share the beautiful pictures of her new sculpture series and include information at the bottom of the post on how you can contact The Midnight Orange and place orders.




To ask questions and view all of her work 

The Untouchable Mother sculpture 
The Untouchable Mother & Father
The Untouchable Mother of Twins 
The Untouchable Mother & Father of Twins
The Untouchable Family


Emery and Dylan ~ A Twin Miracle Story & NICU Photo Shoot!

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families inspirational story & photos. Consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Preemie Prints support programs include NICU photography and NICU graduate photography (the gift of photography at no charge for a NICU family), the gift of handmade items, group events and meetings, information, and prayer support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families.

We pray these special memories from Preemie Prints 
will help families remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

A NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

"I had our twins early at 30 weeks 5 days due to preeclampsia. Emery had also been diagnosed with IUGR ( intrauterine growth restriction) at week 22 and I was put on bed rest. Emery only weighed 1 lb 12 oz at birth and Dylan weighed 3 lb 8 oz.

We had been so concerned about how Emery would do if they were born early because she was so small, but she entered the world a fighter. She was breathing on her own within a few days. They say that girls develop sooner than boys in the womb and that IUGR babies are "stressed" in the womb so that causes their lungs to develop sooner too. 

Dylan had to be on a ventilator right away to help him breathe and then CPAP and finally just a nasal cannula as you can see in these photos. Dylan also had a serious infection in his blood and lungs which was a set back but he fought through that. 

These photos were taken when they were 4.5 weeks old and Dylan weighed 5 lb 4 oz and Emery weighed 3 lb 6 oz. It is currently one week later and Dylan is completely off of oxygen and they are working on bottle and breast feeding. The doctors say we should be able to take them home in 1-2 weeks! 

The NICU journey is hard plain and simple. The wires and tubes and beeps from the monitors are so overwhelming at first, but gradually you learn what they are for and how they are helping your babies and you get used to them. And there are days of joy and amazement and other days of sadness, anger and guilt. But our babies wouldn't be here if it weren't for the NICU and we are so blessed that they have had that care.


Preemie Prints Volunteer Photographer:
Teresa Coleman - Plano, TX

A note from Teresa:
"Emery and Dylan were perfect. Emery was so small yet so alert and quiet. Dylan was the bigger of the two and he was so sleepy yet showed off his set of lungs. Mom and Dad were great as they did their normal routine with the babies and pretended I was not there - which made my job easier. I was able to capture images of them focused on their babies and not the camera. I was ecstatic to hear how much they weighed at birth and how much they weighed as of the day we did the photo session. I cannot wait to see these two sweet babies grow to be strong willed and strong minded. They will be the generation that changes this world into a much better place!"








Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Baby Easton's Preemie Prints NICU Grad Photo Shoot


Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Preemie Prints support programs include NICU photography and NICU graduate photography (the gift of photography at no charge for a NICU family), the gift of handmade items, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 

We pray these special memories will help families remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

"My sons name is Easton. He was born early on March 10, 2013 at 35 weeks weighng 5lbs 9ozs, and had a rough start in the beginning. My pregnancy was perfect, but when my son was born he was not breathing. Immediately he was rushed to a different hospital. We found out he had been drprived of blood and oxygen during my labor and had IVH grade 4 & 3 brain bleeds, seizures, and severe HEI. After multiple MRI's and EEG's we were told he would not survive off of life support due to the amount of damage done and if he did survive he would not be able to move, see (because he would be cortically blind), eat or breathe on his own. We took him off of all support at 5 days old expecting him to earn his wings. But God had a different plan for him. After a few minutes of not breathing, Easton took a breath and has been amazing us every since. He breathes perfect, eats like a piget, he can see just fine and movest perfectly. He is our miracle!

Our NICU experience was a very hard roller coaster of a ride. We had our ups, and a ton of downs, but we gained an entire new family when we were there. Our doctors and nurses were truly amazing and treated us like family. They prayed with us, cried with us, and laughed with us. The other families we met during our NICU experience have also become a big part of our lives. Becoming a NICU parent is something nobody ever wants to be, but we learned quickly a new world of being in a NICU, and that in the end it is an honor to be one, because you get to experience miracles every day. You learn to rejoice in every small thing, like baths and diaper changes."

 
Preemie Prints Volunteer Photographer:
Beth Pate - Oscala, FL

A note from Beth:
"I was really honored to do this shoot since it was dear to my heart. I met Baby Easton and his family when he was in the NICU across from one of our Quints. It was a pleasure to be able to do this session. I had a chance to see how much he has grown and overcome everything that they said he would never do."









Monday, March 10, 2014

Dear NICU Nurse & A Beautiful Baby Poem!

 

Dear NICU Nurse...    "Dear NICU Nurse, To be honest, I never knew you existed. Back when our birth plan included a fat baby, balloons and a two-day celebratory hospital stay, I had never seen you. I had never seen a NICU. Most of the world hasn’t. There may have been a brief, “This is the Neonatal floor” whilst drudging by on a hospital tour. But no one really knows what happens behind those alarm-secured, no-window-gazing, doors of the NICU. Except me. And you.I didn’t know that you would be the one to hold and rock my baby when I wasn’t there.  I didn’t know that you would be the one to take care of him the first 5 months of his life as I sat bedside, watching and wishing that I was you. I didn’t know that you would be the one to hand him to me for the first time, 3 weeks after he was born. That you would know his signals, his faces, and his cries. Sometimes, better than me. I didn’t know you. I didn’t know how intertwined our lives would become. I know you now.  I’ll never be able to think of my child’s life, without thinking of you. I know that in the NICU, you really run things. That your opinions about my baby’s care often dictates the course and direction or treatment as you consult with the neonatologist every day. I know that you don’t hesitate to wake a sometimes sleeping doctor in the nearby call room because my baby’s blood gas number is bad. Or because his color is off. Or because he has had 4 bradys in the last 45 minutes. Or because there’s residual brown gunk in his OG tube.I know now that youare different from other nurses.I know that, at times, you are assigned to just one baby for 12 hours straight. You are assigned to him because he is the most critically sick and medically fragile baby in the unit.  I’ve seen you sit by that baby’s bedside for your entire shift. Working tirelessly to get him comfortable and stable. Forgoing breaks while you mentally will his numbers to improve. I’ve seen you cry with his family when he doesn’t make it. I’ve seen you cry alone.I’ve seen you, in an instant, come together as a team when chaos ensues. And let’s be honest, chaos and NICU are interchangeable words. When the beeper goes off signaling emergency 24 weeker triplets are incoming. When three babies in the same pod are crashing at the same time. When the power goes off and you’re working from generators. In those all too often chaotic moments, you know that time is more critical in this unit than any other, and you don’t waste it. You bond together instantly as a team, methodically resolving the crisis until the normal NICU rhythm is restored. Yes. I know you now.  I’ll never be able to give in return what you have given to me. Thank you for answering my endless questions, even when I had asked them before. Thank you for your skill, you are pretty great at what you do. Thank you for fighting for my baby. Thank you for pretending like it was normal when I handed you a vial of just pumped breast milk. Thank you for agreeing to play Beatles lullabies in my baby’s crib when I was gone. Thank you for waking the doctor. Thank you for texting me pictures of my sweet miracle, even when it was against hospital policy. Thank you for crying with me on the day we were discharged. Most of the world still doesn’t know what you do. They can’t understand how integral you are to the positive outcomes of these babies who started life so critically ill. But I do. I know you now. I will never forget you. In fact, our story can never be told without mentioning you. So the next time you wave your access card to enter the place that few eyes have seen, know that you are appreciated. I know you, and you are pretty amazing."  Your fan forever, A NICU Mom

 We're here praying for preemies, babies, & families in the NICU!  Our next Bryan College Station NICU Family Support Meeting will be held this Friday May 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm at S&W Hospital on the third floor. Please join us if you are a current NICU family looking to connect with past NICU parents! Bryan College Station, TX is home to three neonatal intensive care units (NICU) that offer treatment for premature babies and those born critically ill. We offer support to NICU families in a variety of ways. Please look through our website to find out how or contact us directly.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Adorable Anna's Preemie Prints NICU Grad Photo Shoot

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Preemie Prints support programs include NICU photography and NICU graduate photography (the gift of photography at no charge for a NICU family), the gift of handmade items, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 

We pray these special memories will help families remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

"Anna was born 9/24/2013. She was 33 weeks and 4lbs 6ozs. During our standard 20 week ultrasound, there was a noticeable amount of fluid built up in Anna's abdomen in conjunction with a bowel obstruction. At that period in time, we were told she would have a 20% survival rate. If they could find the cause, our chances would increase exponentially. 

They never found a cause.

In week 32, all of the fluid disappeared, but caused my amniotic fluid to decrease and it was necesary to deliver. She was a loud, vocal and alert preemie! -And beautiful. She progressed quickly in the NICU, but we found we couldn't get her oxygen support below a significant amount of 3L.

Once she reached full term, they performed a lung biopsy and found she had a Childhood Interstitial Lung Disease called PIG. This rare lung disease is very unknown and there are only a small handful of cases. We did a round of steroids that had significant improvement and prognosis is good that as she grows bigger and stronger, her lungs will grow with her. We have lots of hope. 

After 86 days in the NICU we were dicharged home!! (YAY!) We are home now on a 1/2L of oxygen support and feeding tube. She thrives and grows every day. 


Preemie Prints Volunteer Photographer:
Daneane Robinette - Cincinnati, OH

A note from Daneane:
"I had a wonderful time meeting and photographing Anna. She was a perfect model showing off her beautiful smiles and bright blue eyes. I love the close up of her glancing back with a sweet smile on her face. She heard her mommy’s voice and was looking for her. I was happy to capture that expression of pure admiration a baby has for their mother.  I can tell she is a happy and loved little girl."