October 31, 2012

Do you believe in magic?

 I do!
Yesterday, one of my all time favorite besties, Samantha, had her first baby.  A perfect baby girl named Estelle.  I'm over the moon in love with this baby already.  But she was born at just 26 weeks and has a long battle ahead of her.  Please pray for my friend and pray for baby Estelle.  They both need it.  I know they are being lifted up by so many right now but every happy magic thought helps.

Her husband Eric is an obstetrician and this challenging circumstance makes his job even harder right now.  Please pray for him too.  And all the mommas that he encounters in his job who's healthy pregnancies and full term babies remind him that his loves have a harder row to hoe.  But they will.  Estelle is already a strong and beautiful like her mama. 

Samantha and me back when I was blonde.

I wish these sweets didn't live so far away in Louisiana or that we had access to a private jet because I would be all over them in hugs and champagne right now.  Because my bestie had a baby!  And that deserves chocolate cake and champagne.  Lots and lots of champagne.


But on a more realistic note, I'd like to send my friend something.  Maybe a little care package to help her while the nurses and doctors care for her sweet Estelle.  It took no genius to cross off baby related items.  Not because Estelle won't be needing them, just not yet.  And baby clothes that are too big and baby blankets she can't wrap around that baby today just feels mean to send somebody.  Those will come when we celebrate Estelle's big home coming party.  And knowing my Louisiana friend, that will be some celebration!
But back to the now, what can I send my friend now?
I googled this last night, of course, and here's what I found:

Care Packages to send Mom's with babies in the NICU
Purell hand sanitizer
good lotion for her hands (after all that hand washing)
some cozy slippers
a cozy throw to use while sitting in that awful plastic hospital chair
a word search book
snacks
sweets and treats
magazines and books

So, tell me, what do YOU suggest?  Have you been in a similar situation, you or a close friend?  What made your stay more bearable?  What helped, what didn't?  I'd love your advice.




34 comments:

  1. My first son had to stay in NICU, only for 10 days thankfully, but it was the worst! Your list is right on. I would also suggest meals so she doesn't have to cook and just asking for lots of updates. It made me feel great when friends would make the effort to just come sit with me in NICU or call to hear an update-even when there really wasn't one. Sending your friends lots of prayers!

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  2. My daughter was born 7 weeks early and spent a great deal of time in the NICU. It is overwhelming but I think one of the best gifts is frozen meals. Is there a company that you could order from that would ship some frozen items (lasagna, soups, pot pies...) Also, a cute swaddling blanket or handmade blanket is nice. Also, on etsy and other sites you can order preemie hats and clothes. It was hard to find clothing for awhile.

    Also, you might see if you can find a few books on what to expect with a preemie, I found reading up as much as I could was helpful for what to expect.

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  3. Aww I hope your friends baby is ok, saying big prayers. I think your list is great especially the magazines and books because I am sure it will get boring day after day. The food is also a good idea!

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  4. I am SO sorry to hear this. To have a new baby that is sick is the toughest thing in the world as you know. But, she has a GREAT strong name...she will pull through this and be just fine. I will say prayers constantly for all of them.

    You have a good list so far. All I can think is gum. The lotion is HUGE...my hands still feel dry!

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  5. I am feeling for your friend. I am currently almost 29 weeks pregnant and due to some complications I had early on, premature labor is a concern. The idea of such a small one struggling awhile is so hard, my prayers are with your lovely friend & her family! Hope all goes well!

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  6. Sending prayers yours friends way!! I think you have a great list so far and agree with the frozen food. That'll be really helpful!

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  7. Julia this breaks my heart. Praying for your friend. How about a nice pair of pjs and slippers so she will be comfy while she is there at the hospital.

    These are pretty and appropriate when visitors stop in.
    http://www.victoriassecret.com/gifts/sleepwear/the-sleepover-cotton-pajama?ProductID=69037&CatalogueType=OLS

    PS Zutano has the sweetest preemie line too :)

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  8. This post is so uplifting Julia. One of my favorites of yours (and not just because both you girls look smokin' hot in that picture). I can hardly relate with Fletcher coming just 5 weeks early, but seeing as how we had to spend a measly 2 weeks in the nicu I can at least relate s smidge. 26 weeks, so early. She will be cared for so well though, it'll all be great. Does she read Danielle Oakey's blog? She should, her daughter was born at 24 weeks and right now she's sitting in bedrest in the hospital at only 26 weeks with her second baby....

    Much love and prayers!

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  9. Praying for your friend, this pulls on my heart! My friend that had a baby in the NICU used scent swatches {you can just buy from a fabric store in cute fabrics} which she held and then passed to her baby, so when she wasn't with the baby, it still had her familiar and comforting scent with her. I thought that was the best idea!

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  10. I found that I needed a journal to jot down notes - questions to ask the drs and nurses or updates on baby's improvements to relay to friends & family later. I also had to port breastfeeding supplies, like tubing, storage bottles, etc. back and forth from home to hospital so I used a big tote bag. Also, I think one of those plastic cups with the plastic straw would be well-used for water or other drinks - remember how thirsty you are when you first start breastfeeding?!

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  11. If you and Samantha have some other besties in common, you could all pitch in on a thorough house cleaning for her. Not only will she be spending every available moment in the NICU with no time to clean, she will be super dust mite and germ-conscious when she does get to bring her home, so that will be one less thing she'll have to worry about.

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  12. Many, many prayers are being sent their way! What a hard situation to be right now, but I believe in the power of prayer. I just adore her name! I don't have any great suggestions for a care package, but I loved the idea of being able to leave something for the baby that smells like mommy.

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  13. Prayers and positive healing thoughts to baby Estelle and her mom and dad. I had a good friend who had a surprise delivery at 25 weeks, so I have an idea of the long and slow road. Your care package will do so much good. Just make sure to pack extra treats as she'll want to share with the nurses. Those nurses will become best friends and heroes. You are a good friend my dear.

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  14. Prayers for sweet baby girl. (Her name is a family name for us and one of our faves for a future daughter!) I know whenever I am away from home I love having my tervis tumbler with me. Weird, but might be worth throwing in. I think it was Gaby from Vault Files that posted some precious polka dot pjs from Target yeterday.

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  15. My thoughts are with them! I would think that magazines, snacks, and maybe even some books (fluffy books of course) would be a good idea. Things to keep mom occupied when she's not with Estelle. I also like the idea of a warm, cozy blanket. I'm sure you'll find some pretty ones out at stores this time of year. Hope everything goes smoothly!!!


    You're such a good friend!

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  16. It super traditional, but I'd send meals or gift cards for meals. Or something food/consumable related like a Starbucks giftcard.

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  17. Great care package. So sorry to hear that your friend is struggling now, I hope that everyone is the stronger for it, and healthy and happy. I like your blonde hair! Pretty!

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  18. This post just shows how genuinely nice you are. What a great friend she has found in you. I will be sending good thoughts their way.

    If she has a Kindle or Nook with her, what about a gift card to use for downloading books of her choice?

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  19. So sorry for your friend. Wishing them the best! So hard to hear but Im sure she will be a stong little lady one day very soon!

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  20. No advice to give, just sending hugs and prayers your way!

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  21. My niece was in the NICU for only a week and that was bad enough. It made me sad thinking about all the wires and tubes she was hooked to in the sad looking NICU bed so my sister and I got together and made her a cute banner to decorate with. Thankfully she was home before she got it but something like that would probably make your friend happy.

    http://kleypas.blogspot.com/2012/10/bellaroses-banner.html

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  22. hello! longtime reader (and richmond lover - all my college besties live there), first-time commenter. this post strikes a cord as my son was born 7 weeks early in 2010 and spent 26 days in the NICU. i second someone's comment about a nice journal to jot down notes. i had one and it was so beneficial to write down what the doctor was saying, notes on breastfeeding, how i was feeling, what my son was doing...looking back now, it's such a special keepsake of his time there. preemie hats are wonderful too. my richmond bestie sent me one with my son's name embroidered on it and it just made me smile every time he wore it. another nice thing someone did was buy us a bunch of hospital parking passes and hospital cafeteria giftcards since we spent so much time there away...

    all the best to your friend and her daughter!

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  23. First I am sorry to hear your friend is having such a challenging time. My niece was premature and states away from us. We felt helpless being so far away. We called a local restaurant and had a meal sent to them. Just make sure it's delivered when they will be home or have it ready for pick up on the way to the hospital. I would add dry shampoo, mints, healthy snacks like nuts or trail mix. But honestly just being there for her to call you when she is feeling low is the best thing.

    You are such a good friend! Praying for your friend and Estelle.

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  24. I'll be praying for your friend and her baby!

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  25. I'm sending well wishes and prayers for your friend as we speak. I've often thought about how difficult it would be to have a little one in the NICU, and my first thought is that I would need lots of support. Texts and phone calls just to check in will mean so much I think. I agree about sending frozen meals if possible, or maybe gift cards to a healthy meal place close by? Starbucks gift cards would be awesome too! Big hugs to you and her! xo

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  26. Having had two out of my three children stay in the NICU I would say your care package will be well received. Praying for your friend and Estelle!

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  27. My bestie went in to labor at 25 weeks with her 3rd child 13 years ago. Her and her husband were told at that time that there would be no possibility of a positive outcome and to be prepared. Olivia was born and the nurse elected to take her to the warming bed while the doctor finished up with the mom immediately following the delivery. And Olivia's heart began to beat. And she began to move. And despite many many physical challenges thru the years, Olivia is now a freshman in high school and has more spirit than anyone I have ever known. At the time of her birth, she was the youngest preemie born on record that survived. Many medical advances have happened since then, of course.

    SO - miracles do happen and there are happy endings.

    The suggestions so far as well as your original list are great. I would also suggest some really basic items, although they aren't glamorous. Face wipes, hair ties, headbands, chapstick, gum and mints. Often, the mom doesn't get but 2 minutes to steal to "freshen up" and those little things can make her feel a more human :). Flip Flops for the hospital shower would be welcome, too, I am sure. And leggings - comfy, can be worn in public or slept in.

    HTH and many many prayers are coming her way. Thanks for including a picture of her - helps us to focus that love we are all sending!

    Beth

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  28. Both of my girls were in the NICU for a while. I loved soft shawl front cardigans made from t-shirt material (with no buttons for leads and lines to get caught on) because they made me feel human and "dressed," but worked for kangaroo care too. Also, a soft scarf or shawl that can be used as a little blanket or wrapped around an otherwise unappealing top will help her feel your hugs from afar. Our NICU didn't allow any food or drinks, but I felt desperate for fruit and veggies the whole time. A sweet friend sent a huge container of fruit salad and I loved every bite of it.

    Good luck! The NICU is an amazing place.

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  29. Poor, poor Samantha! My sweet daughter was in the NICU, and let me tell you, those were some of the longest, most worrisome days of my life! I'd recommend some sort of food delivery (to the hospital of course), or possibly a gift card to the hospital cafeteria, or a restaurant near the hospital (there are usually 2-3 shift changes where the parents have to leave the NICU anyway). I'd also recommend little hair bows and hats from etsy - Estelle obviously won't be able to wear any normal clothes for awhile, but I know that just dressing my little girl up with fancy hair bows made me so much happier, and much less like crying for her every time I saw her. Keeping little Estelle in our prayers!

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  30. Saying big prayers for your Bestie & Estelle. What about a Kindle?

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  31. I know it must be so scary. My twins were born early, but I can't imagine 26 weeks. I will be saying lots of prayers. I also love the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It's a short paragraph each day and can be so uplifting.
    xo
    hooper
    www.birdsofafeatherdesign.com

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  32. Our family has Samantha, Estelle and the family in our thoughts and prayers. You have a heart of gold and have always been such a loyal friend. Your love and compassion for them will prove to be a source of strength during this difficult time. I pray that God will give their family patience and serenity. Please keep me posted on how baby Estelle is doing!

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  33. my heart goes out to your friend! i can't even begin to imagine. that is now the third person i have heard of in just a matter of weeks that has gone into preterm labor that early. sending prayers their way. estelle...what a sweet name!!

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  34. Hi there! These are all great suggestions. My daughter was born at 32 weeks so this hits close to home. The only other idea not mentioned already is a donation to March of Dimes in honor of Estelle.

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Thanks for joining the conversation!