Back around Christmas, I started thinking about Max's upcoming birthday… we'd have a party, of course. He'd get gifts, of course. We'd reminisce about our first year, of course. But something was missing… I wanted to do something for the NICU… for that place where Max started his life, for those people who kept him (and us!) going for those early days.
The nurses get lots of appreciation, even though it's not nearly “enough” They get snacks and notes and cards… I wanted to do something different.
And then I had an idea.
I harnessed the “Power of the Peas” and posted to my scrapbooking board and my local mom's message board. I asked for hats. Handmade baby hats, to donate to the NICU in celebration of Max's first birthday.
For a kid who spent his first month or so of life naked, a hat was very important! It's the only way, some days, you can tell your own baby from the isolette next door… it's important for health, because so much heat escapes from an uncovered head. In the NICU, hats are everything!
So I asked the Peas and the Nesties (Bumpies?) to make hats and send them to me… there are loads of knitters and crocheters on both boards, so I posted and asked, hoping to get some responses. In my dreams, I thought it would be SO COOL to end up with 91 hats… one for each day of Max's NICU stay.
A couple of weeks after posting, the hats started coming in. And coming, and coming and coming…
As of this morning, I had 164 hats in my collection, and 25+ more on the way (picking them up from a local friend tomorrow!)
I have no words. I am in awe of these amazing women (and one guy!) who spent their time and resources to make these tiny gifts to give to babies they don't even know!
There are hats with beautiful ruffles that look like flowers, hats that are flowers, cammoflauge hats (I didn't even know you could knit camo!), hats that look like berries and cupcakes, a snowman hat, a bee hat, a Santa hat and more pom poms than I can shake a stick at! Every hat is cozy and soft and, you can tell, made with love.
Max with his own hat from the NICU, taken this morning… I can't believe it used to be so big on him! The photo at left is from the first time Jamie got to hold Max, at nine days old. sigh How much things can change in a year, huh?
So anyway, I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped with this project, whether you sent one hat or 30. We have hats from Alaska and Hawaii and about 25 other states as well… I am humbled and honored that you all have chosen to be a part of this and make this happen for us. It still isn't enough to express to the nurses and other NICU staff what they mean to us, but it's a start.
We're presenting the hats to Kelly (Max's NICU nurse) on Sunday… I'll post pictures next week!