I called to Brad, and he came like he always does to comfort me. He wiped my tears away and urged me to remain positive, to not lose sight of what was part of God’s plan for us. He also reminded me that it could have all gone the other way, and that we were blessed to have had such a wonderful NICU experience and have our son home with us. Have our healthy son home with us. With those tender words, I could physically feel my body relaxing and the selfishness draining from my heart. In an instant, I knew what I had to do. I remembered months before we had donated our Fischer-Price lamb swing and infant seat to the NICU once Sutton had outgrown them. On daily trips to the NICU, I remembered seeing little ones in the discharge nursery sitting in them while they were being readied to go home, and thought they could use the new gear. In the past year we had also donated many cute preemie outfits and sleepers that our growing boy no longer needed. As memories flooded my head, I knew these blankets and heirloom rattles needed a new home. In my continued spring cleaning that day, I found several other items that could be donated as well: a Medela tote, clean and sanitized phalanges and tubing, never used bottles and breast milk storage bags. Sentiments aside, holding on to these items no longer makes sense, and I am hopeful they will come in handy for another preemie parent. Not to mention, it’s a cathartic and healing experience to give back to our NICU, a place of hope for us and so many others.
With the Easter season upon us, it reminds me that this is a time of renewal and new beginnings. The old adage “out with the old, and in with the new” comes to mind. I encourage all parents, not just preemie parents, to look around and see what new or gently used items can be donated to the local NICU. Some NICUs have donation hours or specific times that they cannot have visitors due to shift changes or scheduling. Please reach out to your local NICU to see what their guidelines are, especially if you no longer have a child in the NICU. Below I have created a list of items that come in handy for preemies and their parents. Happy giving!
Donation Items for Preemies:
Donation Items for Preemie Parents: