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Old 10-14-2005, 01:08 PM   #1
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Smile Baby Blankets for new NICU

Hi All,

One year ago this coming Saturday, October 15th, my Uncle's family was touched by the premature birth of their first child. Tommy was 14 weeks premature and never left the NICU.

Often mother's are rushed to the hospital with nothing for their child.

This past July, a brand new state of the art NICU was opened in Southern New Jersey! This was a wonderful thing. Before this NICU, any time a child needed to be sent to a NICU they were airlifted to another hospital an hour or more away when the mother had to stay at the local hospital.

My March of Dimes family team, Wild Irises, is trying to collect newly purchased or handmade baby blankets to donate to the new NICU.

I would love it if the members of SplitCoastStampers could help!

The March of Dimes is holding a "Havana Nights" wine tasting event to honor the new NICU and to raise money. I am on the committee to help collect items for the silent auction. I am putting in a basket of my hand cards and gifts for part of the auction! In addition to this help I am presenting newly purchased or handmade baby blankets during the ceremony for the new NICU.

If you are interested in sending a blanket, please mail to:
Wild Irises Baby Blanket Drive
c/o Karen Bown
5 S. Independence Pl
Galloway, NJ 08205

Thank you so much in adavance
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
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Just had a grandson that spent time NICU and I will try to get a blanket out in the next few days. It is so wonderful what they can do for babies these days.
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Old 10-14-2005, 02:48 PM   #3
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I dont crochet or knit, but I do sew, would they like sewn blankets? What size is needed? Please PM me with the info. Thanks, Wendy
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:35 PM   #4
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Any size blanket would be appreciated I am sure. I am making a few blankets myself. My goal is to make the blankets rather small, since they are premies (sp). I haven't been given a specific size or color preference. I would suggest a newborn blanket size, any light or bright color. The dedication event is on November 29th. I would like to have the majority of the blankets by the Friday before so I can get them all together. This will be an ongoing drive for my team.

Thank you all so much!

Karen =)
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:20 PM   #5
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What you're doing is awesome. I make quilts for our local hospital in memory of our granddaughter, Emily, who was born at University of Washington Hospital in Seattle 15 weeks early on April 1st and only lived 6 hours. Our son and daughter-in-law were given a small quilt made by a volunteer quilting group and it meant so much to them, so I took up the project to make them for our local hospital.

Keep up the great work. Your project is very important!

Kerry
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Old 10-15-2005, 04:29 AM   #6
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Thanks Kerry,
What happened to your family is exactly why I am doing this. I appreciate the support.

Karen
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Old 10-15-2005, 07:38 AM   #7
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Default blankets for NICU

Please check with the hospital for requirements, because frequently the hospitals have specific requirements. Premies frequently have really delicate skin, so no stiff lace around the edges, or if there is thread around the edge it has to consider the delicate skin of the baby. Also, in some hospitals they sterilize anything that goes into the nursery, so ??? cotton would be good. Just a thought....... My sewing group makes gowns and smocked bonnets for bereaved babies, so we do not have to meet the requirements of the nurseries. Anyway, what a great thing to do!!!
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:55 AM   #8
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Even if the NICU babies never get to actually "use" the blankets, if they die, it would be something special that the parents can keep. My baby (now 12 weeks old) spent 3 weeks in the NICU - he was full term, if he had been pre-term he may not have survived, or done as well as he did. Typically, you find that because babies are pre-term, as parents we are not as prepared as with a full term and the blanket they receive could be their very first gift, as well as first blanket for their baby.

It's a great thing that you are doing. I don't crochet/knit, but I will ask my mother if she has any extra baby blankets...she is always crocheting.

Tonya
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:

Originally Posted by aloynia
Even if the NICU babies never get to actually "use" the blankets, if they die, it would be something special that the parents can keep. My baby (now 12 weeks old) spent 3 weeks in the NICU - he was full term, if he had been pre-term he may not have survived, or done as well as he did. Typically, you find that because babies are pre-term, as parents we are not as prepared as with a full term and the blanket they receive could be their very first gift, as well as first blanket for their baby.

It's a great thing that you are doing. I don't crochet/knit, but I will ask my mother if she has any extra baby blankets...she is always crocheting.

Tonya
Tonya, you hit on an excellent point. About 4 1/2 years ago I was looking for a crochet/knitting charity to volunteer for, and discovered a group that provides complete layettes to hospital NICUs for the precious little angels who don't make it -- from "micropreemies" (under 1 lb) all the way to full-term infants. The parents are SOOO appreciative, and treasure the items forever! They are given one layette for taking pictures with their baby, and one for burial.

I know there wasn't really a color preference for the blankets, but the nurses we have worked with ask us not to use yellow by itself as it makes the babies look jaundiced. Also, sport or fingering weight is preferred because for some reason the thickness of worsted weight yarn makes tiny babies look even smaller.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:14 PM   #10
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This is a really great thing you are doing. My first son spent his first 15 weeks of life in NICU because he was a micro-preemie. We didn't receive any gifts. You're right that parents are caught off guard. We didn't even have a shower for him until after he came home because I was so frightened he would die. My second son died during delivery and never made it to NICU. It was a different hospital and they had a beautiful memory box they presented to us with a crocheted bonnet that he had on for his picture. I thought it was odd at the time, but I'm so glad to have the picture and memories now. It means a lot to me.

My first son came home from NICU on October 19, 1995. On the very same day, October 19, 2000, my second son died during delivery. I'm a little teary reading this. I will be spending time at the cemetery this Wednesday and will have our annual Homecoming celebration for my first born after dinner on Wed.
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Old 10-15-2005, 03:32 PM   #11
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You can find a few patterns for knitting preemie size blankets and hats here:

http://knitsforsanity.typepad.com/pr...and%20hats.doc

This website had a measurements page for suggested sizes for babies of all sizes. There are other websites out there too. If you decide to make a blanket...you may be surprised at the finished size....some blankets are no bigger than a sheet of cardstock.

My twins were born at 28 weeks (3months early) and spent months at the NICU. My mom now knits hats and blankets for the NICU on a regular basis. We were told that the blankets needed to be in pastel colors. Sport weight yarn is preferred. No patterns with holes as part of the design....nothing for teeny fingers or wires/tubes to catch on.


Good luck with your project!
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Old 10-16-2005, 03:24 AM   #12
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Thank you all for sharing your stories, experiences, and information. I can't express to you all how much this means.

This is the first time I have done something like this and will admit I am a little unexperienced. I appreciate everyone's support and generosity.

When you first starting out and think about a family you don't think that you could/would have a premie or a micropremie. The thought is that you will have a full term healthy baby that you can take home within a few days.

At least I thought that for many years. My husband and I got married last year and knew we wanted a family. Since that time my Aunt and Uncle lost their child. Her family had a shower for her when Tommy was just under 2 months old. He was still in the NICU. There was hope that he would pull through, but of course no gaurantees. Tommy's room was all set up and ready for him to come home, but he didn't make it.

I always had a fear that I would not be able to have children. One of those gut feelings you have and you just don't want to deal with. A few months after Tommy passed away I was diagnosed with a blood disorder, I probably had it for a few years but noone could figure it out. I was told that I was not allowed to have children. If my body didn't reject the pregnancy the medication I was on would cause severe birth defects. At 30 years old, newly married, and no children before this time you could imagine how shocked I was. Yes shocked, I almost didn't believe it at first.

After this I became even more involved with the March of Dimes than I was before. I have had a family team for a couple of years now. I started the team in memory of my mother. My mother had been a nurse for over 30 years and participated in every program, committee, etc that should could to help babies, young children, and the like. The March of Dimes was her favorite charity and I wanted to do my part to help keep spirit alive in the saving of babies.

Last year our team raised over $8000 for the March of Dimes. We are a small team of 42 members. This year our goal is $9000.

In addition to particpating in Walk America I have joined several committees for the March of Dimes. This Baby Blanket Drive was my way of helping the new NICU.

I am appreciative to all those that are helping with this drive. These babies and families need our help. Even if the baby doesn't make it the families will cherish our generosity for a lifetime.

Handmade blankets are wonderful. A blanket purchased in the store would be great as well. Some of the families of premature babies are so unprepared at this moment that any blanket is priceless to them.

Thanks, Karen
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:25 PM   #13
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I volunteer with a group called Project linus. We make blanket for children in distress. We have several patterns on the web site.
http://projectlinus.org/index.shtml

Here is a list of chapters in NJ. Maybe they can help with the on going need for blankets.

Brigantine/Atlantic City
Contact: M. Carole
(215) 885-0841
Send e-mail

Greenbriar/Monroe Township
Contact: Audrey
(609) 860-6364
Send e-mail

Hudson/Bergen Counties
Contact: Liz
(201) 437-0272
Send e-mail

Linden
Contact: Bonnie
(732) 553-0743
Send e-mail
or Contact: Emily
(90 276-2368

Rockaway/Morris County
Contact Lois
(973) 983-9273
or Contact: Phyllis
(973) 442-0710
Send e-mail

Somerset County
Contact: Cathy
(90 243-8649
Send e-mail
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Old 10-18-2005, 08:38 AM   #14
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Hi, I heard from the hospital and they said they would take any blanket suitable for a newborn. Thanks to all! Karen
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:41 PM   #15
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Hi Karen,

I've been crocheting for many years and I would love to donate a blanket! I am also from NJ (Central NJ) What hospital is this for?? I'll get started on it and let you know when I get it in the mail so you can watch for it.

Chris
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Old 10-18-2005, 04:53 PM   #16
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Hi Chris,

The blankets are for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - Mainland in Pomona, NJ (Southern NJ, Atlantic County). They opened a state of the art NICU this past July. Now our babies that need a NICU don't have to go to Cooper. They can stay here at home close to their mother's.

Thanks for your help!

Karen
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Old 10-28-2005, 09:21 AM   #17
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Hi All,

I have started to receive blankets and I want to thank everyone for their support. I will post a total of blankets received on November 28th.

Thanks again,

Karen Bown
Wild Irises Mission Family Team Leader
March of Dimes - Atlantic County NJ
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